These Are a Few of my Favorite Things
One of the hardest things for me to do to prepare for the novitiate is to decide which books I will be taking with me and which I will leave behind. It's like asking a mother which of her children she wants to save from the flood. I do believe, however, that I have come up with a suitable list.
1) The Bible
3) The Aquinas Prayer Book (collection of hymns and prayers written by the Angelic Doctor)
1) Nicomachean Ethics- Aristotle
2) De Anima -Aristotle
3) Compendium Theologica (Perhaps better known as Aquinas' Shorter Summa) -St. Thomas Aquinas
4) Selected Works of St. Thomas Aquinas (Good because it has some of his harder to find works, which would pretty much be everything outside of his Summae)
5) De Ente et Essentia (also known as On Being and Essence, it is Aquinas' only metaphysical work)
6) Summa Contra Gentiles, Book I: God- St. Thomas Aquinas (Let's face it, you really can't pass up an opportunity to reply to the question "so what book are you reading?" with the simple and honest response "God".)
7) St. Thomas Aquinas on Politics and Ethics- St. Thomas Aquinas, ed. Paul Sigmund (A compliation of political and ethical writings of "the good doctor", primarily from the Summae, but also De Regimine Principum, plus excerpts from key sources, such as Aristotle, Augustine, Boethius, and Pseudo-Dionysius, and also from later writings that draw on his wisdom, such as the encyclicals Rerum Novarum and Pacem in Terris, Prof. Mortimer Adler, Jaques Maritan, et al)
8) Just and Unjust Wars- Michael Walzer
9) Morality and the Good Life: An Introduction to Ethics through Classical Sources- Robert Solomon and Clancy Martin (These last two were my textbooks for Military Ethics, and both were quite good.)
10) St. Thomas Aquinas- G.K. Chesterton
11) A Proposal for the Fulfillment of Catholic Liberal Education- Faculty of Thomas Aquinas College
1)Treasure Island-Robert Louis Stevenson (First book I ever read, and an enduring classic in maritime literature)
2) The Power and the Glory-Graham Greene (Excellent book on redemption which I am keeping to help remind myself of the fidelity and devotion I should have to the priestly offices and the sacraments)
17 books, all told. Some of them are fairly thin, such as Ente et Essentia and Catholic Liberal Education, so transporting them will not be difficult. If it ever does proove that I cannot travel easily or carry out my vocation with so much, then I'll probably donate the books to my alma mater, Strake Jesuit in Houston. What I lack in simplicity of books, though, I more than make up for in simplicity of wardrobe. Just ask fj. I wore nothing but flannel shirts and khaki pants with white socks and the same boots every day.
+Ad Majorem Dei Gloram+
"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers."
-Charles W. Eliot, The Happy Life