Gifts of the Holy Spirit
by Denis the Carthusian (translated by Ide M Ni Riain)
Denis the Carthusian was a Catholic theologian and prolific writer of the 15th century. This book is a translation of four tracts that he wrote based on the seven gifts of the Spirit that are found in Isaiah 11:1-3 - wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, godliness and fear.
Denis was a child of his times lending almost as much weight to the writings of the Church Fathers as to the Scriptures. In fact this book could be called a summary of the teaching of the Church Fathers. There is a great deal of discussion about the difference between virtues and gifts. Some parts of the book are repetitive and dry - it is difficult to see the point of what he is saying. However, what shines through is a deep personal faith and a desire to have a character that is pleasing to God.
This book shows that even in the midst of the superstition and ungodliness that characterised the Catholic Church in the 15th Century there were those seeking the truth. It is refreshing to read someone who knew the Scriptures well. Even though his conclusions are off centre, his heart is in the right place. This book can be read with profit.
Reviewer: Alan Hill (07/10/13)