The Church in the Flesh


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By Ida Friederike Görres || Translated by Jennifer S. Bryson

The unhappy obverse to Romano Guardini’s observation in 1922 about “the awake­ning of the Church in souls,” is “the dying of the Church in souls.” The Church in the Flesh, written in 1950, offers a fervent treatment for the latter in both symptom and cause. Across six refreshingly candid “letters,” Ida Friederike Görres develops a conversation aimed at a clarified, renewed, and strengthened faith in Jesus Christ and His Church. Affirming truth and rejecting error, Görres explains the incarnate nature of the Church and the necessity of the sacraments; the historical reality of the Church and the persistence of Tradition; the simplicity of the reason to believe in the Church: namely, Jesus Christ, the One who issues the invitation to faith; the necessary “nuisance” of morality in the Church’s mission; the kingship of Christ as the basis for the Church’s triumphs and tribulations; and the saints as the living proof of God’s salvific power and purpose.

Isn’t the “Faith of the Church” just as much a complete, embodied fact—in the flesh—as it is an “idea,” visible, even visible like a seal imprint in the wax of so-called raw and everyday reality? (Ida Friederike Görres)

Görres possessed “an insightful certainty and a fearlessness about the pressing quest­ions and tasks of the Church today” (Joseph Ratzinger). In an elegant English translation (for the first time) by Jennifer S. Bryson, The Church in the Flesh embodies that clear and courageous conviction in presenting the saving truths incarnated in the Church.

 Ida Friederike Görres (1901–1971) was a Catholic author of numerous successful books on the Church, the saints, and the “burden of belief” in the modern world. A prominent figure in the twentieth-century German Catholic Renewal, Görres received recognition for her insightful work from then-Father Joseph Ratzinger, who delivered the eulogy at her Requiem Mass.

Jennifer S. Bryson is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in the Catholic Women’s Forum and a Visiting Researcher at the European Institute for Philosophy and Theology at Hoch­schule Heiligenkreuz, Austria. She is presently translating works by Ida Friederike Görres from German to English (many for the first time).

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Paperback & E-book: 302pp.

E-book: Immediately following purchase, an .epub file and a .mobi (Kindle) file are available for download.

ISBN: 978-1685952501