Friday, January 8, 2021

All Things Made New by Stratford Caldecott

All Things Made New explores the Christian mysteries by studying the symbolism, cosmology, and meaning of the Book of Revelation, as well as the prayers and meditations of the Rosary, including the Apostles' Creed and the Our Father. These reflections lead us step by step to the foot of the Cross, and to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, where all things are made new.

I love Stratford Caldecott's writing. I first encountered him through The Power of the Ring where he looked at Tolkien's writing through a Catholic lens. The Radiance of Being was a wonderfully honest (and sometimes mind bending) examination of science and world religion (spoiler — Catholicism wins).

Both left me eager for more so I embarked on this look at the Book of Revelation. It is phenomenal.

The first six chapters walk us through the images and symbols of the book with the focus on the Revelation as the bookend to both the creation in Genesis and the Incarnation. Caldecott also looks at how the book will transform us personally if we enter into the mysteries of the Church as shown in the Revelation. This was all fascinating.

The real gems of All Things Made New for me are found in chapters 7 through the end of the book where he gives his reflections on the Creed, The Lord's Prayer, the Rosary and the Way of the Cross. Not only do we get deep spiritual insights but there are comments about the symbolic and numeric symbolism inherent in each. (Who knew?) The examination of the actions of the Son and Holy Spirit as reflected in the Creed were especially wonderful to me. I go in and out of saying the rosary — lately more "out" than "in — but the reflections on the individual mysteries of the rosary as well as the way of the cross were so illuminating that it made me seriously consider taking up my rosary again.

This was the first book I finished this year and it is going on my 2021 Best Books list. Now that's a good start!

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