Below are some of our friars' written works released this year. Grow in faith by reading the fruits of their contemplations!
Bread From Heaven: An Introduction to the Theology of the Eucharist
by Fr. Bernhard Blankenhorn, O.P.
Fr. Bernhard Blankenhorn, O.P., is a professor at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. This newest publication on Eucharistic theology won the Catholic Media Award.
Bread from Heaven offers a contemporary theological synthesis on the Eucharist that brings together classical and critical biblical exegesis, debates on the early history of the Christian liturgy, patristic doctrine, the teachings offered by the Councils of Florence, Trent and Vatican II, and the Church's lex orandi, all within a framework provided by the Eucharistic theology of Thomas Aquinas.
The volume begins with Christ's Bread of Life discourse in John 6, in light of the Old Testament theme of the manna, and the Synoptic accounts of the Last Supper. These biblical texts offer solid foundation for a theology of Eucharistic sacrifice, presence and Communion. It then continues with a historical and systematic study of the institution of the Eucharist by Christ, with special attention given to the emergence of the first Eucharistic prayers. Then follows a survey of key Christological and ecclesiological themes which undergird Eucharistic theology. The chapters on Eucharistic sacrifice and presence form the heart of the work. Here, the focus moves to key conciliar, patristic and Thomistic insights on these themes. Bread from Heaven clarifies misunderstandings of Eucharistic sacrifice and renders transubstantiation accessible to beginners. Blankenhorn concludes with a study of the consecration, the minister of the Eucharist and the fruits of communion. The chapter on the debate over the words of institution and the epiclesis gives a fresh perspective that integrates both eastern and western tradition. The study of the Eucharistic celebrant strikes a balance between a spirituality of the priest as acting in persona Christi and of the priest as praying in persona ecclesiae . The concluding chapter centers on the Eucharist's unitive, mystical fruits in the Church.
This textbook is ideal for an advanced undergraduate or graduate course on Eucharistic theology. It also seeks to advance the debate on several controversial historical and speculative issues in sacramental theology.
For the Beauty of the Earth: Experiencing the Glory of God in the Wonders of the 49th State
by Fr. Bart Hutcherson, O.P.
Fr. Bart Hutcherson, O.P., is an itinerant preacher and frequent pilgrim. He is also a photography hobbyist who loves capturing images that characterize the places he travels. In 2020 and 2021, he spent 7 months ministering in Catholic Communities all around Alaska, and he found himself deeply moved by the beauty of the 49th State. Alaska has a remarkably diverse topography, and Fr. Bart found much to photograph and share, capturing more than 50,000 photographs during those seven months. Using the Song of the Three Young Men in Daniel chapter three as his organizing principle, he has arranged a selection of those images, along with Scripture, poetry, and the lyrics of hymns, in an inspiring “visual sermon.” He hopes that Alaskans who enjoy this book will be reminded of the beauty all around them and give praise to God for it. He hopes those outside Alaska might have renewed understanding of beauty, wherever we encounter it, as a sign of God’s loving providence. And, above all, Fr. Bart hopes that all who read this book will be moved by the artistry of the world around them to give praise to the divine artist with this refrain: “Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever!” (Daniel 3:57)
The book is currently available for sale on Fr. Bart's website: www.FrBart.com/Alaska-Book.html. Proceeds from book sales will benefit the preaching ministries of the Western Dominican Province.
St. Thomas Aquinas Rescues Modern Psychology
by Fr. Brian Mullady, O.P.
In the struggle to find the touchstone between faith and reason, modern psychology is often a very problematic area for Catholics. Why? Because post-Freudian psychology is based on a mistaken idea that moral laws lead to neurosis. It argues that we must be freed from morality in order to become psychologically whole.
In this powerful and reassuring book, Fr. Brian Mullady, O.P., examines the nature of a healthy Christian emotional life, and ultimately provides the Catholic answer to the problematic theories of Sigmund Freud.
Made in the image and likeness of God, man is created for communion with the Holy Trinity — to love and be loved. Our immoral and destructive culture, devoid of authentic love, promulgates utilitarian views that in turn give way to various types of emotional illness and unrestrained passions. As you discover how sin damages the moral and emotional life of man, you will come to see that the only source of true happiness is through the acquisition of virtue, as mankind is healed through grace.
Drawing from the writings of St. Teresa of Avila, Fr. Brian clarifies the purpose of prayer and the stages of spiritual growth. He then shows how the Holy spirit can create authentic communion between your intellect, will, and passions, and how through openness to sanctifying gifts you can be restored to the original integrity of a child of God. The turmoil within you will only be calmed when your mind and body are no longer at war with your soul.
You will also learn to advance from spiritual infancy to maturity as Fr. Brian shares:
- The importance of allowing God to purify our wills and help us root out our sins
- How it is through struggle that we become holy
- How God uses our sufferings to draw us closer to Him
- How to overcome emotions of fear or unrestrained energy
- The power of hidden acts of patience and virtue
- Why fidelity to our state in life leads to sanctity
The New Apologetics: Defending the Faith in a Post-Christian Era
featuring Fr. Anselm Ramelow, O.P.
Fr. Anselm Ramelow, O.P., a professor at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology, contributed a chapter on artificial intelligence in this collection of essays from well-regarded apologists.
In recent years, “apologetics” has gotten a bad rap, being falsely conflated with “arguing about religion,” in the worst sense of the phrase. But for Christians, apologetics, or giving a reasoned explanation or defense of the faith, is a necessity and duty. In fact, the cultural moment in which we find ourselves today demands, possibly more than any other time in history, a New Apologetics—a potent and spirited renewal of apologetics suited to today’s world.
This groundbreaking collection is a bold first step toward making this renewal a reality. Featuring over forty essays from many of today’s leading Catholic apologists, theologians, and philosophers, The New Apologetics charts a new course for the future of apologetics: a smart, joyful, and beautiful defense of the faith, one that appeals to both the head and the heart.
Revelations of Humanity
by Fr. Richard Schenk, O.P.
Fr. Richard Schenk, O.P., professor at University of Freiburg, brings together essays into the history and actuality of how our searches for God and for our own humanity are interwoven. They argue that the revelation of God is possible only when accompanied by a revelation of what it means to be a human being. Revelation implies that the truth is not fully evident in either case.
This quest is aided in many of the essays by a recollection of the thought of Thomas Aquinas. As opposed to simple memory, recollection implies that memory has been lost or become clouded, here by the misrepresentation of Thomas' view of humanity's relation to God as harmonistic, at best semi-Pelagian, often even naturalistic. This difficult recovery is made possible by historical research that alone can escape the easy systematic alienation that supporters and critics of Thomas have often brought to their interpretation of his works. Thomas's sense of a real but finite capacity of human beings for God, his grace and revelation, anticipates in more ways than is commonly known much of contemporary suspicion about human capacities, but in ways that are open to God. That programmatic insight into the historical Thomas, keenly aware of human entanglements, limits and hopes, offers on many contemporary issues a ressourcement of systematic thought.
Revelations of Humanity revolves around three clusters of issues. The first asks about the reality and limits of the human capacity for truth: in metaphysical, moral and political matters and in relation to the disputed issues of analogous reason and faith. The second cluster is structured around the four involvements that the Second Vatican Council identified as the human face of genuine Christian existence: participation in the legitimate joys, hopes, sorrows and fears of the contemporary world. These are refracted in the broken light of the human proprium of risibility, the abiding uncertainty addressed by hope, the disputed question of a suffering God and the recollection of Christ's anxiety in the face of death. The final cluster brings together anthropological dimensions of current ecumenical and interreligious disputes: the need to complement affirmation with admonition in ecumenical conversation, exemplified by the ambivalence towards sacrifice in a genuinely Catholic theology and the need to avoid the excesses of univocity, equivocity or an all too facile analogy in the determination of interreligious relationalities.