Item description for Charles De Foucauld by Jean Jacques Antier & Julia Shirek Smith...
The popularity of Charles de Foucauld continues to spread around the globe as time goes on. Unknown during his lifetime as a solitary monk in the Sahara Desert, and assassinated by bandits in 1916, this former French playboy had a radical conversion to Christ that compelled him to live a deeply ascetical religious life that has had a great impact on the world since his death.
This definitive biography by Jean-Jacques Antier, a renowned French author of more than 50 books, is the fruit of his exhaustive research on Foucauld's life, writings and correspondence. He was given access to the complete archive on the life of Foucauld from the Congregation of the Saints compiled for his beatification process. Antier also interviewed numerous witnesses resulting in a powerful, inspiring biography of this holy, 20th century figure, a "personality of fire".
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Studio: Ignatius Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.02" Width: 6.11" Height: 0.98" Weight: 1.2 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 1999
Publisher Ignatius Press
ISBN 0898707560 ISBN13 9780898707564
Availability 0 units.
More About Jean Jacques Antier & Julia Shirek Smith
Reviews - What do customers think about Charles De Foucauld?
Charles of Jesus Jul 20, 2001
Charles de Foucauld grew up a pampered, rich playboy who had little care for others, or God for that matter. Antier's effort to chronicle the life of this man who became so holy through a pure love of Christ is admirable.
I delighted in the story of the spoiled aristocrat and flunky cavalry officer. Antier writes it so well. And then, something changed with De Foucauld through the example of his cousin, Marie.
Throughout this life, a life devoted to God, is the theme of restlessness. Charles de Foucauld simply could not settle down. He wanted to sacrifice all for Christ. And his sacrifice was severe. I, like his spiritual director and his bishop, couldn't help but notice that Charles' desire to mortify himself was taken to extremes. He slept little so he could love God. He ate little so he could give food to the poor and thereby love God. He was the least in all things so that he could love God.
Charles wanted to live the "hidden life of Jesus at Nazareth" amongst the poorest of the poor. So he went to the desert and he served the muslims there. This marabout, or holy man, was widely respected by the muslims, and he made no converts.
Sadly, the book ends with the death of the "White Marabout." But what appears to be an end to us in this book was only the beginning and the perfection of love for Charles. Obedience is love. Charles died a martyr in the desert. Simply put, that is what he wanted. Read the book and learn of a man who truly loved Christ.
A finely written book about an unique and inspiring life Jul 16, 2000
Antier's task with this book is an admirably ambitious one. The story of Charles de Foucauld, or Charles of Jesus, is as intricate and intimidating as it is powerful and inspiring, and because it is a story of redemption, compassion and hope taking place within a bleak era for both Christianity and the world (the early 20th century), it is of immeasurable value. Antier manages well to trace Charles' steps, from his unfortunate childhood to his gluttonous life as an mediocre military officer, enraptured in all the distractions of the world, to his radical conversion to a living Christian faith that would take him down a most Christ-like path of sacrifice and singular devotion. The biggest challenge for the author in this case is simply not to lose focus of the substance of Charles' wandering and awakening, and Antier succeeds on that point. As a kind of antithesis of the Rich Young Man, the transformed Charles wanted his life to reveal to others Christ's presence among them, and Antier justly allows that driving passion to shape the course of the book. The intent here is earnestly hagiographical; the main point is the severe holiness that would be Charles' gift to the world, to both the Christian church and to his non-Christian neighbors. True, the way Charles sought to live out his love for Christ, as a Christian ascetical hermit among the Muslim nomads of the Sahara desert, is too severe for most Christians, yet it is a story that should told and heard. As Christianity grows more aware of its place a global, pluralistic culture, and especially with its relations with Islam or other religions, it will need the lessons which only a life like Charles' can teach. Moreover, it is a reminder to all Christians, in a time of indifference and apathy, of the centrality of the call to holiness and sacrifice for the authentic Christian life.
Antier is very capable writer, and his book, even in translation, is exceptionally readable. He himself is undoubtedly inspired by Charles' life, which comes through in his enthusiastic prose. Yet by keeping to its clear and simple aim, this book does not sensationalize Charles' life; all Antier needs to do to keep the reader's interest is to offer up this remarkable story. Even so, you cannot help but feel the storyteller's joy coming off the pages, and that only makes it all the more attractive.