Book Review

In Sinu Jesu
When Heart Speaks To Heart
The Journal of a Priest at Prayer

by A Benedictine Monk
Angelico Press (27 Oct 2016)
ISBN: 978-1621382195

Book CoverI recently attended a lecture given by a psychiatrist on voices that  some people hear when there is nobody there. She clearly stated that a certain proportion of such people are not in any way psychologically disturbed and went on to cite Joan of Arc as an example. Had Joan been insane, she would not have achieved what she did. Of course, discerning which voices are of supernatural origin are, to quote Mr Obama, above the pay grade of a psychiatrist. It is up to the Church to give us the answer.

In 2007, Our Lord and Our lady began to speak to the heart of a monk in the silence of adoration. Are these locutions or are they the pious reflections of a good monk? I do not know. But there are many reasons why I find this work utterly compelling. It is endorsed by so many Catholics I trust. The author chooses to remain anonymous and to draw as little attention to himself as possible. Above all, I note the contents of the messages: they are soaked in Scripture and liturgy. Mention is frequently made of the Holy Eucharist, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary and so many traditional devotions. Catholics I admire are cited throughout the work, including Anne Catherine Emmerich, Josefa Menendez, Louis Marie de Montfort, Cardinal Mercier and, of course, St Benedict. So much of the work reads like something from Blessed Columba Marmion. 

Interestingly, it is claimed that "if one is to be saved, it is necessary to belong to Mary, for those who do not belong to her do not belong to the Church or Christ."

And it is surely in the ways of providence for a priest to be thus blessed, given the diabolical disorientation that has occurred within the priesthood in these last few decades. The priest must, above all, identify himself with the sacrifice of Christ, with the sacrifice of the Mass.

This work is one to take to Eucharistic Adoration. As far as I can see, there is nothing in it that is contrary to the Faith. It is utterly orthodox and deeply moving.

In contrast, I read another book recently by an alleged seer. The first thing that put me off was the front cover: a picture of the alleged seer in a state of seeming ecstasy. Of course, this may have been her publisher's decision. In one of the alleged messages, it is stated that "the way in which I lead you is difficult and full of temptations and falls" (March 8, 2008). This smacks of heresy. Of course, it might have been a bad translation but...

We need to be cautious in our dealings with extraordinary phenomena. But we certainly need not be closed.

Reviewed by Dr Pravin Thevathasan