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The Soul of The Apostolate Paperback – January 1, 1946

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard was born in 1858. For many years, he served as the abbot of Sept-Fons, a Cictercian monastery located in France. Best known for his writings on the apostolate, he emphasized the fact that its fruitfulness depends upon the deep interior life of the apostle. The Soul of the Apostolate was originally published in 1977 and reprinted in 2008. Dom Chautard died in 1935. 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: TAN Books (January 1, 1946)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895550318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895550316
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
Chautard does a splendid job of driving home the importance of the interior life. It is the foundation upon which the whole Christian life is built. If the interior life is neglected, the fruit from good works will inevitably suffer. Again, lack of the interior life precedes the decline of holiness in lay and clerics alike. What a slippery slope we are on when we neglect mental prayer. I have been told that Scott Hahn's spiritual advisor recommends that Scott read this book anually. It is a great book. Bravo Jean-Baptiste Chautard.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By J. W. Cline on May 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
The book is a warm antidote for those earnest Christians who work so very hard for our Lord, but spend less than 10 minutes per day in mental prayer with him. Both the social justice activist and pro-life champion will find solace with Chautard, and a way to reach a new level of closeness with Christ. Ultimately they will see more fruitfulness in their works if the apply the lessons in the book. The picture of love overflowing into piety has stayed with me for months afterward.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
This beautiful work by Dom Chautard focuses on the need to convert ONESELF to Christ first, to become a "living resevoir of the Holy Ghost" and not simply a channel. Dom Chautard keenly outlines the basic stages of spiritual life and gives specific direction in developing a rich interior life, which he assures the reader is "the shortest path to Heaven."
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By James Layne on December 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is just beautiful. It is the book that was kept handy at the bedside of Pope Saint Pius X. It is a powerful reminder of the absolutely essential role that prayer plays in apostolic activity and the fruitlessness and barrenness of any reliance upon our own self-sufficiency in apostolic work. This book really helped change my outlook on the active life, which is often sharply contrasted with the contemplative life. All action is for the sake of union with God. Contemplation is primary in the life of the Christian. We are all called, ultimately, to a perfection that leads to a union and contemplation of God in eternity, the beatific vision, where we shall see God "as He is." Prayer is a foretaste of this union. It is a sort of an imperfect participation in this union with God that we are privileged to partake in during this earthly life.

Far too many, however, turn this order on its head, and they see contemplation as something that they are too busy to partake in. These people rely upon their own skills and efforts rather than upon the grace of God. They think that if they just DO more, if they just expend more effort, things will work out. To do this, they may have to cut time out of their life of prayer. After all, isn't a life of prayer for the monks? This book shows how very wrong this view is.

This work is also a reminder to the non-Catholic who has wrongly understood the Catholic teaching on faith and works. The works of the Christian are done in God's grace. To bear fruit, they must be blessed by God's Sovereign Will. They are not done as though one would "earn" one's salvation. The Catholic Church has always condemned such an understanding. These works, while necessary, are a free response to His Grace.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Tony Nott (nott@ozemail.com.au) on November 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
"The Soul of the Apostolate" by Dom Chautard, Cistercian Abbot (1858-1935) was "warmly recommended" by Pope St Pius X, who said, "I value it very highly, and have myself made it my bedside book." This book encourages the practice of mental prayer. Dom Chautard, following St Thomas Aquinas, says: "To devote oneself to the life of prayer or to contemplation, or to get others to do so, pleases the Lord more than to give oneslf to good works" (Pt 1 n. 7).
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Format: Paperback
I wish I could give a copy of The Soul of the Apostolate to every "social justice" priest and layperson that I know. And the same with the folks who run around making nice, pretty ministries but aren't spending time with the Lord. This book brought me back to GOD. Oh, to know that the author struggled much in the same way that I have. Oh, to know, that like many young folks, I was seeking my identity in various groups, both secular and spiritual. The truth is, my identity is as a child of GOD. This book gives me practical information on how to grow as a Christian. (and to put my "clubs" waaay below GOD, my marriage, etc) And the footnotes are also very helpful.

I highly recommend this book to ALL Christians seeking GOD. GOD BLESS!!!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By JustMyOpinion on March 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
A brilliant piece of writing! We are all consumed with relentless activity. This book defines and clarifies how God is always a part of that active life. If your activity becomes so consuming that you are exhausted or feel defeated than this book will teach you or remind you that nothing can be done without an interior life. It is a source that will give you so much energy you will become a reservoir not a channel. If you are speaking more about God than to God you will tire quickly and lose faith. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to aim high and accomplish great things for God!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Souder on January 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As my title suggests, this book is necessary for the modern Catholic Christian who is engaged in the Apostolate, that is, in actively seeking to bring others to a deep faith in Christ and the Church. It was recommended to me by my spiritual director and it has, on many occasions, addressed the fallacy that good works are more important than a deep, nourishing prayer life and relationship with Christ. This book was a favorite of Pope St. Pius X for good reason, and with it I have seen my knowledge of God's love for me and faith deepen, while at the same time (as a result of a deeper prayer life) I have seen my efforts in ministry (I am a catechist) become more fruitful. All of this has come about, in part, to this book. I would recommend it to anyone.
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