I have an interview published in this week’s Catholic Weekly with the Canadian author and artist Michael O’Brien, about his new novel, Elijah in Jerusalem, sequel to the best-selling Fr Elijah: An Apocalypse.
I also got his thoughts about his sense that we are living in the end times predicted by Jesus and the Biblical prophets.
Yes, it looks nutty when I write it like that – his words are better than mine – but he makes an insightful commentary on current political and ideological movements, and he is grounded in orthodox Catholic belief and practice.
I never studied eschatology but I’m pretty sure it’s Church teaching that in a way we are always living in the last days – because they are thought to have begun with Christ’s resurrection. Mr O’Brien isn’t a prophet, and in fact strongly warns against following modern-day self-proclaimed prophets, but he seems to believe we might well be at the pointy end of those. Or at least, we should always live as if we were, because we might be.
I also asked him about the role of a Catholic artist and if there was any other book in the pipeline – there is!
Fr Elijah, and now Elijah in Jerusalem are two of my favourite novels, though they are quite different. The sequel is lot shorter for starters, and covers a much shorter period.
The character of the Carmelite Fr Elijah is a gift for which I, and I’m sure many others, are very grateful.
I am delighted to have been able to write to his creator and received such a generous, considered response on the books, the life of a writer, and the life of a Christian in the current times.
Next on my bucket list is to find out a way to afford one of Mr O’Brien’s paintings – they are all intriguing and I find some of them astonishingly beautiful!
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Dear Marylin; I read your blogpost after I found it in one of my searches of people interested in Michael O’Brien’s work. The thing is that I have written a biography of his life which has just been published and I am looking around for people to share the news. Here is the link if you are interested: https://justinpress.ca/book/on-the-edge-of-infinity. I wrote the biography in full cooperation with Michael which was realy great fun.
Thanks for your note Clemens, I’ll definitely check it out. I really liked his recent open letter to artists and writers.