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Hammer and Fire: Way to Contemplative Happiness and Mental Health in Accordance with the Judeo-Christian Tradition Paperback – June 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0972598125 ISBN-10: 097259812X

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 323 pages
  • Publisher: Zaccheus Press (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097259812X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972598125
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,034,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Fr. Raphael Simon received his M.D. from the University of Michigan. He interned at Bellevue Hospital, and practiced as a psychiatrist in New York. Following his conversion, he became a priest in the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance and a monk of Saint Joseph’s Abbey, Spencer, Massachusetts, where he was subsequently elected Abbot. He gave retreats to the monks of his Order in the United States and Ireland, and was a spiritual director for monks, priests and lay people. His autobiography, The Glory of Thy People, tells the story of his conversion, as introduced by Fulton J. Sheen.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kurt on March 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I came across this book about 15 years ago while browsing in a Catholic bookstore. It was sitting on a high shelf -- the top was so dusty, it looked like it had been there for years. Waiting for me, I think. Providentially. For the book proved a true blessing in my life, at a time of great spiritual confusion and psychological depression -- a time when I was trying to rise up, with great difficulty, from years of sowing to the flesh, in order to reclaim, if possible, my Catholic heritage. This was just the book I needed.

Its pages are filled with great wisdom and kindness. Strict orthodoxy presented without undue harshness, but rather with true warmth -- as indeed orthodox Catholicism *is* a warm and good thing, and most consoling to the soul. As I say, it was just the book I needed, in the frazzled, broken frame of mind I was in. Fr. Simon takes the reader back to first principles, guides him or her into the temple of Catholic thought, and shows them the way. He wrote the book for those who do not have access to a spiritual director, and that is how - remarkably enough - the book functions. Reading through it, one is led to diagnose one's spiritual ills, weak points, and shortcomings -- and one is further led to the cure for these things, in thoughtful, illuminating expositions on prayer and the sacraments. Valuable pages, too, are given to the problem of choosing a state in life -- priest, religious, married, single. And the particular problems, advantages and general character of each state, as well as the process of discernment. Finally, there is a summary chapter near the end that provides a succinct, helpful guide to ordering one's spiritual life, starting with the basics.

Fr. Simon was a Jewish convert to the Catholic faith.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anthony J. Salomone Jr. on April 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
This ia an amazing book that unites spiritual and emotional health to live fully human and fully alive. It is so easy to seperate our spirital well being from emotional and physical health...a BIG mistake. This book connects all the dots and provides the necessary material to live in harmony and in peace within no matter what situation we may encounter. Jesus desires us to be fully human. Contemplation makes us one in Christ and with one another. This is not a pious work to make us feel good but an invitation to growth in holiness that will reap joy unto life everlasting.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mg1957 on February 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
An excellent book which puts meditation and contemplation into the framework of an authentic Christian tradition and makes "clear the goal to which this practice leads, a transformation of the human personality."

" .... to be integrated and mature, to be efeective in our service and undertakings, we need to be transformed into Jesus Christ through a transforming union.... This book is about that transforming union ..."

The author received his M.D. at the University of Michigan ( Ann Arbor). He did psychiatric internships at Bellevue Hospital and Brooklyn State Hospital in New York City.

He joined the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance (Trappists)in approx. 1940.

- The above taken from the back cover of the St. Bede's Publications edition, 1987.

Well-written, engaging and thorough.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found it above my usual reading habits, but it was very informative, and I enjoyed it. The book gave me a lot to meditate on.
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