Monday, October 21, 2013

A biographer’s note on Matt Talbot's reading and comprehension abilities

The first  American book published about Matt Talbot ( was Matt Talbot, Alcoholic: The Story of a Slave to Alcohol who Became a Comrade of Christ’s (1947) by Fr. Albert H. Dolan, O.Carm. (1892-1951).  This quotation is from that book:

“What I remember best of Matt Talbot’s story as I heard it first years ago is the astounding character of the books he possessed, books found in his room after his death. This man, with practically no schooling, read and digested some of the most advanced and profound treatises of mystical theology.  The lives of the saints reveal that very holy souls with no education read books, the understanding of which would require light directly infused by the Holy Ghost. Once Matt told a friend that he was reading Newman’s ‘Apologia.’ The friend replied that a book like that was over Matt’s head, that he himself had found it beyond him. Matt answered that whenever he read a book he always prayed to God to give him light to understand it and that he thought he received enough light to understand most of what he read.”

Matt Talbot also discussed what he read with spiritual directors (see More information about Fr. Dolan can be found at Fr. Albert H. Dolan.