Free Books/Audio

The Person of Jesus Christ
by John Macquarrie
A 4-hour-long lecture series (audio) by John Macquarrie from 1984 that is a comprehensive articulation of orthodox Christology in contemporary and accessible terms. His is a contemporary voice of the English School of Catholic spirituality, and truly one of the great theologians of the 20th century.
Free download: listen to the lectures here.

 

 

The Ascetic Teaching of Jesus and the Apostles
by Pierre Pourrat
Ever wonder where ascetical theology can be found in the New Testament? This classic work by Pierre Pourrat is an excellent resource for parish catechesis that provides the scriptural citations for core ascetical principles.
Free to read and download: read here.

 

 

The Mystical Vine
by Saint Bonaventure
This treatise on the Passion of Our Lord, until now difficult to find in English translation, is a gem of Franciscan spirituality, and useful for all Christians any time of the liturgical year, and especially during Lent. Bonaventure meditates on the Seven Last Words of Jesus, as well as Our Lord’s profound suffering for the sake of the sins of all.
Free to read: read here.

 

 

aelred_smThe Pastoral Prayer
of Saint Aelred of Rievaulx
This short collection of ten moments of prayer burns with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Aelred, an English Cistercian abbot from the twelfth-century, saw this prayer as “apt for those who are set over others.” His profound teaching can instruct monastic superiors, parish priests, lay leaders, catechists, chaplains, parents, or any persons who seek to spend themselves on behalf of others.
Free to read: read here.

 

hugh_divine_love_smThe Divine Love
by Hugh of St Victor
These two short meditations—De Laude Caritatis and De Amore Sponsi ad Sponsam—are excellent introductions to the theology of Hugh, a “Victorine” who was known as a “second Saint Augustine.” Widely influential upon later medieval theologians, including Saint Thomas Aquinas, Victorine theology—”an expansive liberty of spirit, yet disciplined by method and doctrine,” wrote Martin Thornton—gave shape the English School of Catholic spirituality because the Canons Regular were so pervasive in England.
Free to read: read here.

 

On Contemplating God
by William of St Thierry
Martin Thornton called William “our” Cistercian. Thornton thereby affirms the centrality of the Cistercian spirituality—through William, Bernard, Aelred, and more—to the English School of Catholic spirituality, and hence to Catholic Anglicanism. In this work of devotion par excellence, William unfolds the nature of love and desire as these draw a humble soul toward the vision of God. The accessibility, concision and clarity of thought certainly marks all great Cisterican writing, and there is no better example that William of St Thierry, increasingly regarded as a theologian equal to, if not greater than, his friend Bernard of Clairvaux.
Free to read: read here.