• Author: Ralph Martin
  • Paperback: 496 pages  ($12 to $18)
  • Publisher: Emmaus Road Publishing (July 1, 2006)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931018364

This is a huge book, almost 500 pages.  It has taken me 10 months to read.  Mainly because I would frequently read a page and then spend 10 minutes thinking about it, (sometimes a day or two thinking about it).  This book will cause you to think about your life also.  The questions we need to ask ourselves are deep but fundamental to our existence:  “What do you desire? How will you acquire it? Can the purchase or ownership of anything really satisfy you? What activity here on earth really fulfills  the deepest desires of your heart?

The book is a summary of the teachings of seven Doctors of the Church.  Note: of the thousands of people declared a Saint by the Catholic Church, only 33 of them have been declared a “Doctor of the Church”.  These are seven giants in the History of Christianity:  St. Augustine, St. Francis De Sales, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux. They each have their own way of approaching a relationship with God: some practical, some logical, some mystical, but all the methods compliment each other.  The book mixes and blends the teachings of these seven saints into a curriculum that most anyone will be able to learn from.

These seven saints wrote extensively about how they became holy and about how others can become holy, however their writing can be difficult to follow and understand. So the author of this book went about the job of summarizing the saint’s work and selecting specific parts of the saints writing and then explaining what the saints wrote.  All of this writing, both the saints selected text and the author’s expanded explanations are organized into a logical, easy to follow progression. All the chapters are organized under three main sections: 1) Transformation Begins 2) Reaching Stability, but moving on, 3) The Transforming Union.   The writings of the saints, as included in this book, show not only how each one of them became a saint, but how we can become a saint also.  The book as written is not difficult to read, it is the thinking about these subjects, that causes difficulty, deep within one’s self.

I can imagine the years worth of work Ralph Martin put into the research and writing of this book. The advice of the Saints and Mr. Martin cover many areas of spirituality: thinking, living, worshiping, praying and more. The book is filled with quotes from the seven Saints that help, inspire, guide and teach.  All with one purpose, how to start, grow and maintain a  relationship with God, and that would include God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  For there is nothing else but God, that can fulfill the deepest desires of the human heart.

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