Friday, June 16, 2017

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Sophia Institute Press)

Any good Christian knows the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Located in Isaiah 11, they are fear of the Lord, piety, knowledge, fortitude, counsel, understanding, and wisdom. Late last year, Sophia Institute Press published a book by Dr. Kevin Vost that examined each of these gifts through the lenses of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure. There are seven chapters (one for each gift) and each chapter follows the same structure - "1. Grasping the gifts, 2. Embracing the sacraments, 3. Examining our thoughts and deeds for obstacles to the gifts, 4. Practicing prayer, 5. Cultivating virtues, beatitudes, and fruits, 6. Flying to our Mother's aid, and 7. Imitating Christ. Each chapter also concludes with three brief essays - Profile in Giftedness, Angelic Analysis, and Profile in Grace.

Most of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are pretty straightforward. Yes, people sometimes mix up wisdom for intelligence, but people generally know what each means...except for fear of the Lord. People question if they should be afraid of God or what exactly does it mean? St. Augustine said fear is the avoidance of future evil, St. Thomas Aquinas tells us about four types of fear (worldly, servile, initial, and filial) and how a Christian progresses through these stages of fear as we grow in love of God. This was very helpful on elucidating this often misunderstood gift. At the end of the book is a helpful appendix with several tables serve as a quick guides and also relate the gifts to the Lord's Prayer. Dr, Kevin Vost and Sophia Institute Press deliver another wonderful with St. Thomas Aquinas as the backbone. I look forward to the next one he writes, as he has really helped me (and I'm sure countless others) better understand Aquinas' writings.

This book was provided to me for free by Sophia Institute Press in exchange for an honest review.