Letters to a Soul (Van Zeller)

The Cenacle Press at Silverstream Priory

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The year is 1975.

A young man...a painter. Having converted, he tries his vocation as a monk, but decides that monastic life is not for him. Thrown back on his own resources, he quickly becomes enmeshed in difficulties-not least, when he discovers an unusually sympathetic ear in a young married woman-and he struggles to find a place in the contemporary Church. Throughout his searching, he turns to the Benedictine Dom Hubert for counsel, wondering what to do with his feelings. Dom Hubert, also an artist, offers practical advice to his correspondent while astutely pinpointing his mistakes. Not only fascinating as an historical snapshot of the world in 1975 through the eyes of a widely-travelled monk, these letters, full of wit and insight, address many topics which remain pertinent today, including:

  • Seeking peace and balance in the life of the spirit
  • Progress in prayer, and the danger of self-absorption
  • Chastity, and the difference between romance, love, and friendship
  • Papal infallibility, obedience in the Church, and the crisis of religious vocations
  • Liturgical aesthetics, the Charismatic movement, and the Latin Mass
  • The fear that God is not enough to satisfy man.

Dom Hubert van Zeller (1905-1984) was born in British-controlled Egypt and became a Benedictine monk of Downside Abbey in Bath, England. The author of numerous books ranging from scriptural commentary to fiction and biography, he was also renowned as a minimalist sculptor and cartoonist. He was a friend of Ronald Knox and of Evelyn Waugh, who described Dom Hubert's writings as 'characterised by vitality and elegance'.

This book, first published in 1950, here presented in an entirely re-typeset edition, is republished with the kind permission of Downside Abbey.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-7396241-7-0 €12.95

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