An epiphany can be simply defined as a flash of insight flowing from an unusual, sometimes terrifying, experience. Epiphanies often are associated with the appearance of supernatural beings, either good or evil. Perhaps the best known epiphany is that of Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. Saul is knocked senseless to the ground and blinded by an appearance of God. Saul, a pharisee and a persecutor of Christians, becomes Paul, the author of nearly half the books of the New Testament and the greatest proselytizer on behalf of the nascent Christian religion. His epiphany was clear and complete and he knew precisely how to respond. By contrast, most epiphanies are subtle and ambiguous, difficult to decipher and easy to ignore.
An Acolyte is one who attends, waits upon and serves someone viewed as superior to the acolyte. The acolyte seeks not only to serve and to be directed by the superior, but also to learn from and be enlightened by him or her.
This is the story of a family, a very extended and decidedly non-nuclear family with multiple explosive secrets. Family members interact with powerful governmental, financial, and religious forces at a time of seismic cultural shifts in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries. The Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain are falling. Crises arise within and outside the family.
Adam Thelen is the third son of the family patriarch, and he is a priest. He has a forbidden love affair and also responds to the evil acts of a fellow priest. Adam is shocked at his own actions. Is he any less malign then his family’s adversaries?
Adam Thelen, the priest and protagonist of this novel, is a Jesuit priest, but his conduct sometimes is decidedly unpriestly.
The contrasts between Jesuits and other orders, Franciscans for instance, are stark. Franciscans strive to live simple and austere lives emulating the life of Jesus Christ. Jesuits teach and evangelize globally and often are involved in secular issues and conflicts. Notably, Jesuits also swear a special vow of obedience to the Pope and carry out his directions and assignments throughout the world.
Adam Thelen is a Jesuit to his core but he also is a devoted and loyal member of a close knit and very unusual family. This novel is the story of Adam Thelen and of that evolving family. It is, in the tradition of Graham Greene, an “entertainment”.
This saga of a family with strong ties to global financial and religious institutions will continue with volume 2—Epiphany: The Paraclete.
The word paraclete occurs five times in the New Testament, all in the writings of John. “Paraclete” is derived from the Greek word “Parakletos”. The translation of the word in English versions of the Bible is “Comforter” in the Gospel, and “Advocate” in the Epistle. [biblestudytools.com]
Hence the title of Volume 2 of this series, Epiphany: The Paraclete.
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