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Human weakness is not an impassable barrier. The Savior died on the cross for us and rose to glorious life. We hope that pious souls will read this book, ponder over its pages, and gain new strength from it. It is a challenge to Christians to arise and labor unceasingly for the kingdom of Christ—wherein there is peace and true progress. In those two works we studied, in the light of the principles of St. Thomas, the main problems of the spiritual life and in particular one which has been stated more explicitly in recent years, namely: Is the infused contemplation of the mysteries of faith and the union with God which results therefrom an intrinsically extraordinary grace, or is it, on the contrary, in the normal way of sanctity?

We purpose here to consider these questions again in a simpler and loftier manner, with the perspective needed the better to see the subordination of all the elements of the interior life in relation to union with God. With this end in view, we shall consider first of all the foundations of the interior life, then the elimination of obstacles, the progress of the soul purified and illuminated by the light of the Holy Ghost, the docility which it ought to have toward Him, and finally the union with God which the soul attains by this docility, by the spirit of prayer, and by the cross borne with patience, gratitude, and love.

By way of introduction, we shall briefly recall what constitutes the one thing necessary for every Christian, and we shall also recall how urgently this question is being raised at the present time. As everyone can easily understand, the interior life is an elevated form of intimate conversation which everyone has with himself as soon as he is alone, even in the tumult of a great city. From the moment he ceases to converse with his fellow men, man converses interiorly with himself about what preoccupies him most.

This conversation varies greatly according to the different ages of life; that of an old man is not that of a youth. It also varies greatly according as a man is good or bad. As soon as a man seriously seeks truth and goodness, this intimate conversation with himself tends to become conversation with God.

Little by little, instead of seeking himself in everything, instead of tending more or less consciously to make himself a center, man tends to seek God in everything, and to substitute for egoism love of God and of souls in Him. This constitutes the interior life. No sincere man will have any difficulty in recognizing it. The one thing necessary which Jesus spoke of to Martha and Mary 7 consists in hearing the word of God and living by it.

The interior life thus conceived is something far more profound and more necessary in us than intellectual life or the cultivation of the sciences, than artistic or literary life, than social or political life. Unfortunately, some great scholars, mathematicians, physicists, and astronomers have no interior life, so to speak, but devote themselves to the study of their science as if God did not exist.

Their life appears to be in certain respects the search for the true and the good in a more or less definite and restricted domain, but it is so tainted with self-love and intellectual pride that we may legitimately question whether it will bear fruit for eternity. Many artists, literary men, and statesmen never rise above this level of purely human activity which is, in short, quite exterior.

Do the depths of their souls live by God? It would seem not. This shows that the interior life, or the life of the soul with God, well deserves to be called the one thing necessary, since by it we tend to our last end and assure our salvation. This last must not be too widely separated from progressive sanctification, for it is the very way of salvation.

There are those who seem to think that it is sufficient to be saved and that it is not necessary to be a saint. It is clearly not necessary to be a saint who performs miracles and whose sanctity is officially recognized by the Church. To be saved, we must take the way of salvation, which is identical with that of sanctity.


There will be only saints in heaven, whether they enter there immediately after death or after purification in purgatory. No one enters heaven unless he has that sanctity which consists in perfect purity of soul. Every sin though it should be venial, must be effaced, and the punishment due to sin must be borne or remitted, in order that a soul may enjoy forever the vision of God, see Him as He sees Himself, and love Him as He loves Himself. Should a soul enter heaven before the total remission of its sins, it could not remain there and it would cast itself into purgatory to be purified.

The interior life of a just man who tends toward God and who already lives by Him is indeed the one thing necessary. To be a saint, neither intellectual culture nor great exterior activity is a requisite; it suffices that we live profoundly by God. This truth is evident in the saints of the early Church; several of those saints were poor people, even slaves. It is evident also in St. Francis, St. Benedict Joseph Labre, in the Cure of Ars, and many others. Ought not man to love his soul more than his body? Therein lies the best part, which will not be taken away from a faithful soul even though it should lose everything else.

What we have just said is true at all times; but the question of the interior life is being more sharply raised today than in several periods less troubled than ours. The explanation of this interest lies in the fact that many men have separated themselves from God and tried to organize intellectual and social life without Him. The great problems that have always preoccupied humanity have taken on a new and sometimes tragic aspect. Likewise, great problems grow exasperatingly serious, and man must finally perceive that all these problems ultimately lead to the fundamental religious problem; in other words, he will finally have to declare himself entirely for God or against Him.

This is in its essence the problem of the interior life. When man will no longer fulfill his great religious duties toward God who created him and who is his last End, he makes a religion for himself since he absolutely cannot get along without religion. To replace the superior ideal which he has abandoned, man may, for example, place his religion in science or in the cult of social justice or in some human ideal, which finally he considers in a religious manner and even in a mystical manner.

Thus he turns away from supreme reality, and there arises a vast number of problems that will be solved only if he returns to the fundamental problem of the intimate relations of the soul with God. It has often been remarked that today science pretends to be a religion. Likewise socialism and communism claim to be a code of ethics and present themselves under the guise of a feverish cult of justice, thereby trying to captivate hearts and minds. As a matter of fact, the modern scholar seems to have a scrupulous devotion to the scientific method. He cultivates it to such a degree that he often seems to prefer the method of research to the truth.

If he bestowed equally serious care on his interior life, he would quickly reach sanctity. Often, however, this religion of science is directed toward the apotheosis of man rather than toward the love of God. As much must be said of social activity, particularly under the form it assumes in socialism and communism.

It is inspired by a mysticism which purposes a transfiguration of man, while at times it denies in the most absolute manner the rights of God. This is simply a reiteration of the statement that the religious problem of the relations of man with God is at the basis of every great problem. We must declare ourselves for or against Him; indifference is no longer possible, as our times show in a striking manner. The present world-wide economic crisis demonstrates what men can do when they seek to get along without God.

Without God, the seriousness of life gets out of focus. If religion is no longer a grave matter but something to smile at, then the serious element in life must be sought elsewhere. Some place it, or pretend to place it, in science or in social activity; they devote the selves religiously to the search for scientific truth or to the establishment of justice between classes or peoples. After a while they are forced to perceive that they have ended in fearful disorder and that the relations between individuals and nations become more and more difficult, if not impossible.

As St. Augustine and St. Thomas 12 have said, it is evident that the same material goods, as opposed to those of the spirit, cannot at one and the same time belong integrally to several persons. The same house, the same land, cannot simultaneously belong wholly to several men, nor the same territory to several nations.

As a result, interests conflict when man feverishly makes these lesser goods his last end. Augustine, on the other hand, insists on the fact that the same spiritual goods can belong simultaneously and integrally to all and to each individual in particular. Without doing harm to another, we can fully possess the same truth, the same virtue, the same God. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it. If the serious element in life is out of focus, if it no longer is concerned with our duties toward God, but with the scientific and social activities of man; if man continually seeks himself instead of God, his last End, then events are not slow in showing him that he has taken an impossible way, which leads not only to nothingness, but to unbearable disorder and misery.

We conclude logically that religion can give an efficacious and truly realistic answer to the great modern problems only if it is a religion that is profoundly lived, not simply a superficial and cheap religion made up of some vocal prayers and some ceremonies in which religious art has more place than true piety. As a matter of fact, no religion that is profoundly lived is without an interior life, without that intimate and frequent conversation which we have not only with ourselves but with God. The last encyclicals of Pope Pius XI make this clear. To respond to what is good in the general aspirations of nations, aspirations to justice and charity among individuals, classes, and peoples, the Holy Father wrote the encyclicals on Christ the King, on His sanctifying influence in all His mystical body, on the family, on the sanctity of Christian marriage, on social questions, on the necessity of reparation, and on the missions.

In all these encyclicals he deals with the reign of Christ over all humanity. The logical conclusion to be drawn is that religion, the interior life, must be profound, must be a true life of union with God if it is to keep the pre-eminence it should have over scientific and social activities. This is a manifest necessity.

How shall we deal with the interior life? We shall not take up in a technical manner many questions about sanctifying grace and the infused virtues that have been treated at length by theologians. We assume them here, and we shall revert to them only in the measure necessary for the understanding of what the spiritual life should be. Our aim is to invite souls to become more interior and to tend to union with God. To do so, two very different dangers must be avoided.

Rather frequently the spirit animating scientific research even in these matters tarries over details to such an extent that the mind is turned away from the contemplation of divine things. The majority of interior souls do not need many of the critical studies indispensable to the theologian. To understand them, they would need a philosophical initiation which they do not possess and which, in a sense, would hamper them who in an instant and in a different manner go higher, as in the case of St.

Francis of Assisi. He was astonished to see that in the course of philosophy given to his religious, time was taken to prove the existence of God. Today, occasionally exaggerated specialization in studies produces in many minds a lack of the general view needed to judge wisely of things, even of those in which they are especially interested and whose relation with every thing else they no longer see. The cult of detail ought not to make us lose sight of the whole. Instead of becoming spiritual, we would then become materialistic, and under pretext of exact and detailed learning, we would turn away from the true interior life and from lofty Christian wisdom.

On the other hand, many books on religious subjects that are written in a popular style, and many pious books lack a solid doctrinal foundation. Popularization, because the kind of simplification imposed upon it is material rather than formal, often avoids the examination of certain fundamental and difficult problems from which, nevertheless, light would come, and at times the light of life.

To avoid these two opposite dangers, we shall follow the way pointed out by St. Thomas, who was not a popularizer and who is still the great classic authority on theology. He rose from the learned complexity of his first works and of the Quaestiones disputatae to the superior simplicity of the most beautiful articles of the Summa theologica. He ascended to this height so well that at the end of his life, absorbed in lofty contemplation, he could not dictate the end of his Summa because he could no longer descend to the complexity of the questions and articles that he still wished to compose.

The cult of detail and that of superficial simplification, each in its way alienates the soul from Christian contemplation, which rises above these opposing deviations like a summit toward which all prayerful souls tend. One sees from the matter which ascetical and mystical theology should treat that it is a branch or a part of theology, an application of theology to the direction of souls. It must, therefore, proceed under the light of revelation, which alone gives a knowledge of the nature of the life of grace and of the supernatural union of the soul with God.


This part of theology is, above all, a development of the treatise on the love of God and of that on the gifts of the Holy Ghost, to show how they are applied or to lead souls to divine union. Moral theology ought to treat, not only of sins to be avoided, but of virtues to be practiced, and of docility in following the inspirations of the Holy Ghost.

From this point of view, its applications are called ascetical and mystical theology. Ascetical theology treats especially of the mortification of vices or defects and of the practice of the virtues. Mystical theology treats principally of docility to the Holy Ghost, of the infused contemplation of the mysteries of faith, of the union with God which proceeds from it, and also of extraordinary graces, such as visions and revelations, which sometimes accompany infused contemplation.

We shall examine the question whether ascetical theology is essentially ordained to mystical theology by asking whether the infused contemplation of the mysteries of faith and the union with God that results from it is an essentially extraordinary grace, such as visions an revelations, or whether in the perfect it is not rather the eminent but normal exercise of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which are in all the just.

The answer to this question, which has been discussed several times in recent years, will form the conclusion of this work. We shall limit ourselves here to what is essential in regard to the method to be followed. The almost exclusive use of the descriptive or inductive method would lead us to forget that ascetical and mystical theology is a branch of theology, and we would end by considering it a part of experimental psychology. We would thus assemble only the material of mystical theology. By losing the directing light, all would be impoverished and diminished.

Mystical theology must be set forth by the great principles of theology on the life of grace, on the infused virtues, and on the seven gifts; in so doing, light is shed on all of it, and one is face to face with a science and not a collection of more or less well described phenomena. If the descriptive method were used almost exclusively, we would be struck especially by the more or less sensible signs of the mystical state and not by the basic law of the progress of grace, whose essential supernaturalness is of too elevated an order to fall under the grasp of observation.

More attention might then be given to certain extraordinary and, so to speak, exterior graces, such as visions, revelations, stigmata, than to the normal and elevated development of sanctifying grace, of the infused virtues, and of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. By so doing, we might be led to confound with what is essentially extraordinary that which is only extrinsically so, that is, what is eminent but normal; to confound intimate union with God in its elevated forms with the extraordinary and relatively inferior graces which sometimes accompany it.

Lastly, the exclusive use of the descriptive method might give too much importance to this easily established fact, that intimate union with God and the infused contemplation of the mysteries of faith are relatively rare. This idea might lead us to think that all interior and generous souls are not called to it, even in a general and remote manner.

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On the other hand, care must be taken to avoid another deviation that would spring from the almost exclusive use of the deductive theological method. Some souls that are rather inclined to over-simplify things would be led to deduce the solution of the most difficult problems of spirituality by starting from the accepted doctrine in theology about the infused virtues and the gifts, as it is set forth by St.

Thomas, without sufficiently considering the admirable descriptions given by St. Teresa, St. John of the Cross, St. Francis de Sales, and other saints, of the various degrees of the spiritual life, especially of the mystical union. It is to these facts that the principles must be applied, or rather it is these facts, first of all well understood in themselves, that must be illuminated by the light of principles, especially to discern what is truly extraordinary in them and what is eminent but normal. The excessive use of the deductive method in this case would lead to a confusion radically opposed to the one indicated above.

Since, according to tradition and St. Thomas, the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are in every soul in the state of grace, we might thus be inclined to believe that the mystical state or infused contemplation is very frequent, and we might confound with them what is only their prelude, as simplified effective prayer. Practically, as a result of these two excesses two extremes also are to be avoided in spiritual direction: advising souls to leave the ascetical way too soon or too late. We will discuss this matter at length in the course of this work.

Obviously the two methods, the inductive and the deductive, or the analytic and the synthetic, must be combined. The concepts and the facts of the spiritual life must be analyzed. First of all, must be analyzed the concepts of the interior life and of Christian perfection, of sanctity, which the Gospel gives us, in order that we may see clearly the end proposed by the Savior Himself to all interior souls, and see this end in all its elevation without in any way diminishing it. Then must be analyzed the facts: the imperfections of beginners, the active and passive purifications, the various degrees of union, and so on, to distinguish what is essential in them and what is accessory.

After this work of analysis, we must make a synthesis and point out what is necessary or very useful and desirable to reach the full perfection of Christian life, and what, on the other hand, is properly extraordinary and in no way required for the highest sanctity. Several of these questions are very difficult, either because of the elevation of the subject treated, or because of the contingencies that are met with in the application and that depend on the temperament of the persons to be directed or on the good pleasure of God, who, for example, sometimes grants the grace of contemplation to beginners and withdraws it temporarily from advanced souls.

Because of these multiple difficulties, the study of ascetical and mystical theology requires a profound knowledge of theology, especially of the treatises on grace, on the infused virtues, on the gifts of the Holy Ghost in their relations with the great mysteries of the Trinity, the Incarnation, the redemption, and the Blessed Eucharist. It requires also familiarity with the great spiritual writers, especially those who have been designated by the Church as guides in these matters.

We must recall here the division between ascetical and mystical theology that was generally accepted until the eighteenth century, and then the modification that Scaramelli and those who followed him introduced at that time. The reader will, therefore, more readily understand why, with several contemporary theologians, we return to the division that seems to us truly traditional and conformable to the principles of the great masters.

Until the eighteenth century, authors generally set forth under the title Theologia mystica all the questions that ascetical and mystical theology treats of today. This is evident from the title of the works written by Blessed Bartholomew of the Martyrs, O. Under the title Theologia mystica all these authors treated of the purgative way of beginners, of the illuminative way of proficients, and of the unitive way of the perfect.

In one or the other of these last two parts, they spoke of infused contemplation and the extraordinary graces which sometimes accompany it, that is to say, visions, revelations, and like favors. Moreover, in their introduction these authors customarily treated of experimental mystical theology, that is, of infused contemplation itself, for their treatises were directed to it and to the intimate union with God which results from it.

He closely follows the Carmelite, Philip of the Blessed Trinity, by linking the division Philip gave with that of earlier authors and with certain characteristic texts from the works of St. John of the Cross on the period when the passive purifications of the senses and of the spirit generally appear. He divides his treatise for contemplatives into three parts the purgative way, the illuminative way, the unitive way. The purgative way, proper to beginners, in which he treats of the active purification of the external and internal senses, of the passions, of the intellect and the will, by mortification, meditation, and prayer, and finally of the passive purification of the senses, which is like a second conversion and in which infused contemplation begins.

It is the transition to the illuminative way. This last point is of prime importance in this division, and it conforms closely to two of the most important texts from the works of St. John of the Cross, with the passive purification of the senses, which thus marks the transition from the way of beginners to that of proficients. Vallgornera clearly preserves this doctrine in this division as well as in the one that follows. The illuminative way, proper to proficients, in which, after a preliminary chapter on the divisions of contemplation, are discussed the gifts of the Holy Ghost, infused contemplation, which proceeds especially from the gifts of understanding and wisdom and which is declared desirable for all interior souls, 24 as morally necessary for the full perfection of Christian life.

After several articles relating to extraordinary graces visions, revelations, interior words , this second part of the work closes with a chapter of nine articles dealing with the passive purification of the spirit, which marks the passage to the unitive way. This also is what St. John of the Cross taught. The unitive way, proper to the perfect, in which is discussed the intimate union of the contemplative soul with God and its degrees up to the transforming union. Vallgornera considers this division traditional, truly conformable to the doctrine of the fathers, to the principles of St.

In the eighteenth century, Scaramelli — , who was followed by many authors of that period, proposed an entirely different division. First of all, he does not treat of ascetical and mystical theology in the same work but in two separate works, comprising four treatises: 1 Christian perfection and the means that lead to it; 2 Obstacles or the purgative way ; 3 The proximate dispositions to Christian perfection, consisting in the moral virtues in the perfect degree or the way of proficients ; 4 The essential perfection of the Christian, consisting in the theological virtues and especially in charity the love of conformity in the perfect.

This ascetical directory does not, so to speak, discuss the gifts of the Holy Ghost. The high degree of the moral and theological virtues therein described is, nevertheless, not reached without the gifts, according to the common teaching of the doctors. The Direttorio mistico is composed of five treatises: 1 The introduction, in which are discussed the gifts of the Holy Ghost and graces gratis datae ; 2 Acquired and infused contemplation, for which the gifts suffice, as Scaramelli recognizes chap.

It is surprising to find only at the end of this mystical directory the treatise on the passive purification of the senses which, in the opinion of St. John of the Cross and the authors quoted above, marks the entrance into the illuminative way. By a fear of quietism, at times excessive, which cast discredit on mystical theology, many authors in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries followed Scaramelli, who was most highly esteemed by them.

According to their point of view, ascetical theology treats of the exercises which lead to perfection according to the ordinary way, whereas mystical theology treats of the extraordinary way, to which the infused contemplation of the mysteries of faith would belong. At the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the present period this tendency appears again clearly marked in the study of mental prayer by Father de Maumigny, S. Taking this point of view, some writers even maintained that, since St. Teresa of the Child Jesus did not receive extraordinary graces, she sanctified herself by the ascetical way and not by the mystical way.

Strange supposition. In the last thirty years, Father Arintero, O. As we have shown at length elsewhere, 40 we have been led, as these authors were, to formulate the three following questions on the subject of the division given by Scaramelli and his successors:. Is this absolute distinction or separation between ascetical and mystical theology entirely traditional, or is it not rather an innovation made in the eighteenth century?

Does it conform to the principles of St. Thomas and to the doctrine of St. John of the Cross? Thomas teaches that the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, while specifically distinct from the infused virtues, are, nevertheless, in all the just, for they are connected with charity. Thomas likewise considers that the gifts intervene rather frequently in ordinary circumstances to give to the acts of the virtues in generous interior souls a perfection, an impulse, and a promptness which would not exist without the superior intervention of the Holy Ghost.

On the other hand, St. It takes place in the greater number of beginners. John, infused contemplation begins with it. Francis de Sales expresses the same thought The division proposed by Scaramelli could not be reconciled with this doctrine because he speaks of the passive purifications of the senses and the spirit only at the end of the unitive way, as not only eminent but essentially extraordinary. It may be asked whether such a distinction or separation between ascetical and mystical theology does not diminish the unity of the spiritual life. Does not the sharply marked division between ascetical and mystical theology, proposed by Scaramelli and several others, also diminish the elevation of evangelical perfection, when it treats of it in ascetical theology, taking away from it the gifts of the Holy Ghost, the infused contemplation of the mysteries of faith, and the union which results therefrom?

Does not this new conception weaken the motives for practicing mortification and for exercising the virtues, and does it not do so by losing sight of the divine intimacy for which this work should prepare us? Does it not lessen the illuminative and unitive ways when it speaks of them simply from the ascetical point of view? Can these two ways normally exist without the exercise of the gifts of the Holy Ghost proportioned to that of charity and of the other infused virtues?

Finally, does not this new conception diminish also the importance and the gravity of mystical theology, which, separated thus from ascetical theology, seems to become a luxury in the spirituality of some privileged souls, and one that is not without danger? Are there six ways three ascetical and ordinary, and three mystical and extraordinary, not only in fact but in essence and not just three ways, three ages of the spiritual life, as the ancients used to say?

As soon as ascetical treatises on the illuminative and unitive ways are separated from mystical theology, they contain scarcely more than abstract considerations first on the moral and then on the theological virtues. On the other hand, if they treat practically and concretely of the progress and the perfection of these virtues, as Scaramelli does in his Direttorio ascetico , this perfection, according to the teaching of St.

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John of the Cross, is manifestly unattainable without the passive purifications, at least without that of the senses, and without the cooperation of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. The question then arises whether the passive purification of the senses in which, according to St. John of the Cross, infused contemplation and the mystical life, properly so called, begins is something essentially extraordinary or, on the contrary, a normal grace, the principle of a second conversion, which marks the entrance into the illuminative way. Without this passive purification, can a soul reach the perfection which Scaramelli speaks of in his Direttorio ascetico?

Let us not forget what St. The disposition to practice this must be, in my opinion, the gift of God; for it seems to me a supernatural good. For these different reasons the contemporary authors whom we quoted above reject the absolute distinction and separation between ascetical and mystical theology that was introduced in the eighteenth century. It is important to note here that the division of a science or of one of the branches of theology is not a matter of slight importance. This may be seen by the division of moral theology, which is notably different as it is made according to the distinction of the precepts of the decalogue, or according to the distinction of the theological and moral virtues.

On the contrary, if moral theology is divided according to the distinction of the virtues, then all the elevation of the theological virtues will be evident, especially that of charity over all the moral virtues, which it should inspire and animate. If this division is made, the quickening impulse of the theological virtues is felt, especially when they are accompanied by the special inspirations of the Holy Ghost. Moral theology thus conceived develops normally into mystical theology, which is, as we see in the work of St.

Francis de Sales, a simple development of the treatise on the love of God. What, then, is ascetical theology for the contemporary theologians who return to the traditional division? According to the principles of St. Thomas Aquinas, the doctrine of St. John of the Cross and also of St.

Francis de Sales, ascetical theology treats of the purgative way of beginners who, understanding that they should not remain retarded and tepid souls, exercise themselves generously in the practice of the virtues, but still according to the human mode of the virtues, ex industria propria , with the help of ordinary actual grace. Mystical theology, on the contrary, begins with the illuminative way, in which proficients, under the illumination of the Holy Ghost, already act in a rather frequent and manifest manner according to the superhuman mode of the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

According to these authors, the mystical life is not essentially extraordinary, like visions and revelations, but something eminent in the normal way of sanctity. They consider this true even for souls called to sanctify themselves in the active life, such as a St. Vincent de Paul. They do not at all doubt that the saints of the active life have had normally rather frequent infused contemplation of the mysteries of the redeeming Incarnation, of the Mass, of the mystical body of Christ, of the value of eternal life, although these saints differ from pure contemplatives in this respect, that their infused contemplation is more immediately ordained to action, to all the works of mercy.

It follows that mystical theology is useful not alone for the direction of some souls led by extraordinary ways, but also for the direction of all interior souls who do not wish to remain retarded, who tend generously toward perfection, and who endeavor to maintain union with God in the midst of the labors and contradictions of everyday life.

If the sadness of the neurasthenic should not be taken for the passive purification of the senses, neither should melancholy be diagnosed when the passive purification does appear. From what we have just said, it is evident that ascetical theology is ordained to mystical theology. In short, for all Catholic authors, mystical theology which does not presuppose serious asceticism is false.

Such was that of the quietists, who, like Molinos, suppressed ascetical theology by thrusting themselves into the mystical way before receiving that grace, confounding acquired passivity, which is obtained by the cessation of acts, of activity, and which turns to somnolence, with infused passivity, which springs from the special inspiration of the Holy Ghost to which the gifts render us docile. By this radical confusion, the quietism of Molinos suppressed asceticism and developed into a caricature of true mysticism. Lastly, it is of prime importance to remark that the normal way of sanctity may be judged from two very different points of view.

We may judge it by taking our nature as a starting point, and then the position that we defend as traditional will seem exaggerated. We may also judge it by taking as a starting point the supernatural mysteries of the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity, the redeeming Incarnation, and the Blessed Eucharist. Thomas speaks of, is contrary to wisdom. And the life of close union with God, far from appearing in its essential quality as something intrinsically extraordinary, appears alone as fully normal.

Before reaching such a union, we are like people still half-asleep, who do not truly live sufficiently by the immense treasure given to us and by the continually new graces granted to those who wish to follow our Lord generously. By sanctity we understand close union with God, that is, a great perfection of the love of God and neighbor, a perfection which nevertheless always remains in the normal way, for the precept of love has no limits. When we say, in short, that infused contemplation of the mysteries of faith is necessary for sanctity, we mean morally necessary; that is, in the majority of cases a soul could not reach sanctity without it.

We shall add that without it a soul will not in reality possess the full perfection of Christian life, which implies the eminent exercise of the theological virtues and of the gifts of the Holy Ghost which accompany them. The purpose of this book is to establish this thesis. The life of grace, the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity, the influence of Christ the Mediator and of Mary Mediatrix on us. Christian perfection, to which the interior life is ordained, and the obligation of each individual to tend to it according to his condition. The removal of obstacles, the struggle against sin and its results, and against the predominant fault; the active purification of the senses, of the memory, the will, and the understanding.

The use of the sacraments for the purification of the soul. The second conversion or passive purification of the senses in order to enter the illuminative way of proficients. The spiritual age of proficients. The progress of the theological and moral virtues. The gifts of the Holy Ghost in proficients. The progressive illumination of the soul by the Sacrifice of the Mass and Holy Communion. The contemplative prayer of proficients. Questions relating to infused contemplation: its nature, its degrees; the call to contemplation; the direction of souls in this connection.

The entrance into this way by the passive purification of the soul. The spiritual age of the perfect. The heroic degree of the theological and moral virtues. Perfect apostolic life and infused contemplation. The life of reparation. The transforming union. The perfection of love in its relation to infused contemplation, to the spiritual espousals and spiritual marriage.

The graces gratis datae. How they differ from the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to St. Application of this doctrine to extraordinary graces, according to the teaching of St. John of the Cross. Divine revelations: interior words, the stigmata, and ecstasy. Reply to the question: Is the infused contemplation of the mysteries of faith and the union with God which results from it an essentially extraordinary grace, or is it in the normal way of sanctity? Is it the normal prelude to eternal life, to the beatific vision to which all souls are called?

We could discuss here the terminology used by the mystics as compared with that used by theologians. The question is of great importance. Its meaning and its import will, however, be better grasped later on, that is, at the beginning of the part of this work that deals with the illuminative way. We could also at the end of this introduction set forth in general terms what the fathers and the great doctors of the Church teach us in the domain of spirituality. It will, however, be more profitable to do so at the end of the first part of this work when we treat of the traditional doctrine of the three ways and of the manner in which it should be understood.

Moreover, we have elsewhere set forth this teaching and that of different schools of spirituality. This work is conceived from a point of view opposed to the book mentioned above, for it considers every essentially mystical grace as extraordinary. We recommend particularly the excellent work of Father Cayre, A. John of the Cross and St. Since the interior life is an increasingly conscious form of the life of grace in every generous soul, we shall first of all discuss the life of grace to see its value clearly.

We shall then see the nature of the spiritual organism of the infused virtues and of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which spring from sanctifying grace in every just soul. We shall thus be led to speak of the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity in the souls of the just, and also of the continual influence exercised on them by our Lord Jesus Christ, universal Mediator, and by Mary, Mediatrix of all graces. Such are the very elevated sources of the interior life; in their loftiness they resemble the high mountain sources of great rivers.

Because our interior life descends to us from on high, it can reascend even to God and lead us to a very close union with Him. In all things the end should be considered first; for it is first in the order of intention, although it may be last in the order of execution. The end is desired first of all, even though it is last to be obtained. For this reason our Lord began His preaching by speaking of the beatitudes, and for this reason also moral theology begins with the treatise on the last end to which all our acts must be directed.

The interior life of a Christian presupposes the state of grace, which is opposed to the state of mortal sin. In the present plan of Providence every soul is either in the state of grace or in the state of mortal sin; in other words, it is either turned toward God, its supernatural last end, or turned away from Him. No man is in a purely natural state, for all are called to the supernatural end, which consists in the immediate vision of God and the love which results from that vision.

From the moment of creation, man was destined for this supreme end.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Full Audiobook (with captions)

It is to this end that we are led by Christ who, after the Fall, offered Himself as a victim for the salvation of all men. To have a true interior life it is doubtless not sufficient to be in the state of grace, like a child after baptism or every penitent after the absolution of his sins. The interior life requires further a struggle against everything that inclines us to fall back into sin, a serious propensity of the soul toward God.

If we had a profound knowledge of the state of grace, we would see that it is not only the principle of a true and very holy interior life, but that it is the germ of eternal life. We think that insistence on this point from the outset is important, recalling the words of St. This fact best shows us the value of sanctifying grace, which we received in baptism and which absolution restores to us if we have had the misfortune to lose it.

The value of a seed can be known only if we have some idea of what should grow from it; for example, in the order of nature, to know the value of the seed contained in an acorn, we must have seen a fully developed oak. In the human order, to know the value of the rational soul which still slumbers in a little child, we must know the normal possibilities of the human soul in a man who has reached his full development. Likewise, we cannot know the value of sanctifying grace, which is in the soul of every baptized infant and in all the just, unless we have considered, at least imperfectly, what the full development of this grace will be in the life of eternity.

The language of the Gospel, the style used by our Lord, lead us more directly to contemplation than the technical language of the surest and loftiest theology. Nothing is more salutary than to breathe the pure air of these heights from which flow down the living waters of the stream of Christian doctrine.

The rare occurrence of the expression is more easily understood when we remember that after death the just of the Old Testament had to wait for the accomplishment of the passion of the Savior and the sacrifice of the cross to see the gates of heaven opened. Everything in the Old Testament was directed primarily to the coming of the promised Savior. In the preaching of Jesus, everything is directed immediately toward eternal life.

If we are attentive to His words, we shall see how the life of eternity differs from the future life spoken of by the best philosophers, such as Plato. On the other hand, the Savior speaks with the most absolute assurance not only of a future life, but of eternal life superior to the past, the present, and the future; an entirely supernatural life, measured like the intimate life of God, of which it is the participation, by the single instant of immobile eternity.

Christ tells us that the way leading to eternal life is narrow, 58 and that to obtain that life we must turn away from sin and keep the commandments of God. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He may give eternal life to all whom Thou hast given Him.

Now this is eternal life: that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. We know that when He shall appear we shall be like to Him: because we shall see Him as He is. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. Paul does not say that I shall know Him as I know myself, as I know the interior of my conscience. I certainly know the interior of my soul better than other men do; but it has secrets from me, for I cannot measure all the gravity of my directly or indirectly voluntary faults.

God alone knows me thoroughly; the secrets of my heart are perfectly open only to His gaze. Paul actually says that then I shall know Him even as I am known by Him. In the same way that God knows the essence of my soul and my inner life without any intermediary, so I shall see Him without the intermediary of any creature, and even, theology adds, 66 without the intermediary of any created idea.

No created idea can, in fact, represent such as He is in Himself the eternally subsistent, pure intellectual radiance that is God and His infinite truth. Every created idea is finite; it is a concept of one or another perfection of God, of His being, of His truth or His goodness, of His wisdom or His love, of His mercy or His justice. These divers concepts of the divine perfections are, however, incapable of making us know such as it is in itself the supremely simple divine essence, the Deity or the intimate life of God.

These multiple concepts are to the intimate life of God, to the divine simplicity, somewhat as the seven colors of the rainbow are to the white light from which they proceed. On earth we are like men who have seen only the seven colors and who would like to see the pure light which is their eminent source. As long as we have not seen the Deity, such as It is in Itself, we shall not succeed in seeing the intimate harmony of the divine perfections, in particular that of infinite mercy and infinite justice. Our created ideas of the divine attributes are like little squares of mosaic which slightly harden the spiritual physiognomy of God.

When we think of His justice, it may appear too rigid to us; when we think of the gratuitous predilections of His mercy, they may seem arbitrary to us. On reflection, we say to ourselves that in God justice and mercy are one and the same thIng and that there is no real distinction between them. We affirm with certitude that this is true, but we do not yet see the intimate harmony of these divine perfections.

To see it, we should have to see immediately the divine essence, such as it is in itself, without the intermediary of any created idea. This vision will constitute eternal life. No one can express the joy and love that will be born in us of this vision. It will be so strong, so absolute a love of God that thenceforth nothing will be able to destroy it or even to diminish it.

It will be a love by which we shall above all rejoice that God is God, infinitely holy, just, and merciful. We shall adore all the decrees of His providence in view of the manifestation of His goodness. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. We shall also see our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Such is eternal beatitude in its essence, not to speak of the accidental joy that we shall experience in seeing and loving the Blessed Virgin and all the saints, more particularly the souls whom we knew during our time on earth. The immediate vision of God, of which we have just spoken, surpasses the natural capacity of every created intellect, whether angelic or human. Naturally a created intellect may indeed know God by the reflection of His perfections in the created order, angelic or human, but it cannot see Him immediately in Himself as He sees Himself. This would be the pantheistic confusion of a created nature and the divine nature.

A created intellect can be raised to the immediate vision of the divine essence only by a gratuitous help, by a grace of God. In the angel and in us this grace somewhat resembles a graft made on a wild shrub to enable it to bear good fruit. The angel and the human soul become capable of a supernatural knowledge of God and a supernatural love only if they have received this divine graft, habitual or sanctifying grace, which is a participation in the divine nature and in the inner life of God.

Only this grace, received in the essence of our soul as a free gift, can render the soul radically capable of essentially divine operations, can make it capable of seeing God immediately as He sees Himself and of loving Him as He loves Himself. In other words, the deification of the intellect and that of the will presuppose the deification of the soul itself in its essence , whence these faculties spring. When this grace is consummated and inamissible, it is called glory. From it proceed, in the intellects of the blessed in heaven, the supernatural light which gives them the strength to see God, and in their wills the infused charity which makes them love Him without being able thereafter to turn away from Him.

Through baptism we have already received the seed of eternal life, for through it we received sanctifying grace which is the radical principle of that life; and with sanctifying grace we received infused charity, which ought to last forever. This is what our Savior told the Samaritan woman, as St. Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him shall not thirst forever.

But the water that I will give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting. Moreover, whereas material water descends, the spiritual water of grace rises. It is a living water ever united to its eminent source and one that springs up to eternal life, which it makes us merit. He that believeth in Me, as the Scripture saith: Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

It is, in fact, the same life in its essence, just as the seed which is in an acorn has the same life as the full-grown oak, and as the spiritual soul of the little child is the same one that will eventually develop in the mature man. Fundamentally, the same divine life exists as a germ or a seed in the Christian on earth and as a fully developed life in the saints in heaven. It is these who truly live eternal life.

For lo, the kingdom of God is within you. How do we know that we have already received this life which should last forever? Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: kilos. Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur 6. Sargeant Printed by Opposite Trinity Church. Bruce, NY Description de l'article : E. Bruce, NY, Front endpapers gone missing. Opens to title page. Otherwise quite nice. Name in pencil inner back cover "Arthur Smith" ;. Marbled brown paper covered hard boards. Hinges showing at inner gutters. Text block is solidly bound. Text paper has pliable feel, cleanly inked type and not at all brittle.

Clean foredges. Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur 7. Draper for D. Henchman, Boston Description de l'article : J. Henchman, Boston, Signatures: A-S8. Tennent , American Presbyterian clergyman and evangelist, participated in the revival movement, the Great Awakening, in the Middle colonies and New England. It is claimed that though Gilbert Tennent is outshined by men such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, his Tennent's contribution to the Great Awakening were no less significant. Remains a very good, clean, tight copy of a rare colonial imprint by an important religious figure.

Size: Octavo. Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur 8. Brown tooled leather cover. Bookplate of John Clayton on ep. Inscribed by previous owner 'W Rooke' on title page with other annotations within contents. Hand written inscription of previous owner ' Joseph Worrall ' on page Title page has been backed to prevent further damage to chips and rubbed edges.

the complete sermons vol 1 2 with active table of contents Manual

Small areas of both corners missing. Dedication to Charles I by John Donne slightly rubbed and chipped. Table of contents. Tables of such places of Scriptures as are illustrated and expounded in this Booke. Table of Authors as are cited illustrated or reselled in this booke [Index] 2 pages attached. An alphabeticall tale of the principall content of this book: the number of the figures referreth to the Page the letter to the like letter in the margin [A-Z]. Tooled cover with gilt bands and titles on spine. Worn corners. Some rubbing and scuffing. Hinges cracked and rubbed but intact.

Top and tail of spine cracked and chipped. Throughout the contents there are noted to be 12 areas of close tears or chipping. Contents tightly bound. Slightly browning pages.

sermons, Edition originale

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur 9. Vendeur : Sanctuary Books, A. Etat : Very Good. Early possibly original? Light staining to a few leaves including title-p. An important sermon pertaining to the distribution of food, preached after "theese two yeeres of dearth. In effect, this is a diatribe against a commodity market, a startingly modern economic theme. Fitz-Geffry implores "let Ministers as his Majesty commandeth joyne forces with the Magistrates against this Monster, Avarice.

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur Kneeland, for N. Buttolph, B. Eliot, and D. Henchman, and sold at their Shops. Description de l'article : Printed by S. Cotton Mather, Mr. Wadsworth, Mr. Colman, Mr. Sewall, Mr. Prince, Mr. Webb, Mr. Cooper, Mr. Foxcroft and Dr. Williamsburg, VA, Etats-Unis.

Two volumes in one. London: Richard Royston and Richard Marriot, Contemporary full-calf. Frontispiece, xxxii , , 22 pages; x , pages. Rare first edition of the first collection of sermons by "the outstanding preacher of his day" and one of the greatest poets in the English language -- a landmark of English literature and piety.

These two combined volumes of sermons are one of the three folio editions issued by Donne's son. Included is the life of the poet by Isaac Walton. Frontispiece portrait of Donne engraved by Merian after an oval miniature by Isaac Oliver. Lacking pages to from the second volume. Rebacked using the original spine as an overlay; original boards worn along edges.

New endpapers, small tear in title page repaired. Etat : Fine. Etat de la jaquette : Fine. London first edition ,red paper ,imitation leather gold lettering and decorations. The wrapper has been cleaned and has had minor restoration to a small hole in the spine but what makes this item rare is the fragile book which is mint probably unread no rubbing ,staining or darkening ,a wonderful little book Language: eng.

In-4 de XIV pp. Louis, St. Charles, St. Description de l'article : Jobst Gutknecht, Wittenberg, First edition of Dr. Martin Luther's Maundy Thursday Sermon with explicit instruction on the correct preparation for receiving the holy sacraments. Quarto, 24 leaves of German text disbound from the original Gutknecht edition and tipped in to accompany a rare page handwritten manuscript containing a literal translation in English from Bound in full brown morocco, elaborate tooling to the front and rear panels, tooling to the spine, yellow silk endpapers, gilt turn-ins, inner dentelles, all edges gilt.

Martin Luther's writings represented one-fifth of all materials printed in Germany between and His translation of the Bible from Latin into German and use of Gutenberg's printing press had an enormous impact both the accessibility of the Biblical teachings and on the German language itself. Decorated with head pieces to top of each chapter. Rebound in later gilt ruled vellum and marbled endpapers. Previous owner's neat signature dated to top corner of fly leaf, small London bookseller's label and scratched and partly erased minister's book plate to front paste down, partly erased private library plate to endpaper.

External margins of 10 pages cut without loss of text. Front hinges exposed but firm. Bottom of spine slightly split. Some page edges and corners have dampness staining. Boards slightly soiled, front endpaper slightly chipped at top edge. Later slip case frayed and chipped at edges. The final two pages are reinforced and the final page, along with the title page, is darkened. Page is misnumbered Size: 12mo 14x9x2 Cm. A very scarce first edition of Samuel Clarke's engaging work discussing theology and the existence of God, this copy previously owned by Isaac Hawkins Browne.

A very scarce work. The first edition of this work. Such attributes are how God is eternal, intelligent, a free agent, all-powerful, just, good, and wise. The subject of the existence of God was coming under fire in the eighteenth century, with the rise of the industrial revolution, and with the study of science becoming more in-depth. This was written partly in response to Baruch Spinoza's rationalism thinkings in sixteenth century philosophy, and to Thomas Hobbes, a philosopher who is considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy.

Both Spinoza and Hobbes were accused in their life of being atheists, something that was very frowned upon at the time. Samuel Clarke then wrote this as a response to their philosophy and publications, attempting to prove the existence of God by physico-theology, with arguments based on reason and experience of nature. Written by Samuel Clarke, a philosopher and Anglican clergyman, considered to be one of the three major figures in British philosophy, alongside John Locke and George Berkeley.

Prior owner's ink inscription to the rear pastedown, 'Isaac Hawkins Browne, Feb.

Experiential Religion

This is the politician, essayist, and industrialist Isaac Hawkins Browne, who published collections of religious essays in his life. He studied at Oxford, after which he took a tour of the continent. Settling down in Shropshire, he was the sheriff for the county in , and sat in the House of Commons for Bridgnorth from to , supporting William Pitt, the Prime Minister.

He was well known for his reputation of superior knowledge and sound judgement. An octavo. Sewards End is a small village in Essex, two miles from the centre of Saffron Walden. A scarce first edition of Samuel Clarke's important lecture on the existence of God, written in response to the atheists of his day. Condition: Rebacked full calf binding. Externally, generally smart. Crack to the head of the front joint. Some light surface cracks to the spine. Minor bumping to the extremities. A couple of light marks to the boards. Blind stamp to the front endpaper. Prior owner's ink inscription to the rear pastedown.

Internally, firmly bound. Pages are age-toned and generally clean with just the odd light spot. Small amount of loss to the head of the front endpaper and title page. Overall Condition: Very Good. Description de l'article : Printed by J. At their anniversary-meeting in the parish church of St. On Thursday, March 15, Fellow of Corpus Christi College in Oxford. Published at the Desire of the Trustees and Associates. Burton, John ]. Role in the Founding of Georgia.

Burton was recruited by James Oglethorpe, whom he had met at Oxford, to lay plans for a new colony in America. The initiative, which envisioned a model colony founded on humanistic principles, was taken up in by a philanthropic group known as the Associates of Dr. Thomas Bray. The group applied for a royal charter, which was granted in The charter created the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America, and Burton was named in the charter as a founding Trustee. Given Burton's close relationship with Oglethorpe it is likely he participated in framing the elaborate design of its economic system and settlement plan see The Oglethorpe Plan.

The humanistic principles upon which Georgia was founded were underscored in the Trustees' first annual sermon, which was delivered by Burton. Burton described the new colony as one where colonists would "seem in a literal sense to begin the world again. In the sermon, Burton also articulated a policy of "equity and beneficence" toward indigenous Americans. Bray, with an Account of their Proceedings,' a tract often reprinted, on the episcopalian Thomas Bray. Bound in a volume of other contemporary pamphlets. Sabin Excellent Copy. Doddridge, Watts, Rev.

Description de l'article : Various, No Jacket. Various as Detailed. An interesting collection of tracts and other works from the 18th and early 19th centuries contemporaneously bound in boards, Boards Poor, contents Very GoodCondition , including a Wesley Sermon and a work on Quakerism written in In 2 Books - 1.

On the history of the Old Testament. On the history of the New Testament. Published in London Book 1 contains 39 Hymns printed over 30 pages. Book 2 contains 25 Hymns printed over 18 pages. Preface and contents 8 pages. Overall 56 pages. Missing Approximately one half inch from top of the title page and with Boscastle handwritten in coloured pencil on the title page. Printed London With title page,advertisement,2 page preface and 17 pages plus back page advertisement for books lately published by J Phillips.

A to which is added A Soliloquy ob god's wonderful works o9f the creation. Together with advice to the faithful , honest and industrious. The account is taken from Randall's system of geography, printed in Handwritten name of Mary Were at top of title page. Printed London. Noted as No.

An extract from a letter by the late P. Doddridge, D. With Hymn by Watts on back page. By The Rev. A few pencil underlinings and 2 pages have what appears to be a name written in ink in the margins with no effect on legibility. Ink annotation on the blank page backing the title page concerning a sermon given on Good Friday , 16th April This page signed Phillippa Billing and also.

Various Detailed Below. Published by W. Faden for the Charity. Vendeur : J. Patrick McGahern Books Inc. Description de l'article : London. Etat : Near Fine. ABPC - only 1 listing, for the 1st edition, WorldCat, only 1 listing for this issue. On the10th of August in in London's Goodman's Fields the Magdalen Charity,avowedly dedicated to the reform and rehabilation of penitent prostitutes, began its formal operation. Up to this time an organized secular charity for such a purpose was unprecedented in England.

The chief motive for this novel venture was declared to be compassion for fallen women. Robert Dingley, was the prime mover in organizing the Magdalen,. Knaplock and D. Midwinter Description de l'article : London: R. Midwinter, Etat de la jaquette : Very Good. Octavo, pp. No spine label. Half-title is present and the text is very fresh for its age with white pages. The rear hinge is a little weak and shaken, but an excellent contemporary copy usually found rebound or in later bindings.

Housed and chemised in a quarter morocco slipcase with marbled boards and a green morocco label by the Heritage Bindery which will insure protection. British clergyman Francis Hutchinson was "the man who gave the coup de grace to the witch delusion in England" Robbins , leveling "a final and deadly blow at the dying superstition" Notestein. Hutchinson's landmark work on Witchcraft is "full of valuable historical details, with many particulars collected by personal inquiry from survivors" DNB , and features "a chronological table [including] those who were burnt as witches in New England" Allibone, Leather Bound.

Etat : Fine in Slipcase. First Edition, 13 Maxims issue. Small oblong quarto, original full dark burgundy morocco with Satyr's Head stamped in black on front cover, the spine with two raised bands and titled in gilt, gold-silver and black hand-marbled endpapers, black headbands. Letterpress printed in red, black and gold. The binding is the same as the Deluxe Edition, but instead of an oak box the book is housed in a black cloth slipcase gilt-blocked with a device of the Satyr's Head, on one side. The other side of the slipcase is pocketed, to contain the Corpus Satyri letterpress Talisman.

The edition is accompanied by a small card slip printed in maroon and yellow on heavy goldenrod paper stock which states in part "This reserve edition of 'The Satyr's Sermon was bound on May 15, from the remaining thirteen text blocks of that title. In correspondence with the publisher in , it was explained that there were actually 14 copies bound and slipcased as the 'Thirteen Maxims' edition, one copy was an overrun and left unnumbered. This is that copy. Fine in slipcase with Talisman and printed slip, as issued.

Completed in early , the Sermon formed a portion of the "Monadic Transmission" series of texts originally issued in hand-written, hand-illustrated editions of one copy only.