"God loves us first, he makes us see and experience his love, and from God’s loving us 'first,' love can also arise as a response within us." (Pope Benedict XVI)Love is the beginning and the end of every human vocation. This book examines how the call to love manifests itself as a call to a concrete way of life, such as marriage, priesthood, or religious life. It is not a manual of instructions, but takes a spiritual approach to Christian life, following in the footsteps of the saints who speak to us in order to guide our lives: St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis de Sales, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. It aims to show the richness and wealth of the Catholic understanding of vocation in a simple and accessible manner. For this it looks especially to two great saints who have very different and yet complementary approaches to vocation: St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Ignatius Loyola. Examining what is common to both and the unique elements of each, it seeks to use these different approaches to show forth more clearly the fundamental essence and beauty of a Christian and human vocation.
"There is only one thing for us to do during the night of this life: to love, to love Jesus with all the strength of our heart."
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While we do not copy the whole of these book reviews, we try to include both the praise and criticism.
The intention of the author to make a simple guide for ordinary people to aid in religious discernment is not fully realized by his final summary however. The good points he makes theoretically in the first half of the book are not completely carried through in his practical advice.
The book is very helpful and highly recommended for its theoretical attempt to reconcile Aquinas with Loyola. It should be used more cautiously as a handbook to aid prospective vocations in discernment without a prudent director. (Review published in the Mar/April issue of Religious Life Magazine.)
...As a work on the different answers St. Ignatius, St. Thomas Aquinas, and John Paul II give to the question on how to know your vocation, this book is a gem. It is not, however, an encyclopedia on vocational discernment. Thus, it focuses mostly on different approaches these people have had towards discernment and so there are other aspects of different vocations that are not covered in this book. In addition, the book has the limitation in that the author restricts himself to speaking about vocations to the priesthood, religious life, and marriage. However, one can expand the notion of “priesthood” to “clerical state” and “religious life” to “consecrated life” as there is a call to the diaconate and other forms of consecrated life.
...I felt that this book may be beneficial... as I have personally found few books on discernment that are worth reading." - Read entire review (opens in a new window)