St. Paul says that “the love of God has been poured forth into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom. 5:5) This one passage announces two mysteries: the mystery of the human heart and the mystery of the grace of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. The purpose of this talk is to contemplate the mystery of the human heart in a deep but practical way so that we might live more fully by the grace of the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts. St. Thomas Aquinas will guide us through these mysteries. Although St. Thomas Aquinas is widely renown for his theological teaching, few people think of him as a master of the spiritual life. He is even sometimes dismissed for being excessively theoretical or out of touch with the human heart. But in reality St. Thomas Aquinas was a master of the spiritual life. His teaching on the human heart is profound, and abounds with many practical implications for the spiritual life.
Fr. James Dominic Brent, O.P. was born and raised in Michigan. He pursued his undergraduate and graduate studies in Philosophy, and completed his doctorate in Philosophy at Saint Louis University on the epistemic status of Christian beliefs according to Saint Thomas Aquinas. He has articles in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Natural Theology, in the Oxford Handbook of Thomas Aquinas on “God’s Knowledge and Will”, and an article forthcoming on “Thomas Aquinas” in the Oxford Handbook of the Epistemology of Theology. He earned his STB from the Dominican House of Studies in 2010, and was ordained a priest in the same year. He taught in the School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America from 2010- 2014, and spent the year of 2014-2015 doing full time itinerant preaching on college campuses across the United States. He is currently on the faculty at the Dominican House of Studies, where he teaches philosophy.
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