Angelic Virtues and Demonic Vices: Aquinas's Practical Principles for Reaching Heaven and Avoiding Hell

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Are we truly striving for heaven or merely avoiding hell?

The human heart’s greatest longing is to see God as He is. And yet, many people simply want to escape hell’s pain, or even worse, they follow our disordered fallen nature in choosing sinful pleasures. Our Lord said the road to heaven is narrow, but the road to hell is wide (see Matt. 7:13). Is choosing the road to heaven merely wanting to avoid pain, or is it actively pursuing the greatest good beyond imagining?

Do we choose the good because we strive to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, or do we choose the good merely because we fear hell?

God never leaves us alone in these choices. Indeed, He sends us His grace, but—to help us cooperate with that grace and fight valiantly—He also sends spiritual warriors and guides, of whom one of the greatest is Saint Thomas Aquinas.

In Angelic Virtues and Demonic Vices, Saint Thomas guides us on how to pursue our true celestial homeland while avoiding running to a false heaven. He outlines the various vices, and their forty plus daughters, and details how to conquer them.

After reading this work, you will not only desire to become a saint because you will see how hideous vice truly is but also see how splendid virtuous living for God is.

Fr. Basil Cole, OP
Publication Date:

Editorial Reviews

Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP Editor, Our Sunday Visitor

“Father Basil Cole has dedicated his life to studying and teaching the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. In this masterful introduction, Father Cole presents the Thomistic approach to virtue and vice in a way so accessible, so compelling that it will benefit every Christian looking to grow in the spiritual life.”

Fr. Wojciech Giertych, OP Theologian of the Papal Household

“Open the gates for Christ! That is, undo the internal blockages that prevent the flowering of grace! Bringing to light anancient tradition that explains distorting vices and their opposing virtues, Father Cole shows how through prayer and spiritual combat the believer proceeds towards sanctity."

Fr. Sebastian White, OP Editor, Magnificat

“Good moral guidance may not be what most publishers today would consider the hottest thing on the market. But if the high stakes of our life on earth were better understood, such a book ought to sell roughly eight billion copies. Fortunately, Father Cole has written one, and it will help us all remain on the path to heaven.”

Anthony Giambrone, OP Extraordinary Professor of New Testament, École Biblique et Archéologique, Jerusalem

“A guidebook to heaven! This excellent and accessible treatment of St. Thomas’s teaching will provide readers with a solid key to the Christian moral life. There is angelic wisdom here for virtuously outsmarting the unhappy traps of vice.”

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