Life and Soul: New Light on a Sublime Mystery

Life and Soul: New Light on a Sublime Mystery
ISBN: 087243267X

ISBN-13: 9780872432673

In Life and Soul, Thomas Casey invites us to reflect on and believe in the most reassuring mystery of all—the soul. While New Age writers cannot get enough of the soul, many theologians seem embarrassed to mention it. Yet this divine treasure is the very principle of human life, the mysterious force that animates and enlivens us.

“With a fresh and spiritual voice, Fr. Tom Casey sets out the beauty, powers, and destiny of the human soul. He draws on scriptures, philosophy, theology, art, literature and history to construct a timely and attractive masterpiece.” (Fr. Gerald O’Collins, author of Easter Faith: Believing in the Risen Jesus)

“Thomas Casey combines Irish charm and Jesuit seriousness to take us into ourselves, to plumb the wondrous and mysterious depths of our being and of other people. A fine and fascinating read for everyone.” (Rev. Norman Tanner, author of The Councils of the Church: A Short History)

Thomas Casey is an Irish Jesuit priest and Professor of Philosophy at the Gregorian University in Rome. He continues here the quest he began in Humble and Awake: to answer the deep questions of existence with the help of God, who is Truth.

EXCERPT: The soul is the divine gem inside of us, a space of unfettered freedom that nobody can rob us of—except ourselves. Love is the life of the soul. If love grows cold, the soul dies to divine life. Because the soul is immaterial and invisible, this death can pass unnoticed. “The biggest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off in the world as quietly as if it were nothing; every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc., is bound to be noticed.”(Søren Kierkegaard) But the soul brims over with hope, precisely because there is something divine in it and that is why it cannot but yearn for God. Certainly this divine light dims to a glimmer when we become absorbed by solely material concerns. But it can be re-ignited more easily than we suppose. If somebody loses an arm or a leg, it does not grow back. If someone loses a fortune, they must start again from scratch and put in enormous effort in order to regain anything. If somebody’s wife dies he cannot turn the clock back and have her at his side again. But God’s generosity defies human and temporal logic. Although the soul can die to love quietly and unnoticed, it can be reborn with astonishing speed. The parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) teaches us that God pays those who arrive at the last minute the same reward as those who have laboured all day in the vineyard. My hope is that this book will be an encouragement to re-ignite this divine spark within, or to fan its flames if it is already glowing, and to warm it with love so that it will never be extinguished, but burn brightly and forever.


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Casey, Thomas G.
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