Monday 13 April 2020

Thomas Aquinas The Mind In Love - Vivian Boland - CTS Great Saints

Thomas Aquinas 
The Mind In Love 
CTS Great Saints
Vivian Boland 
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860826092
eISBN 9781784693992
CTS Booklet B723

Over the last few years I have read and reviewed over 100 books from the Catholic Truth Society. There have been many excellent reads, both standalone and from series. And I love the biographies that are broken down into several sub-series. I have several series on the go from the Catholic Truth Society. First this series the CTS Great Saints Series. I have also read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series. And have loved almost all of them. Lately I have been focused more on this series, and a couple of others, almost alternating books in each series, and this one was another excellent read. It was my first by Fr Vivian Boland but it will not be my last, in fact, I have already picked up three other of his from the CTS. 

Probably my two favorite series currently from the CTS are; Saints of the Isles Series and CTS Great Saints Series. The latter of which this book is part of. The description for this volume is rather brief:

“Thomas is an unusual saint. He spent most of his life teaching in universities and writing in his Friary, yet his thought has defined Catholic theology for almost eight hundred years. Not just a theologian, he was also a philosopher, mystic and poet, and responsible for some of the most beautiful hymns used in the Catholic liturgy.”

And the chapters are:

Providentiae Particeps - Participant in Providence
Early Years
Studying Aristotle
Albert the Great, Paris and Cologne
The Young Professor
Aquam in Vino - Water into Wine
Naples and Orvieto, 1259-1264
The Summa Theologiae: A Great Unfinished Symphony
Faith and Reason
Verbum Spirans Amorem - Word Breathing Love
Thomas of God the Creator
Doctor of Humanity
Interruption: Back to Paris
The Incarnate Word - Our Way to Happiness
O Sacrum Convivium - O Sacred Banquet
Life in the Spirit
The Sacred Banquet - Happiness Anticipated
Further Reading

I have been reading more and more about Saint Thomas Aquinas of late. Several authors I greatly respect have written about him or applied his style and methodology. One I read towards the end of last year was 12 Life Lessons from St. Thomas Aquinas: Timeless Spiritual Wisdom for Our Turbulent Times by Kevin Vost and it is an excellent volume. But this book would have been great to have read before working my way through that volume. And who knows some day I might even brave the Summa. 

The introduction of this volume begins with:

“Normally the life of a saint is a story filled with action and characters. His or her personal story links with great events in the history of the Church and of the world. To write a life of St Thomas Aquinas is a bit of a challenge, however. The main action of his life took place in classrooms and libraries. The most significant characters in his story are not so much his contemporaries as they are great figures from the history of theology and philosophy, people like St Augustine and St John Chrysostom, Aristotle and Plato.

Although Thomas is not a popular saint in the way St Francis of Assisi, St Thérèse of Lisieux or St Martin de Porres are, his contribution to the life of the Church has been second to none. Since immediately after his death, philosophers and theologians have used his work to think out and present an understanding of the Catholic faith, to develop ways of teaching the faith in very different times and places, and to engage with the many objections and difficulties brought against the faith in the centuries since he lived. He is called the ‘Angelic Doctor’ for the clarity of his mind, and the ‘Common Doctor’ because countless philosophers and theologians have based their work on his approach and on his central ideas.”

And it goes on to illustrate why he is a great saint for our times. This volume was published in 2009 and the eBook edition in 2017. And I would say we need him as a saint even more so in 2020 at the time of writing this review. The final section of the book deals with the process of his canonization and also the legend of a final piece he supposedly dictated on Song of Songs. 

This book is an excellent read. A great introduction to the life and works of the doctor. It is well written. It is easily accessible. Another great read about a great saint from the Catholic Truth Society!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Father Vivian Boland:
Ideas in God According to Saint Thomas Aquinas
8 Deadly Sins: Learning to Defend the Life of Grace
Spiritual Warfare: Fighting the Good Fight
Reconciliation: The Mercy of Christ
Don't Put Out the Burning Bush
Watchmen Raise Their Voices

Books in the CTS Great Saints Series:
Antonio Rosmini - J.B. Midgley
Bernard of Clairvaux - J.B. Midgley
Benedict Patron of Europe - J.B. Midgley
Charles Borromeo - J.B. Midgley
Dominic - J.B. Midgley
Elizabeth of the Trinity The Great Carmelite Saint - Jennifer Moorcroft
Francis de Sales - J.B. Midgley
Gemma Galgani Gem of Christ John Paul Kirkham
George: Patron of England - J.B. Midgley
John Baptist de La Salle - J.B. Midgley
John of the Cross - Jennifer Moorcroft
John Vianney - J.B. Midgley
Louis Marie de Montfort His Life, Message and Teaching - Paul Allerton SMM
Martin de Porres - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
Patrick Missionary to the Irish - Thomas O’Loughlin 

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