New from Calx Mariae Publishing!

Voice of the Family is pleased to present two new and original titles from Calx Mariae Publishing, Sermons for the Liturgical Year by Fr Thomas Crean OP and His Infernal Highness Arcibaldo: letters from an expert devil to an apprentice tempter by Fr Serafino Lanzetta.

Sermons for the Liturgical Year follows the traditional calendar of the Roman rite and contains homilies for every Sunday, as well as selected movable and immovable feasts, including Holy Week. The mysteries of the faith are closely considered and by the renowned Thomist, Fr Thomas Crean OP, bringing to bear the graces of the sacerdotal state, the rich tradition of the Dominican Order and penetrating insights of the Angelic Doctor and other Fathers of the Church. Week by week, Fr Crean shares the fruit of his own meditation, private study and ardent devotion to the life of Our Lord and to His presence in the Holy Eucharist.

Readers of the Voice of the Family Digest will be familiar with the sermons by a Dominican Friar, with their unerring faithfulness to the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church, their great accessibility and simple devotion, which belies their theological depth and advanced scholarship. Sermons for the Liturgical Year, however, contains many sermons never before published and assures their preservation in print, for deeper and more enduring recollection on the mysteries of the faith, and greater encouragement in the practice of Christian virtue. It is our hope that the book will make for greater spiritual growth in the lives of individuals and families, facilitating greater love for the Catholic faith in all seasons — today and for generations to come — through the treasures of the timeless Roman Liturgy.

Speaking of the book, Fr Aidan Nichols OP observes that the author shows “an enquiring mind securely rooted in divine faith” which has been “tutored by the texts of the old Roman Liturgy”. Highlighting the timelessness of the lessons and insights drawn by Fr Crean, as well as its relevance to the lives of Catholics today, Fr Nichols calls Sermons for the Liturgical Year “a worthy successor, on a small scale, to Dom Guéranger’s classic volumes of spiritual commentary.” 

Dr Joseph Shaw, president of Una Voce and of the Latin Mass Society in England and Wales, calls the sermons “delightful, profound and edifying” and comments that “Fr Crean gives the reader a little extra to ponder for each Sunday and feast day, something to deepen our appreciation of the Church’s seasons, and our devotion.”

The second new title likewise gives many insights into the spiritual life — only upside down! Exploring the pitfalls faced by faithful Catholics (and especially clergy) in our own days, His Infernal Highness Arcibaldo by Fr Serafino Lanzetta is inspired by C S Lewis’s Christian apologetic novel The Screwtape Letters. With all their superlative “style” and “method”, Arcibaldo and Polliodoro delve deep into the present crisis of faith and morals from the point of view of its covert orchestrators. Arcibaldo’s choleric discourses and the sanguine replies of his overeager student Polliodoro provide an uncanny close-up, at times unnerving, of many of the proximate temptations of a post-Christian society. Necessarily less restrained and more daring than their forebears, these two denizens of the infernal depths are also more opportunistic, exploiting every passing fashion and threat to further undermine the one true faith.

As the “diabo-logical” maestro instructs his apprentice, at the end of another short history lesson:

“The method of expressing the faith (therefore the way of believing) was applied with so much patience as to become the method of devising to no longer say all those troublesome things which have become so incomprehensible to today’s man, even though they had always been taught in previous centuries. Method prevailed over content — the fides qua over the fides quae, the subjective over the objective — with all the best intentions, of course, to ensure that the content was better understood and better explained to the modern world, to the new world; but as you know, the road to our profound abode is paved with good intentions.”

A substantial and original work, Fr Lanzetta’s epistolary tale of diversion, inversion and subversion is a refreshingly imaginative and playful treatment on inimical influences, which one might otherwise think to be merely human. It is little wonder that Arcibaldo’s dealings with Polliodoro do not end in a fatal confrontation but (we can confidently say without spoilers) a self-satisfied celebration.

Sermons for the Liturgical Year by Fr Thomas Crean OP, and His Infernal Highness Arcibaldo: letters from an expert devil to an apprentice tempter by Fr Serafino Lanzetta are both available now from the Voice of the Family website, along with all our previous titles.