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A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist Paperback – December 8, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0972598101 ISBN-10: 0972598103 Edition: Third Printing

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Zaccheus Press; Third Printing edition (December 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972598103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972598101
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A classic example of the best twentieth-century Eucharistic theology." -- Aidan Nichols, OP, writing in The Holy Eucharist: From the New Testament to John Paul II

"One of the few classics in Catholic theology composed in English. This book should never be out of print." -- Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J.

"One of the few classics in Catholic theology composed in English... This book... should never be out of print." -- Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J.

"Profound insights... I recommend this excellent book to all Catholics who desire a better understanding of the Mass, especially priests." -- Father Kenneth Baker, S.J., Editor, Homiletic and Pastoral Review

"Sparkling clarity of thought... Wonderful, wonderful food for reflection." -- Steven Riddle, Flos Carmeli weblog

"The ONE book to read, if you are to read only one, on the centrality and power of the Eucharist." -- EWTN

"This is a beautiful book – one of the great treasures of the Catholic renewal of the last century." -- Christoph Cardinal Schönborn

From the Back Cover

"A jewel of a book – utterly lucid, penetrating and humble." —Peter Kreeft

"Remarkable for its balance, depth, and accessibility." —Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J.

"I recently purchased A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist at the Franciscan University of Steubenville bookstore and all I can say is ‘WOW!’ I can’t wait to see your future releases." —J.H.

"Profound insights... I recommend this excellent book to all Catholics who desire a better understanding of the Mass." —Father Kenneth Baker, S.J., Editor, Homiletic & Pastoral Review

"One could wish most earnestly that every Catholic – and every Protestant for that matter – would read Abbot Vonier's book. Both the mystery and the richness of the Eucharist are here: but the book is splendidly readable – no small achievement." —Thomas Howard

"One could spend a lifetime contemplating the many dimensions of the Eucharist, and it would be a life well spent. Father Vonier's... lucid and compelling account will put into his debt Catholics who would spend their lives well." —Richard John Neuhaus, Editor in Chief, First Things

"...An inspired ability to explain the deepest theological truths with relative simplicity. And could this man write! ...This is definitely recommended reading in the Year of the Eucharist." —Fr. Mark Withoos, writing for the Melbourne Catholic Lawyers Association

"There are so many wonderful things here... I would like to call people to read this book, especially during the Year of the Eucharist." —Fr. Mitch Pacwa

"I just purchased A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist. Thank you for this really astounding book." —N.W.

"A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist is like a breath of fresh air." – Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S., Pastor of St. Edward Parish, Newark, California


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Vonier's book is both very readable and deeply insightful.
Ann Pax
In a unique and most beautiful way the Eucharist is the "crown jewel" in this mystical treasure trove at the Catholic's disposal.
Deacon William C Wagner, MA
This book should be mandatory for all seminarians and students of theology.
J. Howell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By J. Howell on October 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is relatively short, but contains some of the most thought-provoking insights on the mystery of the Eucharist to be written in the 20th century. Abbot Vonier was a visionary ahead of his time, some say, yet, he actually presents the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist from its very inception, drawing largely from the Thomistic tradition. Contemporary "Catholics" may find it a difficult read at first, but be assured, if you persevere, the payoff is worth the work. This book should be mandatory for all seminarians and students of theology. This book is available directly from the publisher or from the Franciscan University of Steubenville bookstore for only $12.95 plus tax! Buy and read this book and be transformed in Christ.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Oswald Sobrino on May 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Vonier's book on the Eucharist is challenging. He writes with a precision that is alien to the written works most Americans have been exposed to. He clarifies with sophistication the Catholic belief in the Real Presence by focusing on sacramentality, avoiding the oversimplistic fashion in which the Real Presence is often talked about. In my opinion, the most compelling chapters are 20 ("Man's Share in the Eucharistic Sacrifice"), 21 ("The Eucharistic Liturgy"), 22 ("The Eucharistic Banquet"), which could stand alone as independent essays. At one point, Abbot Vonier makes a compelling call to become a people of the Eucharist: "If this mystery becomes the constant preoccupation of human society, its daily deed, its chief concern, its highest aspiration, then society is saved" (p. 169). We would become eucharistic people constantly in a state of gratitude to our Creator.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Deacon William C Wagner, MA on July 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Key to the understanding of "A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist" is the first sentence of Chapter Ten. It should stand at the head of the book. "In theological matters the spark that illumines always comes from under the hoof of hard thinking." The hard thinking is accompanied by a certain "hard reading" because of the subject matter and at times because of the vocabulary. I am inclined to think that the average reader will find this work a challenge.
Given the atmosphere of "fuzzy" thinking run-a-muck in this modern era, one must prepare oneself well to deal with the concepts and the distinctions of Thomistic thought found in "A Key". Neither Abbot Vonier, St. Thomas nor the Catholic Faith, however allow for "fuzzy" thinking. Why should I be surprised! After further thought, the aforementioned sentence belongs where it was placed. Its effectiveness requires the experience of the struggle. Pay the price and the Catholic-of- faith will emerge significantly enriched.
"A Key" requires a clear faith in the supernatural which is not always a given in these times. This awakening occurred to me as I read deep into this little book, page 145 precisely: "Once we admit the fundamental principle that God has power to transpose reality and being from one order into the other, from the natural order into the sacramental order, we have committed ourselves to every possible instance of such transposition." But before that we must be clearly committed to the existence of the source of that fundamental principal. Especially in the matter of faith in a personal God, one with a central place in the life of each of us, we are required to reject "fuzzy thinking". Hazy notions incline toward a less than enthusiastic fidelity.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mike Makinney on April 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
I really love this book -- I first got my copy over a year ago, and have since read through it twice. This is a book filled with penetrating insights.

Like many people who consider themselves Christian, I never thought much of the Eucharist, even though I grew up in a Catholic home. My reading of A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist has changed that.

Some of the other reviewers here have mentioned the challenge this book poses in terms of reading, but that was not my experience. Sure, it's not "See Spot run," but the subject matter doesn't allow for that. The fact is that this is an extremely well-written book, and a pleasure to read. That said, Vonier touches on profound ideas -- the author goes very deep. But where he goes deepest, he exercises the most care -- going over certain layers of his thought more than once to allow the reader to better see the color and context of what he's talking about, a little like unfurling a great flag. When unfurled and it's up and waving in the wind before your eyes, it's awe-inspiring.

In this day and age, when the trivial is elevated, and the most important matters are completely neglected, this book is, in my opinion, a MUST READ for everyone who has any interest in his or her own soul. I mean this, if only because Christ called Himself "true food," by which, when it comes to us as Christians today, I believe He was referring to the Eucharist (c.f. John 6). I am no longer a Catholic, although I do admire the faith of some individual Catholics I know. And I sometimes can't help but wonder -- What is happening to the Catholic Church? It seems to be falling into a sinkhole of dissipation and corruption. Nonetheless, when it comes to the question of the Eucharist, Protestants are wrong.
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