The Living Thoughts of Saint Paul
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By Jacques Maritain
“I want to hear a Saint converse,” exclaims John Henry Newman in his sketch of Saint John Chrysostom: “I am not content to look at him as a statue; his words are the index of his hidden life, as far as that life can be known to man, for ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.’” Laboring under the same inspiration, Jacques Maritain presents The Living Thoughts of Saint Paul, a compilation of the Apostle’s principal texts paired with illuminating commentary by Maritain himself. Yet, as Maritain asserts at the outset, the preaching of this saint is inseparable from his experience: Paul was called and converted. Consequently, his teaching is the extraordinary extension of that foundational event: his conversion to Christ, the transformation of spite into undying love for the Crucified One.
A trustworthy guide along the crisscrossing paths of the Pauline way, Maritain proves the fittingness of the word “living” in The Living Thoughts of Saint Paul: the words of that “least of the Apostles” are as vivid as they are vivifying, shedding light on “the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things.”
Jacques Maritain (1882–1973) was perhaps the greatest Catholic philosopher of the twentieth century. A convert, along with his wife Raïssa, from agnosticism to Catholicism, Maritain wrote extensively on metaphysics, aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, social and political philosophy, and the philosophy of history—all with the guiding inspiration of the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas.
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