Friday, October 02, 2015
The Book Everyone Should Read But Won't
It's been a long year for me. Starting to read Peter Kreeft's 366-page book in January, I figured I'd be done in a week or so.
But not until October did I finally finish Practical Theology: Spiritual Direction from St. Thomas Aquinas published by Ignatius Press.
It wasn't from lack of interest or boring reading.
Kreeft's "350+ ways your mind can help you become a saint" tag made me think maybe this is a real shortcut to spiritual understanding and even living happily ever after.
A shortcut, no. But spiritual understanding, and living happily "ever after." Maybe a yes.
St. Thomas, a Dominican friar and Catholic priest who died over 740 years ago, is considered the Catholic Church's greatest theologian and philosopher.
Thomas, born in Italy, studied in Rome, taught there and became Papal theologian, later writing his most famous work, the Summa theologiae, which he conceived of as a work suited to beginning religion students.
Kreeft, Professor of Philosophy at Boston College, and bestselling author has made a masterful analysis of Thomas's classic work, which for me became a sort of study guide. For folks like me with a modest understanding of spirituality, religion, ethic, and philosophy, I was able to daily make my way through some heavy ready with some ease and lots of heavy thinking.
Broken into 358 short (usually one page) summaries of theological topics, it turned out a quick understanding was not to be the rule. After a week, I realized I could take one topic a day, digest and think, and move ahead slowly but steadily towards the end.
I reached the end of the book. But, now I realize it's only the beginning. Highly recommended to all seeking a better and fuller understanding of Christian theology.
Practical Theology by Peter Kreeft, published by Ignatius Press, San Francisco in paperback and e-book..