Hidden Treasures

Jesuit scholastic Ryan Duns, SJ recently read Anne Rice’s new book on the life of Jesus, Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, and found much to praise in a review on his blog. A sequel to Rice’s Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, it suggests this famous author (and recent convert) has found Jesus a more compelling subject than...well, than sexually ambiguous vampires. Duns particularly praises Rice’s treatment of the "hidden life" of Jesus, the period between the scriptural accounts of his visit to the temple in Jerusalem as a youngster and his baptism in the Jordan many years later. Contemplatives have always found great fruit in meditations on the life of Jesus during these years, in part because the lack of source material allows more leeway in prayer than if Scripture had provided a matter-of-fact account of these missing years. "Rice seems able to capture the aridity and grittiness of life in Nazareth, the feelings of angst and anxiety that Jesus faced," Duns writes, "and she conveys them to the reader without manufacturing feeling. Her writing, in a sense, facilitates an imaginative encounter with the fictive world of Jesus that helps to make Jesus’ story the reader’s story." Read it here. Jim Keane, SJ

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