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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Putting first things first.

Yes, it's regrettably overused, and a part of all sorts of self-help (material and spiritual) phenomena,'s true. 

You should put the first things first. 

In my case, what drew me to Catholicism was not the fabulous shepherds, but Christ. Specifically, the Real Presence. 

I've been re-learning that of late through this virtually-unknown treatise whose first edition dates from the second decade of the 20th Century

It's...dense and very, very thorough. Too many of the footnotes are in Latin. But it is a real masterpiece, repaying re-reads of each page. I'm only 50 pages in, but I am truly inspired by it. The book starts with a discussion of what constitutes a "sacrifice," examines Christ's on Golgotha and works its way from there. Brilliant, and back in print (not sure which edition) from a reprint house, it is a meditation on the Cross and the Mass. One that deserves to be better known. Tolle, lege.


  1. Many thanks for giving some publicity to this book. I was Catholic when I was a boy and Gihr's book was one of my favorites. (Admittedly, i was a weird kid. And, in a 1970s Novus Ordo parish and a Jesuit high school, there were not a lot of folks encouraging me to pursue this sort of Counter-Reformation spirituality!) But I thought your readers should know that they can get this book on Amazon Kindle for just 99 cents -- the downside is, as it so often is with cheap public-domain Kindle books, that the formatting is unappealing and confusing (footnotes dropped seemingly randomly into the middle of the text etc.); but once you get used to it, it's quite worthwhile...

  2. I read several similar books during my reversion to the faith, about 15 years ago. Not my cup o' joe now, but very helpful then.

  3. Thanks, Mike--and welcome! I post very, very sporadically, but who knows? I might binge.

    Flambeaux--I can understand that. For my part, re-learning the fundamentals is just what I need. The book is really a masterpiece, a pondering of Christ within the liturgy. I'm only reading it in 2-3 page bits, but there's a lot to process even so. Great, great stuff.

  4. Is this the same text:

  5. Kevin: It appears to be an earlier edition from the same author. I can spot one difference from memory--Mine is from 1953, and has an appendix explaining the term "Mass." I have to imagine there are some other minor revisions as well.