Briefly Noted

Aquinas at Prayer: The Bible, Mysticism and Poetry? by paul murray, o.p. ?bloomsbury, 288 pages, $27.95 How did Thomas Aquinas pray? In Aquinas at Prayer, Paul Murray, O.P., sheds light on Thomas’s more mystical side by commenting on the prayers and liturgical poetry that he wrote as well as . . . . Continue Reading »

Books of 2014

The books of 2014, like the books of any year, utterly exceed our grasp. In one aspect, they suggest (they mimic, we could say) the divinely gratuitous excess of Creation; seen from another angle, their multiplicity reflects our fallenness, our propensity to error, our confusion. We need to hold . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted

The Father’s Will: Christ’s Crucifixion and the Goodness of God ?by nicholas e. lombardo, o.p. ?oxford, 288 pages, $99 Sound Christian theology,” writes Nicholas Lombardo, “must keep a clear distance between God’s will and the moral evil of Christ’s . . . . Continue Reading »


A Change of Heart: A Personal and Theological Memoir by thomas c. odenintervarsity, 384 pages, $40 Autobiographies are typically opportunities for the display of ego and the rationalizing of error. They have been so at least since Julius Caesar’s military memoirs. In our day, it is not just . . . . Continue Reading »

Celebrity and the Absence of Faith

In Christopher Beha’s excellent debut novel, What Happened to Sophie Wilder?, writer Charlie Blakeman nearly laughs when Sophie, his ex-girlfriend and a Catholic convert, says she plans to save the soul of her dying father-in-law, an atheist: “I don’t think I knew a single person who would have spoken in that way about saving someone’s soul,” ­Charlie observes. “The religious people I knew talked about their faith apologetically. It was an embarrassment to their own reason and intelligence, but somehow a necessary one.” Continue Reading »