The Easter season is a time to give gratitude to God for the gift of life itself and for the salvation He offers to all of us. I’ve been contemplating this truth since hearing about the death of prolific author and Catholic Exchange contributor Kevin Vost.
Dr. Vost is rightly beloved by every editor who worked with him, including me. He was a kindly giant in both the physical and intellectual sense. His writing and interviews always shined with his interests in Greco-Roman and medieval scholastic philosophy, modern cognitive psychology, and High-Intensity Strength Training. In these and many other subjects, the professor and psychologist was eager to share so much of what he had studied while explaining it in a way anybody could understand.
In our interviews, Kevin often quoted everything from stoics to modern clinical research. What struck me most was his humility, though. We writers can be a prideful lot and that was just not apparent in Kevin Vost. In fact, he only brought up his accomplishments and learning when I directly asked. It took me too long to see that the genius of Dr. Vost was rooted in his humility.
The man wanted to teach about St. Thomas Aquinas because he was so overjoyed when he first met the scholastics. For Kevin, there were few greater joys than learning and he wanted to share that joy with everyone.
If you’ve never heard of Dr. Kevin Vost, I will give plenty of reading and podcast suggestions at the end. He is worth reading and his writings will make you want to learn more about your faith and life. For now, though, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for knowing Dr. Vost, and for working with such a humble servant of God.
In Easter, we proclaim that Christ has risen from the grave and has thus defeated death by His death. I cling to this hope, especially in recent years and I am often comforted to know that death will not be the final word in anybody’s life. A man’s life will continue to impact others, long after his life, and we have hope that Christ will bring him to life in His Kingdom.
We take so much of life for granted when we should be thankful for it. And we should also give thanks for the times God brings somebody into our life. While Kevin and I were only colleagues, I give thanks to God for even that small bit of time we had. He would laugh if I presumed his sainthood, but I am sure that his work made me a better Catholic and human being.
Before I give you a guide to his work, I’d like to ask that you pray for Dr. Kevin G. Vost and all those whose lives he touched. More than that, if you’ve found his writings before, give thanks to God that you too were blessed to know such a fantastic teacher, writer, father, and grandfather.
Kevin Vost: A Guide for Beginners
Dr. Vost authored more than two dozen books. He also gave lectures on diverse subjects all over the world while appearing as a guest on hundreds of TV, podcast, and radio shows. To my delight, he somehow had time to contribute dozens of articles and podcast interviews for Catholic Exchange.
If you’ve never read him before, I recommend the article “Memorize the Gospel of John! (And Contemplate Christ).” That article shows so much of what is great about Kevin Vost’s writing: it gives practical advice for growing in the spiritual life and introduces readers to medieval methods of memorization. It’s also perfect for the Easter season as the Gospel of John proclaims Christ’s resurrection and appearances to His disciples.
The previously mentioned article was inspired by a reader of Dr. Vost’s early book, Memorize the Faith! That book has remained in print for decades, and for good reason! I can still remember everyone’s delight when a child used the method in this book to memorize all the popes in order.
Dr. Vost’s most recent books explored the thinking of St. Thomas Aquinas, my favorite being How to Think Like Aquinas (read an excerpt here). If you’d prefer, he also wrote a fantastic guide to the thinking of Aquinas in The One Minute Aquinas. Also, see the article “Why You Should Start Thinking Like Thomas Aquinas.”
Kevin was kind enough to talk with me about his work on our podcast. In the episode “Thomas Aquinas on How to Live a Happy Life,” he gives so much great advice from the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas and his own experience. Another episode that has become more relevant with time is “Combatting Loneliness,” which discusses his book The Catholic Guide to Loneliness.
These books and articles are a great place to start if you are discovering Dr. Vost’s work or want to rediscover him. May he and all the souls faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.