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Catholic Review of: God Alone Suffices

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Author:  Slawomir Biela

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This item received 5 stars overall. (09/07/2009)

Orthodoxy: Completely orthodox.
Reading Level: Advanced

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In What Do You Place Your Trust?

Evaluator Comments

In A Nutshell

St. Paul reminds us, "What do you have that has not been given to you?" (1 Cor. 4:7). A thorough and humble meditation on this rhetorical question is the beginning of true spiritual poverty. God Alone Suffices is one such meditation. This careful meditation considers the various goods that we possess, from the material benefits we enjoy to the spiritual graces we treasure, and reminds us that all these things are given to us by God for the sake of leading us to Himself. God does not desire that we place our trust in the gifts He gives, but in Himself. For this reason, the Christian must cultivate a certain detachment from all other goods and persons. Such detachment is by no means easy and requires a careful examination of our lives and all our attachments. God Alone Suffices, with its extensive consideration, is a useful aid to making this worthwhile examination.  

In the introduction, the author, Slawomir Biela, asks the reader to consider, "In what or in whom do I place my trust?" The Christian answer should be God alone, but so many of us seek security in money, success, family, or other gifts of God. As God alone provides for us, Biela contends that to rely on these things apart from Him is equivalent to living a life of illusion.

The first half of the book considers the human tendency to become excessively attached to material things and persons. The author considers excessive attachments to success, money, friends, spouses, and family. The second half of the book considers excessive attachments to spiritual goods and the dangers of relying upon oneself to live a life of grace. Throughout the book, there are frequent references to St. John of the Cross, whose writings detail the process of purification whereby we are freed from all excessive attachments. Also, Biela makes use of the writings of St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Thomas Aquinas, and many other reliable spiritual sources.  

God Alone Suffices was translated into English. Perhaps it is the translation that is poor, but throughout this book words are used oddly and sentences are constructed in awkward ways. Transition words and phrases are numerous and often misplaced or otherwise misused. It is unfortunate, but the writing is so poor that it is often difficult to grasp the author's meaning. The poor English makes this edition of God Alone Suffices difficult to read.  
Evaluator Comments

It is unfortunate that the writing and/or translation of this work is so poor, as it offers an important meditation. Despite the poor presentation, I recommend this book.

You can purchase this book here.


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