' ... AND YOU ARE CHRIST'S'
The Charism of Virginity and the Celibate Life
by Fr Thomas Dubay
(Ignatius Press, 149pp, $19.90. Available from Freedom Publishing)
Father Thomas Dubay is an American Marist priest whose ministry has focused primarily on teaching Philosophy and Theology to students in seminaries and universities throughout the United States. He has written fifteen books exploring aspects of consecrated religious life and his works, including this small, neat, inexpensive book should be in tertiary libraries and those of religious orders.
This book discusses one of the most important but not fully appreciated or understood charisms of the consecrated life, that of virginity. Although the idea of virginity is unpopular and even despised in modern secular society, Dubay emphasises the importance of evangelical virginity, a concept deeply rooted in both the Old and New Testaments.
The primary focus of his work is female religious life and he stresses that a woman, because of her feminine nature and traits, can image and live the Church's close relationship to Christ.
' ... and you are Christ's' is written in a formal, dignified and generalised style which could make sub- stantial demands on some readers. Moreover, while the book was written twenty years ago, its subject is timeless and its relevance remains. However, since the late 1980s, the child sexual abuse crisis has engulfed the English-speaking Church, especially in the United States.
This crisis has, from one angle, made the book more relevant, but the fact that the work does not mention the issue may give the impression of being a dated piece of writing. A revision and update might be in order.
Dr Barry Coldrey taught in Christian Brothers colleges for many years, is now actively involved in youth ministry and has written and lectured extensively.