A Bedside Book of Saints (Roche)
This, truly, is a bedside book of saints, crafted like an old-fashioned quilt — a colorful thing of threads and patches meant to brighten the bedroom and lift the spirits of souls wearied by the day.
Like the patchwork quilts made by your grandmother, these tales have been sewn together without great study and with very little plan: variety and charm are often the very thing needed to cheer a downcast soul and bring consolation and hope to the Christian who takes up a book just before falling asleep.
In these pages, Fr. Aloysius Roche shows you the saints not so much from a new angle as from a less familiar one, a comfortable angle that makes for a certain coziness. Without diluting the intensity and holiness of the saints, he tries to bring them near, to bring them home, to bring them to your very bedside.
So he lets the saints themselves do most of the talking. “I am like a parrot who has learned to speak,” wrote St. Teresa. Exactly! In writing this book, Fr. Roche seeks to be a parrot like St. Teresa, not reporting his own thoughts but giving you the words of the saints themselves.
But whoever’s doing the talking, it won’t be loud. It would never do to send you off to bed with a book about the saints that keeps you awake all night. Some nights, however, even after reading a few of these pages, sleep may evade you. At those times, read a few more. (You’re likely to come across that holy friend of those with sleep-related woes: St. Vitus, whose symbol is a rooster: he helps sleepyheads who find it hard to wake up in the morning!)
Whatever you do, don’t read this book all in one sitting. Take just a few pages a night — no more. The charming, often humorous stories of these eminently human saints will ease your soul and help bring you good dreams. In the morning, you’ll rise from your bed with fresh hope, and carry with you into your day greater confidence in God and his saints.
About the Author
Aloysius Roche (b. 1886) was a parish priest in Essex, England, where he was known for his great knowledge of the lives of the saints, his wise sermons and his simple, holy lifestyle.
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