Jaws of Death: Gate of Heaven
A precursor to the “Liturgical Movement” of the twentieth century, Hildebrand’s Liturgy and Personality is an awe-filled appreciation of mass and its role in personal formation. Written by a philosopher who had recently converted to Catholicism, the book awakens us to see with fresh eyes the true beauty of the liturgy.
Dietrich von Hildebrand shows that although death never loses its character as a punishment for sin, its fearful darkness can be pierced by the radiant light of faith—faith in God, in eternal life, in the resurrection of the body, and in the certainty of reunion with our beloved dead—a reunion that will know no sunset. Because the jaws of death can be our gate to Heaven, the radiant aspect of death finally triumphs as the light of Christ dissipates the fearful dark clouds spread by death.Alice von Hildebrand | From the Foreword
Reviews & Commentary
From scholars, students, and readers
Life is a pilgrimage to a glorious destination, not a journey of diminishing returns, ending in darkness and the grave. The bountiful things of earth are signposts to a better future, not lights that warm us for a time but are destined to be snuffed out forever. Hildebrand’s consoling book shines both in its “dark” and “light” halves, illuminating the eternal duality of human life and helping to reconcile its painful contradictions.
Michael De Sapioin The Imaginative Conservative
For those who share in Hildebrand’s belief in the Liturgy as the summit and source of Christian living, the work serves as a profound reflection on how we can arrive at a greater “spiritual awakedness” by learning the language of love that is the heart of the spirit of the Liturgy.
Rebekah Lambin Convivium
For Hildebrand the cry to remain in spiritual contact with the beloved is itself a kind of argument that the departed soul must still exist; that we must believe that not only for the beloved, but for ourselves, or else all is lost forever.
Carl Sundellin Catholic Insight
This new and definitive edition of what many consider to be a classic work of the Liturgical Movement deserves a wide readership, not only amongst liturgical scholars, or those with an interest in the Catholic personalism of Hildebrand, but of people of all walks of life seeking a deeply Catholic and liturgical spirituality.
Tom Gourlayin The Downside Review
Hildebrand offers a coherent and insightful synopsis of relevant Christian revelation and enduring beliefs regarding death and eternal life. This content is rendered in an incisive, highly readable form that is most valuable for general readership. Thus, this is not a theological treatise. Rather, it is a concrete accessible exposition of human death phenomena and the ensuing transition of one’s soul to the supernatural realm. Most importantly, his account can inform, reassure, and focus a Christian’s proper understanding of death, and in turn, the consequent (re)ordering of their present life on earth.
Dennis B. Mulcarein Amazon Review
In this book, Dietrich von Hildebrand shows how the Liturgy (when it is approached with the proper attitude and prayed reverently) brings about a profound development, transforming even a modest personality into a great one.
Alice von HildebrandWidow of Dietrich von Hildebrand
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