HEARTS AFLAME WITH HOPE, VOLUME 1:
Augustine of Hippo & Francis of Assisi
Author: Rev. Michael Gaudoin-Parker
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"We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel..." (Lk 24:21). This phrase "we had hoped..." encompasses the image of human existence in which hope has become difficult, if not impossible. The truth of these words is reflected in the lives of the persons considered here as signs of encouragement to us all to hope. These pages focus on their journey towards greater union with Christ through his gift and mystery of the Eucharist of which they offer an extended catechesis and celebration. This series begins with Augustine of Hippo, whose story of conversion offers a striking example of Christian hope in action. His rigorous and unremitting search for truth led him to delve profoundly into the revealed Word of God. As a result, his fundamental teaching can be summed up as emphasizing the primacy of God's loving outreach to each and everyone of us in our hour of need. The chapter on Francis of Assisi presents that much loved saint, whose perspective on living became entirely changed through his encounter with the Crucified Savior. In this memorable meeting he learned to deepen his practical commitment to serving the poor in this world and thus to building up the Church as a community of hope oriented towards the future when the Lord will ask every person to give an account of fidelity, not only to his real presence in the Sacrament of the altar, but most strinkingly in the needy.
About the Author: Michael L. Gaudoin-Parker a British priest, has for over twenty years been living near Assisi. A contemplative lifestyle of reflection and research has permitted him to write articles for various periodicals and books focused on the Eucharist. Among his works, those published by ST PAULS/Alba House are The Real Presence through the Ages: Jesus Adored in the Sacrament of the Altar (1993), Heart in Pilgrimage: Meditating Christian Spirituality in the Light of the Eucharistic Prayer (1994), A Window on the Mystery of Faith: Mystical Umbria Enlivened by the Eucharist (1997) and Hearts Aflame with Hope: Volume 1: Augustine of Hippo & Francis of Assisi; Volume 2: Peter-Julian Eymard & John Henry Newman; Volume 3: Thérèse of Lisieux & Edith Stein; and Vol. 4: Oscar Romero & Dorothy Day, (all in 2012). T & T Clark published his Hymn of Freedom: Celebrating and Living the Eucharist in 1997.