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  • Reanne Powell

Father Elijah by Michael O'Brian

This is a challenging book. It causes you to take a second look at both the world and yourself. It forces you to ask questions you'd rather ignore; questions about the second coming of Christ and what the end of the world might look like.

I've never been one to dive into this topic. My natural tendency is to focus on the duty of the moment and what God is doing in my life right now. However, there is an important place for spiritual reflection on where we are headed as a church and as a society. Michael O'Brian tackles this weighty subject matter through the character of Father Elijah.

This book is very Catholic. It addresses spiritual battles, Satan, Mary, the Pope, church politics, and the sacramental aspects of the faith. It brings to light failure and corruption, and shows the deep struggle of those striving to help lead souls to Christ. Despite being written almost 30 years ago, it paints a frighteningly accurate portrayal of our current society and the subtle ways the enemy has permeated the culture.

Although I know this book won't appeal to everyone, I'm very glad I read it. It's heavy on the dialogue and the plot moves slowly at times, but no one can deny the profound spiritual depth and wisdom that this novel contains.

To quote the author, "This book is a novel of ideas. It does not proceed at the addictive pace of a television micro-drama, nor does it offer simplistic resolutions and false piety. It offers the Cross. It bears witness, I hope, to the ultimate victory of light."


Overall: 5/5

Age: 18+ (should have some knowledge of Catholicism)


Find it at a Catholic bookstore, or click the link to purchase Amazon

Canada: Paperback - Kindle

From the back cover:

Michael O'Brien presents a thrilling apocalyptic novel about the condition of the Roman Catholic Church at the end of time. It explores the state of the modern world, and the strengths and weaknesses of the contemporary religious scene, by taking his central character, Father Elijah Schäfer, a Carmelite priest, on a secret mission for the Vatican which embroils him in a series of crises and subterfuges affecting the ultimate destiny of the Church.

Father Elijah is a convert from Judaism, a survivor of the Holocaust, a man once powerful in Israel. For twenty years he has been "buried in the dark night of Carmel" on the mountain of the prophet Elijah. The Pope and the Cardinal Secretary of State call him out of obscurity and give him a task of the highest sensitivity: to penetrate into the inner circles of a man whom they believe may be the Antichrist. Their purpose: to call the Man of Sin to repentance, and thus to postpone the great tribulation long enough to preach the Gospel to the whole world.

In this richly textured tale, Father Elijah crosses Europe and the Middle East, moves through the echelons of world power, meets saints and sinners, presidents, judges, mystics, embattled Catholic journalists, faithful priests and a conspiracy of traitors within the very House of God. This is an apocalypse in the old literary sense, but one that was written in the light of Christian revelation.


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