Friday, 25 February 2011

Fr Gerald Vann OP

Fr Gerald Vann, Priest and author
I today purchased a book entitled Awake in Heaven. It was written by Fr Gerald Vann OP (1906-1963 - May he rest in peace). The book received an Imprimatur from Bishop Leo, Episcopus Northantoniensis, on 27 March, 1947. Fr Vann was in the Dominican Order of Preachers and wrote extensively on the Faith.

Is it any good? I'll let you know when I have read it, but for the meantime, it is for sale on my Bone's Catholic Store for £10. It is an old book, hardback but, that said, you can make me an offer and I doubt very much I will refuse. In this work he studies St Thomas Aquinas and the 'Summa Theologica', Dogma, Morality and Happiness, Politics and also includes an essay on the work of Aldous Huxley. A portion of which I shall write below.

Among other works he wrote were The Heart of Man, On Being Human, The Divine Pity, The Sorrow of God, St Thomas Aquinas, Morality and War and His Will is Our Peace.

'Christian mysticism at its highest is the fulfilment of the Incarnation and therefore of the love of both of God and of man; and it is this fact which enables it to serve the world and may enable it even at the eleventh hour to save the world in the power and the prompting of God. it is able to serve and to save because at the very summit of union with the Infinite and Unknowable it remains humble and homely; it is never too absorbed, too proud to remember the little things of the world, the needs and cares and sorrows of men and women, not to love with God the creatures he has made and redeemed and in which his glory is made manifest. It is strange that this should be obscure to Mr Huxley with his concern for the world in which we live - so obscure apparently as to lead him into the uncharacteristic (because ill-informed and unscholarly) gibes which every and then obtrude into his pages. We are all children of a single family; and it is as a family that we are meant to return to God, the Infinite Incomprehensible who is yet the Father of us all.'
~ Fr Gerald Vann OP, Awake in Heaven

A student of the Dominican Order as published a review of some of his another of his works, The Divine Pity, which you can read at Godzdogz. Also, interestingly, Fr Aiden Nichols includes a study of the theology of Fr Gerald Vann in a book entitled Dominican Gallery which you can read online here.

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