October 2000By David Arias Jr.

Alabanza a la Santisima Trinidad.  By Fr. Antonio Royo Marin, O.P. Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos (Don Ramon de la Cruz, 57; 28001 Madrid; Spain). 126 pages. $11.95.

For those who read Spanish, this work is highly recommended. In his Apostolic Letter, Tertio Millennio adveniente, the Holy Father declared that the year 2000 should be specifically ordered by the faithful to the glorification of the Blessed Trinity. Fr. Marin has composed Alabanza a la Santisima Trinidad with the words of the Pope’s Apostolic Letter explicitly in mind. This work is, in Fr. Marin’s words, a “mystical or spiritual exposition” of the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity which is directed to arousing a desire in the reader to glorify the Triune God. Fr. Marin also treats the ultimate end of all creation and the trinitarian mystical experiences of some of the great mystics and Doctors of the Church. He also shows how the lives of Christ and the Blessed Virgin are the exemplars of trinitarian glorification.



Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year.  By Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. TAN Books. 1,227 pages. . $25.

This classic on Carmelite spirituality is now available from TAN Books. Fr. Gabriel is recognized as one of the greatest mystical theologians of the 20th century, and his work Divine Intimacy certainly lends credence to such a view. Divine Intimacy is a book for those serious about mental prayer; its meditations are simply profound. The book offers two meditations for each day of the liturgical year, each squarely based on Catholic doctrine as well as classical Dominican and Carmelite mystical theology. As Fr. Gabriel notes, each meditation is designed to inflame our love for God and, thus, bring us into a loving contemplative union with Him. This work is orthodox to the bone and highly recommended.



Catechetical Instructions of St. Thomas Aquinas.  Translated with a Commentary by Fr. Joseph Collins, S.S. Roman Catholic Books. 200 pages. $20.95.

Need a good, brief adult catechism? Here is one straight from the pen of the Angelic Doctor. This work collects St. Thomas’s homiletic commentaries on the Apostles’ Creed, the Ten Commandments, the sacraments, the Our Father, and the Hail Mary, which he gave in 1273, a year before his death. The teachings of St. Thomas in these commentaries are at once brilliant and easily understandable. They offer many fruits for both the trained theologian and the average layman. In fact, these catechetical teachings of St. Thomas express the Faith so well that the Fathers at the Council of Trent largely incorporated them into the Catechism of the Council of Trent.



The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology.  By the Very Reverend Adolphe Tanquerey, S.S. TAN Books. 771 pages. No price given..

Fr. Tanquerey’s The Spiritual Life is available again thanks to TAN Books. This work is a profound yet easily accessible classic on the spiritual life. Originally published in English in 1930, this book describes the manner in which the truths of Catholic dogma provide the only secure foundation for true devotion and the interior life as a whole. Fr. Tanquerey also outlines in great detail the Three Ways of the spiritual life — the Purgative Way, the Illuminative Way, and the Unitive Way — which lead the soul to the heights of perfection and mystical contemplation. Catholic dogma, sacred Scripture, the Fathers, the Doctors of the Church (especially St. Thomas), and numerous orthodox spiritual writers are guiding lights for Fr. Tanquerey in this work.



Pope Fiction: Answers to 30 Myths & Misconceptions About the Papacy.  By Patrick Madrid. Basilica Press. 338 pages. $14.99.

Pope fictions are rampant. They can be encountered both inside and outside the Church. Who hasn’t heard of objections against the doctrine of papal infallibility because of papal involvement in the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, and the Galileo affair? Some perhaps have heard non-Catholics say that once upon a time there was a female pope, “Pope” Joan. And what about the time when there were supposedly three popes reigning at the same time? What is a faithful Catholic to make of these objections to the papacy? Patrick Madrid’s work is directed precisely to answering these and other pope fictions. He shows, albeit briefly, that these pope fictions are just that: fictions. Madrid takes up 30 of the most popular objections to various aspects of the papacy and then blows them away like so much smoke obscuring the truth about the office of Christ’s Vicar on earth.



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