Wednesday 21 December 2016

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Kevin Vost

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit:
Every Spiritual Warrior's Guide to God's Invincible Gifts
Dr. Kevin Vost 
Sophia Institute Press
ISBN 9781622824120

Dr. Kevin Vost has been one of my favourite Catholic authors since I discovered him a number of years ago. With every book of his I read I have a greater appreciation for his knowledge, his writing and his own personal example of living a life of faith. In the preface to this volume Dr. Vost talks about the progression in his writings and how they build upon each other. He states: "While researching for a biography of St. Albert the Great in 2011, I came across an earlier biographer's declaration that within an author's first book can be found the kernels of all of his subsequent works. Upon a little reflection, I found that this sure is true for me, as the kernels contained in Memorize the Faith! (Sophia Institute Press, 2006) have popped into all kinds of subsequent books." And from that book has now sprung three other volumes and to date cumulating with this one. Those three books are:

Unearthing Your Ten Talents
The Seven Deadly Sins
The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Each of these three volumes growing from a chapter in that earlier book. But of the 8 books I have read by Dr. Vost this one is the most stirring. This book will challenge you on many fronts. 

In this volume Dr. Vost draws heavily from St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica. He also draws extensively from the writings of the saints, and the catechism. But this book is not just an academic treaty. It is not simply theology for the sake of writing another book. It is truly a field manual or a guidebook for those of us who would grow in our faith, seek to grow in the gifts of the spirit and be prepared for spiritual battle or to be warriors for Christ Jesus! 

Each chapter in this volume follows the same format:
Profile in Giftedness - Examples from Saints
Angelic Analysis - Main Teaching
Profile in Grace - An Example from History

From these three building blocks each chapter tackles a specific gift:
Fostering Fear of the Lord
Practicing Piety
Acknowledging Knowledge
Fortifying Fortitude
Counting on Counsel
Unwrapping Understanding
Welcoming Wisdom

When I go to review a book I try and think of both the strengths and weaknesses of the book. To be honest the greatest strengths of this book are the ease of reading it, and the immediately applicable knowledge. And I cannot really think of a fault!

The subtitle of this book on the cover is, 'Understanding The Invincible Gifts You Need For Spiritual Battle' but on the title page it is 'Every Spiritual Warrior's Guide to God's Invincible Gifts' I am not sure why they are different but both resonate with me and are strong calls for why this book should be read and applied. This was an incredible read. I have already added it to next year's reading list again with the goal of finishing it right before doing the Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts prayed in the days leading to Pentecost as is mentioned in the conclusion of this book. I have also added a few of Vost's book that I have yet to read. For to be honest everything he has written that I have read is excellent.

This is an amazing read that will immediately impact your life!

(Note: this books is part of a series: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)

Books by Dr. Kevin Vost:
Full Range of Motive (2001)
Memorize the Faith! (2006)
Fit For Eternal Life (2007)
From Atheism to Catholicism (2010)
Unearthing Your Ten Talents (2010)
St. Albert the Great (2011)
Tending the Temple (2011)
Three Irish Saints (2012)
Memorize the Reasons! (2013)
One-Minute Aquinas (2014)
Hounds of the Lord (2015)
Seven Deadly Sins (2015)
Memorize the Mass! (2016)
Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (2016)
The Porch and the Cross (2016)
The Catholic Guide to Loneliness (2017)
The Four Friendships (2018)
How to Think Like Aquinas (2018)
Memorize the Latin Mass! (2018)

Books Contributed to:
Man Up! (2014)

Author profile interview with Dr. Kevin Vost.

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