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Memorize the Faith! (and Most Anything Else): Using the Methods of the Great Catholic Medieval Memory Masters Paperback – July 1, 2006
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Yes, I know that memorizing the Faith is no substitute for living a holy life, but even devout people can't live by truths and precepts they don't remember.
That's why, over 700 years ago, St. Thomas Aquinas perfected an easy method for his students to memorize most any information, but especially the truths taught by Christ and His Church.
As the years passed, our need for this ancient art of memorization grew, yet somehow our culture largely forgot it . . . which is why today, when you and I try to remember a list of things, we have to repeat their names over and over. Or, to remember to call the dentist, we tie a string on our finger. And we clutch at any means whatsoever to recall our passwords for ATMs, credit cards, and voicemail, our login names for Yahoo, eBay, and Amazon, and the host of other names and numbers that clog our minds and clutter our days.
Now, thanks to the delightful pages of Memorize the Faith!, you can easily keep all these in mind and learn the Faith! by tapping into the power of the classical memory system that helped St. Thomas become the Church's preeminent theologian, and made it easier for him to become one of its greatest saints.
Here, Catholic scholar Kevin Vost makes available again Aquinas's easy-to-learn method the method Dr. Vost himself has used for decades to recall names, dates, phone numbers, the first dozen digits of pi (3.141592653589) and even whether, when his wife called him at work today, she asked him to bring home ice cream and toffee . . . or was it truffles and coffee?
Indeed, Dr. Vost will teach you to remember virtually anything, but he devotes most of his book to showing you how to improve your memory of Catholic truths so you can live the Faith better.
Memory is the foundation of wisdom. It makes holiness easier. To grow wiser in the Faith . . . and holier . . . turn to Memorize the Faith! today.
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For instance there is something about Stations of the Cross where the participant walks to a small table and counts a few beads. Then walks to another station which may be a picture on the wall and counts a few beads. Each station has meaning and to actually walk there and look and count the beads and maybe say a little prayer before moving on to the next station helps to cement the concepts into the physical universe.
Anyway this is not about memory but Mr.Vost did a good job with his book.
I'm actually going to write the kind of the review that I wish I had read before buying this book. I had no idea what to expect; I know a little something about studying and memorizing since I have a PhD so I couldn't imagine what new method of memorization I was about to learn.
For each group of items that you are going to memorize the author describes, and has a drawing of, a common room in an ordinary house. For example, let's say you are going to memorize the Ten Commandments. You see a drawing of the living room and ten numbered items. Number one is the front door, number two is the doormat and so on. To each of these ten items he associates a (sometimes wild or uncommon) idea, and then that idea is associated with one of the Commandments. At first I was taken aback, after all why would I want to picture of gun rack on the wall with a padlock over it. But when you think about it it makes perfect sense because I instantly remember that as Commandment number five, Thou Shalt not Kill.
The method really works. So far I have memorized the 10 Commandments, the seven deadly sins, the seven virtues and the twenty Mysteries of the Rosary. The reason for four stars and not five is not the content at all but the Kindle version. The drawings and the text do not go together there are blank pages were there shouldn't be blank pages it is all kinds of messed up. Since we Kindle users did not have the luxury of flipping back and forth quickly to see the drawings, there should be a bank of all the memory devices made available to us in one place, maybe at the back of the book. If you think that the rating should reflect only the content and not digital formatting, think again. Publishers (and ultimately authors) must demand that digital users be afforded a quality product. At least furnish us with a well-made app to accompany it.
I haven't read the rest of the book only because it has already served its purpose with the Mysteries. I just hope Memorize the Reasons comes out soon on Kindle, but in a suitable format.
UPDATE: At the time I wrote this review, the Kindle version of the other book was not available, but now it is!
The most important part of this book, I believe, are the images that you are provided with. Google "the method of loci" and get acquainted with the concept so you know what may be coming.
Basically, you choose/imagine any amount of locations (in order) in any place you desire. It could be the parts of a car (like the author first did), the parts of a body, or the locations of a house (as done in this book). Then, you associate the parts with the locations. The association can be direct or can be a word that reminds you of what you're trying to memorize.
This book does an excellent job of making images to associate with what you're trying to memorize.
This book is much easier than "Memorize the Reasons!" by the same author, Kevin Vost.
If you buy this book, remember this information regarding practice:
I would read and practice a chapter at one time. That would mean I'd memorize around 10-15 things at once. After contacting the author, he told me to practice 10-15 minutes daily, focusing on just parts of the house, maybe a room or two a day, or the material in one or two chapters a day. He also recommended that I practice the material backwards or even randomly (having someone call a number 1-46 and answering with which book from the Old Testament).