Bishop's reflections prod readers' spiritual lives in practical way

"Love Never Fails: Living the Catholic Faith in Our Daily Lives" by Bishop Donald Hying. Ignatius Press (San Francisco, 2021). 187 pp, $16.95.

Sometimes when reading reflections, one can almost hear what the author is saying. When they are published, it's as though the printed word is transformed into an audiobook. That is what the reader will experience with Bishop Donald Hying's "Love Never Fails."

Bishop Hying, who heads the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, and previously served as an auxiliary bishop in Milwaukee and as bishop of Gary, Indiana, asks thought-provoking questions.

In a chapter titled "Spiritual Spendthrifts," he asks, "How can I ever really know the joy of salvation unless I lift up my experiences of anxiety, dread, sin and isolation to God on the cross? Can I really appreciate the gift of my life in Christ until I have somehow been painfully uprooted from my complacent self-sufficiency?"

He draws upon a variety of sources, quoting Scripture, Robert Frost, G.K. Chesterton, Henry David Thoreau, Pope Francis and a number of saints, including Augustine, Teresa of Avila and John Paul II, not as an academic exercise but to make a point.

"Love Never Fails" is inspirational but never preachy.