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Os Justi Press

Thomistic Mystagogy

Thomistic Mystagogy

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Thomistic theology is rarely associated with liturgical prayer, even by many of St. Thomas’s own disciples. Such a dissociation reveals more about the priorities of later Thomism, however, than it does about St. Thomas Aquinas, who himself devoted considerable energy to the contemplation of the sacred liturgy. In Thomistic Mystagogy: St. Thomas Aquinas’s Commentaries on the Mass, Urban Hannon considers the saint’s teaching on the meaning and purpose of the various rites that surround the holy Eucharist. Drawing on four essential texts—two from St. Thomas’s earliest major work, two from his latest; two on the words of the liturgy, two on its actions—this book pieces together a properly Thomistic commentary on the Mass. “Because in this sacrament the whole mystery of our salvation is embraced,” St. Thomas says, “thus it is carried out with greater solemnity.” This is a study of that “greater solemnity,” and of how St. Thomas believes it relates to “the whole mystery of our salvation.”

Praise for Thomistic Mystagogy

“By introducing us to the mystery of God through his writings, St. Thomas Aquinas rightly deserves his preeminence amongst the great theologians of the Church. But it is often forgotten that such greatness is the fruit of the humility necessary to stand before God, daily, in worship—at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Hours of the Divine Office. St. Thomas was a true homo liturgicus before he was a theologian, and his theology is the rich fruit of his liturgical roots, as Urban Hannon rightly underlines. At this critical time of the life of the Church, may St. Thomas’s liturgical faith inspire us to return to Christ whom we encounter in a unique way in the Sacred Liturgy, so that we too may bring forth good fruit in due season!”
Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect Emeritus, Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments

“In this brief but profound study, Urban Hannon leads us to rediscover the lost art of medieval mystagogy, as he shows the Church’s greatest theological mind drawing forth the inexhaustible meanings of the Mass’s words and actions, signs and mysteries. Clergy and laity alike will benefit from these pages, which are an incitement to reverence, praise, devotion, and contemplation.” —Scott Hahn, Franciscan University of Steubenville

“Thomas Aquinas as mystagogue? This will come as a surprise only to those who imagine Thomism as a kind of abstract religious philosophy. On the contrary, the ongoing rediscovery of St. Thomas as a complete and integral theologian, and consequently as a spiritual master, draws attention not only to the biblical and patristic roots of his thought, but also—as Urban Hannon’s book successfully attests—to his deep theological insight into liturgical life, which is the ecclesial matrix of all Christian wisdom.”
Serge-Thomas Bonino, O.P., Angelicum

“St. Thomas had much to say about the Mass—but one needs to know where to look. He did not write a stand-alone commentary; instead he made copious, scattered comments. Hannon is so steeped in the Master’s multitudinous writings that he can wander through them with ease, picking up tesserae with which to compose a mystagogical mosaic of the Mass. Thomas’s voice rings out brilliantly and provocatively, yet we hear it thanks to Hannon, who provides a set of keys to unlock the symbolism of the ancient liturgy of the Mass.”
David W. Fagerberg, University of Notre Dame

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