This is a wonderful book aimed at highlighting the wonderful Spiritual insights of Aquinas in his prayers and Hymns. As a corollary it dispels the misconception that St. Thomas was somehow a dry and dusty academic who somehow had difficulty with prayer or with approaching God in a rich contemplative life. On both accounts the work performs marvelously. The text blends the spiritual with academic rigour. It shows much modern scholarship which argues strongly for Aquinas' authorship of the prayers and hymns traditionally ascribed to him. A position which had come in for much criticism during the 20th Century and in the over-zealous application of the Historical-Critical Method to anything written down. How could, the argument goes, the man who wrote the Summa have written the great hymn Adoro Te Devote?
Once this, unfortunatly necessary, work was out of the way, Murray shines in his exposition of Aquinas' texts and the book is modelled around their exposition. Here Aquinas Shines as the true spiritual master that he was.
I know some readers had issues with the proofreading of the text, this was not an issue for me in the kindle version.
Paul Murray OP opens a door for us into the world of St Thomas Aquinas, a world of faith, hope and love. Murray demonstrates convincingly that St Thomas was not just a great theologian but also a great mystic and poet.
First, the book would have profited from a better proofreader. Second, much of the material seems put together in an artificial way without much sense of direction. There is also a sort of "pop religiosity" about the style. On the positive side, the exposition of Aquinas and his devotion to the Eucharist/Blessed Sacrament is very good. Perhaps Murray would have done better to concentrate his efforts on this.