FROM BOOK SLEEVE:
RAISSA'S JOURNAL, presented by Jacques Maritain
Shortly after Raissa Maritain's death from cerebral thrombosis in 1960,- her griefstricken husband, Jacques Maritain, began to go through her papers. Among them he found a set of journals Raissa had kept over the 54 years of their life together. Jacques knew that she kept diaries, just as he did, but he had no idea of their true nature until he read them after her death.
The journals so overwhelmed him that he had a selection published in a small private edition for their friends. Jacques asked each recipient to help him decide whether or not these intimate pages should be made public through a regular book edition.
Few people have written more starkly and vividly of the spiritual life. Few have had the perceptions that come from a life of utter and absolute abandonment to the will of God, perceptions in Raissa's case supplemented by the highest poetic gifts and philosophical learning.
The initial reaction of such friends as Thomas Merton was that these notes were too powerful and too searing to be made public, even though he felt enormously privileged to read them himself. Others expressed much the same reaction. In almost every case, however, such friends had second thoughts and encouraged Jacques to allow a regular edition of Raissa's Journal.
They appear here for the first time in English, in a translation corrected, revised and approved by Jacques Maritain before his death in 1973.