The Mystery of the Church represents the final writings of Fr. Humbert Clerissac, O.P. In it, readers will find much-needed spiritual nourishment, gaining insights into the beauty and glory of the Church’s manifold mysteries. As Jacques Maritain writes in the Preface, Fr. Clerissac “asked of those who came to him to adhere fully to the mystery of the Church.” This adherence, for Fr. Clerissac, depended on the dynamic union of faith and reason, nourished and guided by a living and tender charity. In his writings, preaching, and prayer, Fr. Clerissac strove to alleviate the spiritual afflictions of modernity. The Mystery of the Church embodies his best efforts and, although unfinished, stands as a testament to his love of Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and his desire to share that love and its light for the salvation of souls.
Praise for The Mystery of the Church
“Fr. Humbert Clerissac’s last work is a spiritually and theologically profound meditation on the Church. Precisely because these meditation are timeless, they are utterly timely. Written in beautiful simplicity and clarity, The Mystery of the Church is ever young and contemporaneous because it suffused by the Scriptures and the Fathers, and charged with the apostolic fervor, spiritual recollection, and the theological intelligence characteristic of St. Dominic and his Order of Preachers. This is the Church of the martyrs, the mystics, the mendicants, and missionaries—and after all also the Church of Lumen Gentium. If one wants to renew again one’s inner sense of full intellectual assent when reciting the Nicene Creed, “credo unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam,” there is no better way than to meditate on Clerissac’s The Mystery of the Church. Tolle lege, take and read!” ~Dr. Reinhard Hütter, Professor of Christian Theology, Duke University
“In this stunning book by Humbert Clerrisac, we discover a richly biblical, dogmatic, and mystical treatise. It may be that today we can add a thing or two to what Father Clerissac wisely and lovingly uncovers about Christ and the Church; but it cannot be that we should do so without recourse to Clerissac’s work and without sharing in the saintly spirit and immersion in divine realities that characterize this masterpiece. Not nostalgia, but desire to hear the Gospel through a saintly interpreter, must lead us to this book, which is as great and pellucid as Jacques Maritain’s Preface promises it will be.” ~Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry, Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary
About the Author
Father Humbert Clerissac, O.P., was born in France in 1864. At the early age of sixteen, he discerned his vocation after reading Lacordaire’s Life of Saint Dominic. During the thirty-four years of his Dominican life he showed a never-wavering ardor for the spirit of St. Dominic’s life and mission. He had tremendous influence as a preacher and a spiritual director, and he worked tirelessly for conversions, giving retreats to religious men and women of his own and other Orders. Fr. Clerissac died in 1914, just before the outbreak of World War I.