Publisher: Tumblar House
In Sin Revisited, Solange Hertz tackles the topic of sin with a unique perspective for modern times, delving into the intellectual approaches of the Desert Fathers as well as St. John of the Cross. In Hertz’s own words: “Don’t expect to find the seven deadly sources so familiar in song and story. You’ll find eight, and even these won’t be in the same sequence most of us are used to. This approach is newer than Vatican II, because it’s so much older, if you know what I mean, very much older certainly than the old Baltimore Catechism.” Upon reading this book, a person may subtly undergo an examination of conscience pertaining to each sin that is being discussed. This book is designed to be a guide for spiritual perfection.
An established writer before the Second Vatican Council, Solange Hertz wrote for most Catholic periodicals and had five books to her credit, one a selection of the Catholic Literary Foundation. When she refused to adjust her theology to the new “Spirit of Vatican II,” her manuscripts almost overnight became unacceptable to her former editors. After a series of articles on feminine spirituality for the old Triumph magazine, she continued speaking for tradition by successfully producing The Thought of Their Heart and Sin Revisited on her own.
I enjoyed this book so much I can’t wait to go through it again. The first section takes you through the Desert Fathers Eight Capital Sins (can you imagine Depression and Boredom where among them?) with an allegory through the story of Joshua and how he conquered the Promised Land. Whereas the Desert Fathers begin with Gluttony and end in Pride the Second Section which concerns Saint John of the Cross Begins with Pride and ends with Gluttony. The Saint John of the Cross section is less academic and feels as if I were holding a mirror to my soul, telling me things about myself I had kept hidden. The last section talks about “the night” or time of being tested as well as the adversary himself and his tactics.
My second favorite of Hertz's books, only behind Utopia Nowhere. The approach to sin which she highlights, that of the Desert Fathers, is a unique approach that I haven't seen anywhere else. It highlights the interrelation of sins and how one begets another. For example, gluttony is related to lust in that "undo partaking of food can lead to undo partaking of persons." It has helped me identify roots of sin in my own life which I would've never seen otherwise.
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