I would definitely put this on the list of the top ten books all Catholics should read! After having read many of the biographies and other books from which Ralph Martin takes lengthy excerpts, I got a lot from reading The Fulfillment of All Desire. It is a very well-written body of work that contains a beautiful synthesis of the spiritual wisdom from seven remarkable saints. Through an involved look at the different levels of spiritual growth leading to marital union with the Lord, Martin gives the reader valuable insights from the writings of seven doctors of the church: Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Francis de Sales, and Thérèse of Lisieux.
Whether someone’s interested in reading the major teachings of some well-known saints for the first time or would like to refresh the memory of what he or she has read over the years, this book is a good choice. I found it very helpful to have so many of the parallels drawn between the various works and teachings of these saints. In addition to giving an overview of the lives of each of these saints, the author provides us with deep insights about the spiritual enlightenment and growth each of these individuals underwent. By guiding the reader through how each of the above mentioned saints dealt with sin, prayer, temptation, spiritual growth, suffering, purification, and a growing love for the Lord and His people, we see many similarities. Of course, each person exhibits a firmer resolve in doing the Lord’s will even as they go through quite a bit of suffering in mind, body, and spirit.