The Caroline Chisholm Library

The Caroline Chisholm Library is a Catholic theological lending and reference library situated in central Melbourne (Level 3, 358 Lonsdale St - opposite St Francis Church). Opening Hours are 11am - 5pm Monday to Friday.

All members of the public are welcome to browse the library, use it for reference purposes or attend lectures. Persons interested in borrowing books can become library members (membership forms are avaliable at the Library).

The library catalogue is available online at the Library's website at

This blog will give details of events at the library, text of talks given at the library as well as reviews of books in the library collection.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Library Book Club - Meeting on 27 July

Even though we had a few apologies for last Friday night's meeting, a good number of us engaged in a great discussion of Julien Green, Each Man in His Darkness, and unanimously agreed it was an impressive and a profound Catholic novel. Green's acute sensibility to the struggles of adhering to faith over human desire was evident in the portrayal of his characters where he was swinging the pendulum back and forth as it were between sensual desire and religious devotion, which gave the narrative a gripping intensity that was sustained till the end. What was so powerfully memorable was how a tormented soul grappling with the duality of faith and lust but one where faith ultimately overrides recurring human failings, and through its strength is able to recapture a childhood innocence only to be found in loving God and yielding to His Will is ultimately one that reminds us of God's patience and unending desire for our salvation.

We next meet on Friday, 31 August to read Walker Percy (1981) The Second Coming, Martin Secker & Warburg, reprinted 1985 Panther Books

The Second Coming spends much of its content in unspoken but printed dialog of Will Barrett (the principal character) with himself and/or people he has dealt with in his past. He talks his way through his memories and throughout the book confronts his personal struggle with spiritual belief. Barrett decides he will put God to the test. He will enter a cave near his home in North Carolina, telling no one what he is doing but leaving notes in case he does not return, and takes barbiturates until God proves His existence and love by saving him, or he dies, thus demonstrating God does not exist. After a literal dark night of the soul at the end of which he is brought out of his drugged stupor by shooting pain from an abscessed tooth, he is figuratively reborn, falling out of the cavern and into the care of a woman who is a refugee from an insane asylum. This work contains Percy's musings on "ravening particles," a reference to the alienation and anomie the individual feels from both within and without in the absence of faith.”

Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend the next meeting of the Library Book Club at the Caroline Chisholm Library on Friday 31 August at 6pm.

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