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Monday, February 8, 2016

WHY I'M SHARING FR. BEDE REYNOLDS' BOOKS


Father Bede Reynolds with my wife Micki in 1985

The Second Vatican Council, which took place in the 1960's, "let fresh air" into the Catholic Church, but its wonderful documents, unread, were to bring about a lot of upheaval in the Church by people wanting to create God in their own image "in the spirit of Vatican II," just as many liberals today put words in Pope Francis' mouth. It was a hard time to join the Church, because many R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) groups were teaching error. This continued for decades, and so it was often necessary to find a good and faithful spiritual advisor to guide you to true Catholic teaching and/or to supplement R.C.I.A. classes.

Father Bede Reynolds, from 1975 to 1980, authored six books, to help those seeking the truth in troubled times, beginning with his autobiography, A Rebel from Riches. Kenyon Reynolds had been a millionaire, with most every material possession and opportunity one could ask for, but gave it all away and became a Benedictine monk, taking a vow of poverty.

When my wife Micki was making her journey into the Catholic Church in the early 1980's, her godparents, Mary and Henry Beach, suggested she contact Fr. Bede at the Westminster Abbey in British Columbia to ask if he would be her spiritual advisor. She did, and Fr. Bede was happy to correspond with her, counsel her and pray for her. At the request of Mary and Henry, he also sent her all six of his books, autographed. When Micki found herself in an R.C.I.A. class that was not in faithful accordance with Church teaching, Fr. Bede wrote: "I advise you, by all means, to discontinue attendance at the Catechumenate Class without making any comment to the teacher or to other members of the class." Eventually she also found a local priest in Everett, Washington, Fr. Edmund Long, who gave her private instruction.

Throughout this time, I was bitterly anti-Catholic, and made life a living hell for what should have been a joyous time for Micki, until it all came to a head, which you can read about in my conversion story. In November of 1984 Fr. Bede wrote: "I am praying every day for the conversion of your husband. God will help him, but He will not compel his acceptance of Grace."

Finally, in 1985, Micki went with her godparents up to meet Fr. Bede in person. He was 93 years old. They told her as they were going down the hall that, because of his advanced age, they didn't know if he would recognize or remember them or the correspondence they had had; and that although he had been very active writing books and teaching theology and apologetics, he was now on R&R (Rest and Rosary). When she walked in the room and introduced herself, they found Fr. Bede in a corner, quietly meditating and fingering his rosary beads with one hand and holding a copy of Fr. Stefano Gobbi's book, Our Lady Speaks to Her Beloved Priests. He was wearing a long, black cassock and high-topped, black, tennis shoes. When Mary Beach introduced her to Fr. Bede, he perked up and said with a smile, "I know you! I pray for you every day!"

Four years after that, after much argument, study, and prayer, I was received into the Catholic Church, with Micki standing behind me as my sponsor. I have never regretted this miraculous moment. Years later, I went on a silent retreat to Westminster Abbey, and while on a walk through the beautiful grounds I came upon a little cemetery and found the grave of Fr. Bede Reynolds, a man I never met but who prayed for me every day. Without expecting to, I broke into tears of gratitude, and of regret that I had caused so much trouble to need those prayers.

I was delighted now when Alba Books gave me permission to reproduce all of Fr. Bede Reynold's books here in the Butter Rum Cartoon. They have been too long out of print, and I'm grateful to God to be given the opportunity to share them with you. In order carefully to read each one, I am typing them out rather than simply scanning pages in some expedient method, and as I finish each one, all you have to do is click on the title below to go the book. (If I can type them, you can read them.) Enjoy, and God bless you.


A REBEL FROM RICHES

HOW COME MY FAITH?

PROJECT SAINTHOOD, YOUR BUSINESS

LET'S MEND THE MESS

DRAW YOUR STRENGTH FROM THE LORD

HELP US, O GOD!







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For the complete contents of the Butter Rum Cartoon, click here.


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