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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great tool for everyone, especially Catholics., April 6, 2011
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This review is from: Memorize the Faith! (and Most Anything Else): Using the Methods of the Great Catholic Medieval Memory Masters (Paperback)
I bought this book after reading Moonwalking with Einstein which sparked my interest in the art of memory. I am also a pastor and my wife home-schools our three young children.

This book employs the same ancient technique advocated in Moonwalking, the "loci method" which "helps you to create vivid mental images of the information you wish to remember and to place these images in a setting as familiar as your own home" (10).

Vost, relying on Aquinas, outlines "four things whereby a man perfects his memory" (26):

1. What a man wishes to remember a thing, he should take some suitable yet unwonted illustration of it.
2. Whatever a man wishes to retain in his memory he must carefully consider to put in order.
3. We must be anxious and earnest about the things we wish to remember, because the more a thing is impressed on the mind, the less it is liable to slip out of it.
4. We should often reflect on the things we wish to remember.

To those new to this memory technique, Vost makes this outstanding claim: "If you read slowly and carefully, look at the pictures, and follow the instructions, by the time you finish, you'll be able to remember and name the Ten Commandments, the seven capital sins, the seven virtues, the nine Beatitudes, the seven sacraments, the twenty mysteries of the Rosary, and yes, if you are ambitious enough, even the names of the forty-six books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. And all of these in order, both forward and backward" (5). Vost continues, "You'll acquire specialized memory skills to retain any biblical passages of your choice (chapter and verse), to learn Greek and Latin religious terminology, to remember prayers and creeds--in fact, to recall virtually any material you desire" (6).

THESE ARE OUTSTANDING CLAIMS, YET VOST BACKS THEM UP WITH TRIED AND TRUE METHODS!

Part 1 (How to Use this Book and the Memory System of Aquinas) is important and helpful.

Parts 2-4 (Memorizing specific lists) is less helpful if you are not a Catholic. As a Baptist pastor I have little need to memorize the Ten Holy Days of Obligation in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, for example.

Parr 5 (Application for All Ages and How to Teach this System to Your Children) is invaluable.

A great tool for everyone, especially for Catholics. Non-Catholics can still enjoy much of the content, but many of the lists are not as useful.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 14, 2011 3:24:05 PM PDT
I appreciate all the reviews here, but have been meaning to comment on this one. I'm very pleased to see that the methods in Memorize the Faith! have been useful to a Baptist pastor. In fact, the memory rooms in this book are loosely modeled after the house of my childhood, which my wife and I were able to purchase back for our family's home several years ago from a Baptist pastor and his wonderful family. God bless you, your flock, and your family.

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2011 7:50:12 PM PDT
Justin Hyde says:
Very cool post. Thank you. Hope you enjoy the book. Blessings!
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