December 2002By Thomas Ellis

Why Bad Things Happen to Good Catholics.  By Fr. Henri Morice. Sophia Institute Press. 160 pages. $14.95.

This book takes on some of the most profound theological questions regarding God’s Providence — a rather daunting task for a book of only 160 pages! Fr. Morice considers our role in the divine plan, how God communicates this to us, why bad things happen even though we are living up to our end of the “bargain,” how to respond to God’s call, and why playing the role allotted us will bring us peace. As the title suggests, this work presupposes that the reader has faith. This is not a treatise designed to convert an unbeliever or to give a final answer to the most difficult questions. Rather, it is a work addressed to believers who have questions about Providence. For example, when Morice considers the purpose of temptation, he responds that temptations in the believer bring about the virtue of humility. This is the format of argumentation throughout. The result? A heightened sense of trust in God’s Providence — even though bad things continue to happen.

Aquinas's Shorter Summa.  By St. Thomas Aquinas. Sophia Institute Press. 412 pages. $22.95.

A few years before his death, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote the Compendium of Theology as a summary and defense of the truths of Catholic Faith. Sophia Institute Press has published this invaluable source of wisdom under the title Aquinas’s Shorter Summa. (This work is a short version of what many consider his daunting and difficult masterpiece, the Summa Theologica.) It is a book that anyone with the slightest flicker of faith would do well to study. St. Thomas considers all of the tough issues: the Trinity, Divine Providence, the Incarnation, Hell, and a host of others. This edition includes, aside from a thorough index, a detailed list of topics for quick reference. This work has been previously published, in hardcover, by Sophia Institute Press under the title The Light of Faith.

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