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TH 700 C - History of Spirituality

Fr. Baskar Amalraj Gnanapragasam, CMF

Introduction Spirituality and its definitions The word Spirituality derives from the Latin spiritualitas, an abstract word related to spiritus and spiritus, which were used to translate Pauls Pneuma and Pneumaticos. To be spiritual means to know, and to live according to the knowledge, that God is present to us in grace as the principle of personal, interpersonal, social, and even cosmic transformation. The humans are not only alive by the transcendental principle, but, in their own personalities, consciously aware of, in touch with, and motivated by, that principle of life. Since God is not present to Christians alone, spirituality is not exclusively Christian. There are various spiritualities. (e.g. Buddist, hindu). Christian Spirituality (Ch.S) has to do with our way of being Christian, in response to the Holy Spirit. It is life in the Holy Spirit who incorporates the Christian into the Body of Jesus Christ, through whom the Christian has access to God the Creator in a life of faith, hope, love, and service.1 According to Paul spirit ( Pneuma) is opposed to flesh2. This opposition for Paul, is not between the incorporeal and the corporeal, but between two ways of life. Thus, ones body and ones psychic soul can, like ones spirit, be spiritual led by the Spirit. If they are opposed to Spirit, they can be carnal. Ch.S, therefore, is Trinitarian,Christological, eclesialogical, pneumatological, and eschatological. It is rooted in the life of Triune God, centred on Jesus Christ, situated in the Church, ever responsive to the H.Sp., and oriented always to the coming of Gods reign in all its fullness at the end of human history. Ch. S is also visionary, Sacramental, relational, and transformational. Ch.S. is visionary in that it involves a new way of seeing reality and of seeing through thing to their spiritual core, of thus, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual (1Cor2:13). Not learned from human philosophy, but of spirituality. Ch.S. is Sacramental. Every created reality is imbued, to one degree or another, with the hidden presence of God. Therefore, it is sacramental. Ch.S. is also relational, because neither Christian life nor human life itself is ever isolated existence. We are relational beings: belongings in relation to God, neighbour, world, and to self. To be human is to live in community. To be Christian is also to live in community, i.e. the church. It demands sensitivity to the presence, the needs, and the gifts of others, as well as to the created goods of the earth. Finally, Ch. S. is transformational. The spiritual Christian is consciously in touch with the presence of the Spirit as the Power which heals, reconciles,
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McBrien, R., Catholicism, Geofrey Chapman, London, 1994, 1020 Gal 3:3.

renews, gives life, bestows peace, sustains hope, brings joy, and creates unity. Ch.S. requires therefore the Spirit be allowed to work through the instrumentality of the individual and of the Church so that the transformation of the world into the Reign of God might occur. It takes place in the modern days through experience of women, the poor , socially marginalized and the global outreach of spiritual experience. And there is a change going on. Critical thought on spiritualities: Although we speak of many spiritualities, it is the Spirituality given to us in the manifestation of the Economic Trinity. As an answer to that divine gift in grace we also respond to God like Mary, humble servant (icon of the Church) to the Word of God. As a continuation, the people of God ( Qajal Yahveh) throughout the centuries respond to God in faith as bride to Bridegroom. The whole process is also called spirituality. It can be Christocentric contemplation, Theo-centric contemplation which draws near to God through the contemplation of His creatures. The Experience of God The term experience denotes the impression and immutation of a conscious rational subject from actual contact with things, from living through an event or events. Every experience would seem to involve at once cognitional and appetitive (both emotional & volitional) elements, with the latter, however, predominating; experience is not mere knowing but more a matter of being affected by the object. As such it is largely subjective with emphasis upon affectivity. The experience is not limited to the mere passive immutation of the subject but includes as well his vital responses, especially the spontaneous ones. It may be collective or individual, natural or supernatural. The powerful experiences in human life lack words to communicate them to others. It can be unique to each one in different context. It is also limited according to space, time, and context in which one lives. Religious experience is thus some sort of awareness of and response to the divine, largely achieved in terms of discerning the divine presence or ones total dependence upon divinity. This may be immediate or mediated, but is necessarily subjective either entirely so or with the varying degrees of foundation in external reality and historicity. It is opposed to abstract rational thought and not infrequently accompanied by such phenomena as revelation, inspiration, visions, apparitions, elevations, etc. How does a Christian experience God? Christian lives first of all this experience of God in the existential level. By Baptism every Christian is plunged into the lived experience of life in the Spirit, spirituality includes this experience to all Christians. The Holy Spirit gives him or her gifts of faith, hope, and charity, wisdom, liberty and so on. (Gal 5:25ff) This divine experience has got 4 levels of positions as object, quality, possessive, and identification. As object, a spiritual person searches for 2

God and approaches HIM. It is a qualitative and deeper experience. One experiences HIM and could say, It is Christ who lives in me . It is possessive. The spiritual person goes out of himself or herself to possess God. In other words, God possesses him or her totally. (Mt 13:44). It involves also identification with the Object (God). Subject identifies with the Object (God). In mystical language it is called divine marriage.g Three levels: Although Ch.S. as a lived experience must be personal, this experience is neither received nor lived in isolation. Each person is introduced into a particular social and cultural set up which presents Christian ideals and approaches in a unique way. Hence a second level of Christian spirituality is developed as a group, or schools of spiritualities in different centuries which mark plurality of the experience of God. In the third level, this experience is studied academically in schools and colleges. The Language of the Religious experience The verbal language itself has its own literary generic forms; speeches, poems, symbolic expressions, words with new significations. When we come to express the religious experience, what does it really mean when we speak of experience of God? There is a possible ineffability of the experience: to feel, to read, to speak, and to be silent. Like all other forms of language, religious language operates in a system of interacting networks: grammatical, semantic, pragmatic; that is, the network of words, of meanings, and of usage. The language of religious experience, arising out of personal experience of God, accepts divine existence as a given and seeks existential appropriation of the transcendental world available to devotees of a tradition. The language of religious experience can and should be examined with the categories of linguistic science in order to determine its appropriateness to context, or, more accurately, the half-hidden and extra religious suasions governing its use. We need hermeneutical tools to interpret them for the spiritual life.

Chapter 1. Spirituality of the Early Fathers (II- VII cent.)

1.0. Introduction: In this chapter we would deal about the spirituality of the early Christians which are expressed in different ways by the early fathers in their writings and spiritual conferences. Before that, we would deal briefly about its origin in the Holy Bible which is the Word of God that reveals to man his high destiny and also answers mans innate desire to rise from a fallen condition and to experience the divine.

1.1. Biblical Origins:

A) Old Testament: The Jewish religion was above all the religion of the covenant. This covenant was the source of unshakable trust in Gods divine power and of the nearness of God, who condescended to make Himself the companion of His people. The prayers of the Jewish religion were permeated with the sense of Gods nearness and at the same time of His elevation. We can point out certain salient features of O.T. spirituality: i) The presence of God:3 The O.T. gives much importance for the presence of God. Hymns, Psalms are sung and prayers offered before Yahweh, a metaphor drawn perhaps from the language of the royal court. Sacrifices, cultic worship, and choral singing take place in the presence of God in the manner of a Royal command of Performance. For psalmist, Gods presence is so essential that no merely earthly good can compare with it: to be with God is better than riches, and no amount of material well-being can be worth having if Gods presence is withdrawn.4 It is clear that for the psalmists themselves, this was not a question of setting ones hopes on heaven: the sense of the presence of God operates on a wholly this-worldly level. But the idea that to live in the presence of God is better than literally any kind of earthly prosperity. The Torah sets out the terms on which God will be with his people; the histories show from concrete examples how his presence can be forfeited, and how gracious must be the God who never lets his absence from an unworthy people become permanent; and the psalms reflect on all these aspects of presence and absence as they affect both the worshipping community and the individual at prayer. The presence of Yahweh is symbolically expressed through natures; fire, lightning, the earthquake, and as the Word of Yahweh5. ii) The hiddenness of God: There are a few passages in the O.T. where the presence of God is experienced not as a blessing, but as a threat, where God is actually besought to hide his face (Ps.51:9). In Ps 39:13 asks God to look away, not to take such an obsessive interest in his worshipper, to give him a little space in which to be himself for a while. In other places, of course, Gods hiddenness is experienced as a punishment; the righteous can live in his presence, but sinners cannot bear the full force of it (Ps. 5:4-6) and have to suffer its withdrawal.

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JONES, C., The study of Spirituality, Oxford University press, New York, 1986, 55ff. Ps. 73: 23-26. Cf. 1 Kg 19, & Ex 19:9; 20:18, Ps 29:3, Job 37:5

The problem of seeing God has to be understood in a deeper way. Moses could see only Gods back. The O.T. maintains that God is hidden, not through any weakness or inadequacy, but because of his very glory and the unworthiness of his human creatures. Yet the God who is hidden from sight in the cloud of His own glory can be known by the person who does not seek to see him, but rather to obey His will6. iii) Torah-mysticism: It consists in not only keeping the Law, but also meditating the Law, in other words to recite it prayerfully to oneself in the presence of God, and to study it, pondering lovingly over every word, even over every letter. The book of Deuteronomy seems deeply imbued with the same desire to see the Law filling the minds and hearts of its readers (Deut 11: 18-25). It is the Old Testaments answer to the question of how humankind is to arrive at the practice of the presence of God. iv) Prayer life: Moses, Jeremiah, Job and Abraham are men of examples for prayer life in the O.T. They could speak to God with a freedom and directness that ordinary worshippers would not dare to claim for themselves. We find four aspects of prayer in them. They are namely: Intercession, arguing with God, the vision of God, and the absence of God. Intercession: This term implies a peculiar closeness to God, and that is seen clearly in the prophets powers of mediation between God and his people-in bringing them messages from God, certainly, but also in interceding for them with God (Gen 20:7, Amos 7:1-6, Jer 7:16, 15:1). Moses in particular spends much time in praying for his people, and sometimes succeeds in changing Gods mind even when it seemed quite made up (Ex 32: 7-14, Num 14:13-25). Arguing with God: It is a matter of using all possible arguments in order to persuade God of Justice for ones cause, and of the benefit to himself of acceding to ones request.(Gen18:25). Moses argues that God will get a bad name as a distinctly second-rate divinity if he allows his own people to perish (Ex 32: 11-12). Jeremiah demands that he has to avoid the suspicion that the moral order has got out of control (Jer 18; 20; 15:15-18). Job uses every type of argument he can think of to compel God to appear and justify his own conduct. The vision of God: In the O.T. God was held to be inherently visible. But it is also possible throughout the O.T. the vision of God has been granted to a few chosen individuals like Moses and so on (Ex 33:20). Moses could see the back of God and God talked to Moses face to face (Ex 33:11). The vision of God is considered as a reward for exceptional gifts of obedience and leadership, as something which is experienced literally.

Is 57:15: Thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite heart and humble spirit.

The absence of God: There are prayers in the O.T. which are notable for speaking the absence of God. Jobs complaints can be summed up by saying that he is acutely aware of Gods absence, and calls on God to appear, to become present, to make himself known. But Moses also confronts the possibility that Gods presence is not with his people any longer (Ex 33:12-16); and the prophets are presented as fearful that the divine presence may have departed from them. B. New Testament: Christ is the realization and the fulfilment of all that had been promised and signified by the word and action of God in the history of salvation from Adam to the last of the prophets. Christ is the embodiment of authentic spirituality. Christian spiritual life is to participate in the mystery of Christ. The Christian life is centred in Christ and is participated in the mystery of Christ. Through the mystery of Christ each Christian is called to participate in the mystery of the Holy trinity. The gospel message is valid for all centuries. The gospel spirituality must be lived by particular persons at a particular and in a particular place. To be in Christ is to be a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). It is to be brought to life with Christ when we were dead through our trespasses (Eph 2:5). It is to have God living in us because God lives in Christ (Jn 17:23). And Christ lives in us (Jn 17:16). It is through the death and resurrection of Jesus that we are liberated from sin and for new life (Rom 6:3-11). Jesus was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. We are given the Holy Spirit who impels us to love God and our neighbours. The Christian spirituality consists in charity. It is briefly described that one is converted to God through faith and baptism in the Holy Spirit, and love of God and neighbour in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

1.2. The Apostolic Fathers: (Patristic spirituality)

a) The context and back-ground of the Patristic Period: (II-VII centuries) Christianity in this period included persons of many cultures and currents of thought, from indigenous Syriac-speaking communities in Mesopotamia to native Celtic Christians in Ireland. But most Christians lived in the Roman Empire, and therefore Patristic spirituality was greatly influenced by the political history of imperial Rome and the cultural legacy of ancient Greece. The spirituality is deeply shaped by several factors: The threat of persecution by Roman officials The communal nature of Christian liturgical services The influence of Greek philosophical thought. We can say that the principal consideration Ch.S. in the beginning was the problem of eschatology, the expectation of Christs second coming. Later it was realized that the Christian life is situated in a paradoxical intermediate state. In the risen Christ, the Church has already gained

everything that it is to possess after the last times. We can divide into three phase: a) The beginnings (2nd-3rd centuries), b) The Golden age of patristic thought (4th-5th centuries), c) the late patristic period (6th-7th centuries). b) The Apostolic Fathers: The Apostolic Fathers are the ones who either known the apostles themselves or had known persons closely associated with them. They were the early writers who transmitted the teaching of the apostles. Their writings are few. They are namely BARNABAS, ST.CLEMENT OF ROME, HERMAS, ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH, ST. POLYCARP OF SMYRNA. BARNABAS: was one of the ancient writers, the companion of St. Paul. He was the author of letter of Barnabas,7 in which he gives allegorical interpretation of O. T. It is written in A.D.70/79. And insists that Christ is the culmination of the law and the prophets, affirms that the covenant belongs exclusively to the followers of Christ. ST.CLEMENT OF ROME (A.D. 80 (92-101): He was the third successor of St. Peter, as Bishop of Rome. He addressed a letter 8 to the Church of Corinth in 95 or 96. The church of Corinth was divided by proud, ambitious, and envious members. St. Clement pleads for a return to peace and unity in the name of the Christ, who shed his blood for our salvation. HERMAS (140/155 A.D.): He is the author The shepherd9, a work which is appreciated by St. Irenaeus, Tertullian and Origen. It consists of five visions and 12 precepts and 10 parables. It offers rather complete description of the daily life of fervent Christians in the early Church. St. Ignatius of Antioch ( + A.D.110)10 St. Ignatius was the third Bishop of Antioch, Succeeding St. Evodius, who was the immediate successor of St. Peter. He is accounted an Apostolic Father by reason of his having been a hearer of the Apostle John. During the reign of Emperor Trajan (98-117 A.D.) and probably about the year 110 A.D., he was sentenced to the beasts in the arena. On his journey from Antioch to Rome he wrote seven letters, his only extant authentic writings. Almost everything of the little that is known of him must be gleaned from these letters, addressed to the Christian communities at Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralles, Rome, Philadelphia, and Smyrna, and a personal one Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna11. St. Polycarp of Smyrna (A.D. 69/70 A.D. 155/156)
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Cf. JURGENS, A. W., The faith of the early fathers,(Vol.I), TPI, Bangalore, 2002, 13-16. Ibid 7-12. 9 Cf. JURGENS, A. W., The faith of the early fathers,(Vol.I), TPI, Bangalore, 2002, 32. 10 Ibid.17-28. 11 Ibid.17-26.

St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, is one of the Apostolic Fathers, having been a hearer of the Apostle of St. John; and he is the same Polycarp to whom one of the seven Ignatian letters is addressed. He died as martyr at the age of 86 in the year 155 or 156 A.D. 1.3. The features of Christian Spirituality in this period: 1. Martyrdom and Persecution: Martyrdom was for the first Christian generations the ideal instance of union with Christ in trial, leading to perfect union with Him in the life of charity. The writings like letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch, letters of St. Polycarp of Smyrna, Origens exhortation on martyrdom explain the reality and meaning of Martyrdom for Christian life. It was seen as a way of becoming especially close to Christ. St. Ignatius says, Come fire, cross, battling with the wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs, crushing of my whole body, cruel tortures of the devil-only let me get to Jesus Christ.12 Christian martyrdom was viewed as sacrifice to God in a manner analogous to Christs own sacrifice.13 It was also seen as a direct combat with the devil. Readiness for martyrdom was considered incumbent on all Christians due to his baptismal vow. It was an ideal than a reality in later centuries due to various reasons. Church acknowledged that less rigorous standards were appropriate to most Christians. After the persecutions, martyrdom was substituted in a different way. Origen maintained that a fervent preparation for death, being a life of selfsacrifice, could be a true though unbloody martyrdom. Clement of Alexandria pointed out that anyone could make his death martyrdom if he prepared for it with the fitting dispositions. 2. Communal Spirituality While not all Christians were called to martyrdom, participation in the liturgical rites of baptism and Eucharist was the sine qua non of Christian existence. Ignatius of Antioch frequently stressed the importance of attendance at the Eucharist to maintain Christian unity when the danger of heresy was present. Around the year 150, Justin described the communal prayers, greeting, the Eucharistic meal, and the weekly collection that Christians share each Sunday. The presider sees to it that the offering is distributed to orphans, widows, the sick, prisoners, and guests in the community. Christian liturgy, therefore, flowed into Christian charity. 3. Christ centred Spirituality: Early Christian Spirituality was Christocentric. Because the words and deeds of Christ were still fresh in the mind of Christians and they lived in anticipation of the return of Christ. It was experienced in the liturgical
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Letter to the Romans, 6 Martyrdom of Polycarp 14.

context of Eucharist, prayer and homily. The Christological emphasis was noteworthy in the writings of the saints. St. Ignatius recognized the unity between Christ and the church and urges his readers to imitate Christ in order to be united with Him. My Charter is Jesus Christhis cross and his death and resurrection, and faith through him; wherein I hope to be justified.14 4. Eschatological: The Early Christians were vigilantly preparing for the parousia. It was fortified by a literal interpretation of Revelation 20:1-10. Consequently they experienced the tension of living in an intermediate state; and they lived as if they were in the last days. For example, Didache quotes, Watch your life. Let not your lamps be quenched, not your loins be loosed, but be ready, for we know not the hour, in which our lord will come.15 5. Ascetical16: Following the teaching of St. Paul, St. Ignatius of Antioch had urged the imitation of Christ as a duty for all Christians. They were renowned for the virtues of fraternal charity, humility, patience, obedience, chastity and the practice of prayer. To cultivate and safeguard these virtues, they were to resort to the practices of austerity and separation from the world. Eventually the forms of asceticism were the practice of celibacy, and the continence of widows. St. Clement of Rome praised charity as bond of perfection. 6. Liturgical: Ch. Sp. was liturgical. The focal point of the liturgical life was the Eucharist and nothing is more revealing both of the newness of Christianity and also of its permanent root in the ground of Jewish spirituality than an examination of the Eucharistic formulas left to us by the primitive Church as compared with those of Judaism 17. According to the Acts of the Apostles, three important rites namely baptism, imposition of hands and the breaking of the bread dominated the liturgy of apostolic times. The most solemn ceremony of Christianity was the breaking of the bread, done in the memory of the Last supper as Christ had commanded. They also remembered the second coming of Christ in it. 7. Gnosticism & Antignostics:
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Letter to philadelphians, 8. Didache, 16. 16 Ascetical is understood in its original meaning of the practice and growth of the virtues rather than acts of austerity and self-denial. 17 L. Bouyer, The Spirituality of the New Testament and the Fathers, tr. M.P.Ryan, Desclee, New York, 1960,176.

The growth and expansion of the Church during the first centuries did not proceed without conflict. The Church was beset by internal crises caused by heresy, schism and controversies. Gnosticism plagued the Church for many centuries. It influenced very much the writings of the saints. Gnosticism is a religious philosophy which is characterized by the doctrine that salvation is achieved through knowledge. Their God is unknown who is not the creator of the World. Man can not know really know Him. The creator of the world is called demiurge. God and the universe are opposed. Matter is essentially evil, for they represent separation from the alien God. Man is composed of 3 elements: Material body, a soul (psyche), and Spirit (Pneuma). Hylics are those dominated by body, psychics are those dominated by soul. Pneumatics are those who in the spirit or the divine spark and who are destined to rejoin the divine world to which they belonged, once they had been liberated from this world. It was a popular current of thought that denigrated the material world and its Creator and posited a nonmaterial, otherworldly form of salvation. They denied the humanity of Christ, avoided the Eucharist, and did not extend charity to the poor, denied the Christian martyrdom. It thought to find salvation simply in the recognition of a radical opposition between the world of spirit, fundamentally good, and the world of matter, imperfect. Salvation is by an assimilation of esoteric knowledge. There were also other philosophical theories influenced Christianity such as : Platonism, Stoicism. Platos theory of Forms or Ideas as eternal, and matter is mutable, temporal. The soul rises to God from physical matter to eternal bliss. The Stoic ethical ideal of freedom from irrational passions (apatheia) was likewise deemed compatible with the Christian moral life. a) St. Justin (A.D. 100/110-ca.165): St. Justin was born at Flavia Neapolis in the year 100 and 110 A.D. As a young man, he attached to the various philosophical schools and finally came to Christianity. According to him, Christianity is one, true and universal religion because the truth is fully manifested in Jesus Christ. Even the Greek philosophers are not entirely contrary to Christian truth. But he insists that the natural reason is not sufficient for attaining salvation. One also needs interior grace and external revelation. Thus he defended and explained the truths of revelation by reason. His starting point is the revelation of truth and acceptance of that truth through faith. b) St. Irenaeus (A.D.140-202) He was born in Smyrna, where he was disciple of Polycarp. He later moved to Gaul, and became Bishop of Lyons in 177. His famous work is Against Heresis in which he refuted the errors of Marcion, who taught a 10

heretical dualism and denied the humanity of Christ. St. Irenaeus presents a synthesis of orthodox teaching. He insisted on the incarnation as a principle of recapitulation of all things, material and spiritual. He rested his case on the deposit of faith as found in the Scripture and apostolic tradition of the church. We are not simply spiritual beings, but as spiritual human beings which involve the body as well as spirit and we are to be united with God. Human life is the blend of flesh and spirit and Gods power is shown in the weakness of flesh. The salvation of flesh is the goal of creation and redemption. This flesh is the image of God and the Spirit who imparts the image of God. Christ unsnarled the tragedy of the fall again , by passing through all the stages of human life. But sin is not a total disaster. God wanted humanity to be appreciative of its creator, and by coming to know evil as well as good, human beings do become more appreciative of the good and of the God from whom it comes. As regarding creation God shapes humanity out of frail matter with his two hands, the Word and the Spirit, which have been at work on humanity from the beginning and are still engaged in bringing it gradually to perfection. In Christ the union between flesh and Spirit, humanity and God, is effected, in him the two parties become, as it were, acclimatized with each other. This is why any denial of the humanity or Godhead of Christ is disastrous. Unless God and humanity are united in him, we have no hope. Irenaeus stresses human freedom. Sin is due to the wrong use of freedom and that our service of God must be voluntary. The great acknowledgment of our creator is the proper exercise of our freedom. But we cannot achieve perfection simply by the exercise of free will. It is our part to be made while making belongs to God. It is silly to be divine before we are even human. The grateful acknowledgement of our creator is the proper exercise of our freedom 1.4. The Postnicenian fathers of the Fourth Centuries: Monastic Spirituality in the East: Monasticism had its roots in the New Testament where some early Christians embraced celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom(Mt 19:12) and in postapostolic Syria, where ascetics, inspired by Lukes gospel(9;60), sought to imitate the poor, homeless, and celibate Jesus. The early 4 th century witnessed an explosion of enthusiasm for various forms of the ascetic life. The old ideal of the Christian martyr was transformed into the new ideal of the Christian monk. What are the reasons of monks leaving for desert? First, the Church was persecuted very much and later King Constantine embraced Christianity in 312. When the State made its peace with Church, Christians returned to deserts to follow up the ideals of Christ. They went to the desert to fight against devil. Solitude allowed them to discover and face all the obscure forces they bore within themselves. It was to find simplicity of life in order to focus more sharply on the demands of the gospel. 11

In Syria, for example, various hermits used iron chain to punish themselves; others exposed themselves heedlessly to the elements. Gradually the hermits were joined by others, and a transition was made from the solitary form of monastic existence ( anchoritism) under the guidance of a abbot (spiritual father) to a modified community existence (cenobitism). Thus, they were two types: the eremitical life of the hermits or anchorites and the cenobitic life of monks. In the beginning the abbot had no official function. Almost from the beginning, therefore, a monastic life was looked upon as a continuation of apostolic life: Perseverance together in prayer, in the community of goods, and in the breaking of the bread. The practice of consecrating virgins also developed at this time as yet another way of achieving fuller union with Christ and the Church. Two figures dominate the first generation of monastic heroes, who are namely St. Antony the hermit and Pachomius, founder of monastic communities. a) St. Antony, the hermit (+356) who retired to the solitary life at the age of twenty and died at the age of 105. The life of Antony, written by St.Athanasius in 357, is the most important source of information on the eremitical life. St.Antony taught that meditation on the last things strengthens the soul against ones passions and against the devil. If Christians would live each day as if they were to die that day, they would never sin. In the struggle against the devils wiles, the unfailing weapons are faith, prayer, and fasting and the Sign of the Cross. An individual may flee from the world, but in the desert he will be brought face to face with his own sinfulness and the devil. Another important lesson from him is that the hermit seeks both interior and exterior solitude in order to give himself completely to God. One who has practiced total detachment can experience the full force of charity, otherwise he may fall into pride, self-love. Many approached him for his austerity and for spiritual advice. In the desert of Scete, Macarius of Egypt18(+390) and his disciples led and even more solitary life. Macarius as regarding prayer life he warns that the absorption in mystical joys may be a temptation against fraternal charity. And if praying people disdain or neglect the humble brethren who provide for their bodily needs, their prayer becomes devilish. It is the Holy Spirit, who is the essential maker of our progress. But we also need to struggle, because this is the sign that we are serious in praying for grace. So the effort of our own is our own will is necessary as well as our prayer. Thus the anchorites influenced even on those of Syria where the solitaries became eccentric to the extreme. In Palestine the ascetics attach themselves to holy places to protect and to carry on divine worship. b) Pachomius: (+346)




The Cenobitic life was introduced by Pachomius who was born at Esna, near Thebes. In 318, after having served in the army and then having for some time under the guidance of the monk Palamon, he settled on the north of Thebes. He founded many monasteries which were considered as little towns with many monks, surrounded by a wall. He founded a monastery of nuns at the other side of the bank of river. The life style of the monastery was that each monk has to obey to an abbot. Meals and prayers were community exercises. He introduced the period of postulancy, novitiate before entering fully into monastic life for the young men. In the Pachomian monasteries Superiors were giving conferences regularly to the monks. Manual tasks, silence during meals were strictly followed. Pachomius died in 346 and later monasticism took new turn under the leadership of St. Basil (330- 379) from an ascetical life to the life of availability to all with a school of intellectual. He was considered as father of monasticism of East. He considered the monastic life as a logical commitment made by the Christian at Baptism. There were no two perfections, but only one perfection made at Baptism. The three Cappadocian fathers namely St. Basil, Gregory of Nazianzen, and St.Gregory of Nyssa who contributed a lot to the life of monasticism. C) St. Gregory of Nyssa (331- 394 ca): He is the brother of St. Basil. As a young man he started a school of rhetoric and later married. After the death of his wife he entered into a monastery of St. Basil. In 371 he was ordained as Bishop of Nyssa and dedicated himself to ecclesiastical affairs and became the great leader of the Church till his death in 394. He was well versed in Platonic philosophy and was also gifted speculative theology, who introduced several new ideas to Christian Spirituality. His Writings: His dogmatic works were directed to the refutation of the Arian heresy and the Christological heresy of Apollinaris, and an explanation of the Catholic belief in the Trinity. His spiritual and mystical writings are: De vita moysis19,(The life of Moses), De virginitate20 (On Virginity), De instituto Christiano, (The teaching on Christian spirituality). We find in his writings the concepts, terminology borrowed from Greek Philosophy. His Spiritual thoughts: He accepted the duality of matter and spirit, but he prefers the Pauline and theological duality of the will of the sinner and the will of God. The integration of two extremes can be effected only through the sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist. The perfection of Christian consists, therefore in the participation in the mystery of Christ. It is through the knowledge of truth or gnosis which is understood as the
19 20

PG 44, 297-430. PG 46, 317-416.


knowledge of the distinction between good and evil or true good and apparent good. It is revealed in the Word of God which is inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is beautifully further explained in the commentary on the Song of songs. He describes the three stages in which God revealed himself to Moses: first in the light of the burning bush, then in the cloud of the exodus, and finally in the total darkness. Similarly, the soul first finds God in the visible things of creation; but as the soul advances, the intellect serves as a cloud to cover everything sensate so that the soul may be prepared to contemplate that which is hidden; and when the soul has abandoned all earthly things, so far as is possible to human nature, it enters the sanctuary of the knowledge of God, completely enveloped in the divine darkness. It is the presence of God in darkness that St. Gregory calls true theology (theognosis). In the Life of Moses, he describes the revelation at the Burning Bush, and then Moses two ascents of Mt. Sinai, the first into the cloud, the second into the darkness where he asked to see God face to face. Moses moves from the revelation of light, to the darkness of the cloud, and beyond that to the thick darkness where God dwells. Souls ascent to God is its drawing closer and closer to one who is utterly different from it, one who is absolutely unknowable because there is no relationship between Creator and the creatures. The souls ascent to God is an ascent into the divine darkness. Plunged into the dark, we feel terror and giddiness. In the dark we cannot see and he tries to express the experience of divine darkness by drawing on the analogy of the other senses: of smell, taste and touch. This obscure sense of presence is understood as the souls awareness of her being the object of Gods love, a love which awakens within herself a passionate response of love as she senses the beauty of God which transcends any apprehension21. The Mysticism of the divine darkness in which the soul is united to love with the unknowable God is the summit of the spirituality of the Cappadocians. D) Pseudo- Dionysius (+ 500): He probably a Syrian monk who identified himself with Dionysius the Areopagite, mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles 17:34. His famous writings are : De Caelesti Hierarchia (Of celestial Hierachy) De Ecclesiastica Hierachia (Of Ecclesial Hierachy) De Mystica Teologa (Of Mystical Theology)- Which deals of divine darkness and the necessity of total detachment in order to be united with God De Divinis nominibus (Of divine names)


The bride then puts the veil from her eyes, and with pure vision sees the ineffable beauty of her Spouse. And thus she is wounded by a spiritual and fiery dart of love (eros). For agape that is strained to intensity is called erosThe bride glories in her wound, for the point of this spiritual yearning has pierced to the depths of her heart. And this she makes clear when she says to the other maidens: I am wounded with love (C xiii: 1048 CD)


His theological method was positive theology and negative theology. And he explains it in his writing of Mystical theology. He says that no sensible or imaginative image can lead man to knowledge of God (theology). These images are obstacles. God can be known by the intellect or by mystical contemplation. The former is called the demonstrative or apodictic theology and the latter is called a mystical theology that is supernatural and intuitive. This demonstrative theology is of two kinds: affirmative and negative theology. Positive theology or affirmative theology consists in attributing to God all possible being and all perfections. God is all and is everything. Negative theology is the exempt to express the fact that whatever be our concepts of God, they are more expressive of what God is not than what he is; they fall far too short of the God who is unknowable, transcendent and mysterious. Consequently, our knowledge of God by negation is often more accurate than our affirmative theology, and this is so because the negation of our images of God purifies our concept of God. Thus, all the goodness of created things is likewise found in God (affirmative theology), but the goodness of God is infinite and therefore it is not the same as the goodness in created things (negative theology) He had the platonic schema in which he insisted that the soul finds union with God only in going beyond itself, by rejecting all particular knowledge and allowing itself to be absorbed totally in the knowledge of God whose intra-Trinitarian life of love overflows in a stream of selfcommunicating goodness in creation. Thus the spiritual life is divided into three stages: a) Purification (The purgative way) b) Meditation on the Word of God (the illuminative way) c) And union with God (the Unitive way) The same three functions are performed by the liturgy, the clergy and the faithful. Baptism is the sacrament of purification. The Eucharist is the sacrament of illumination. Confirmation is the sacrament that perfects the graces of baptism. Mystical theology according to him is the intuitive knowledge of the revealed truths of Scripture and the experience of divine realities, either in those revealed truths or in the Eucharistic liturgy. How is it experience in the contemplation? It involves three things: suspension of all sensible and intelligible images, and entrance into darkness and obscurity, and the vision of God and intimate union with Him. 1.5. Monastic Spirituality in the West: a) John Cassian (360 - 435)22 :


AUMANN, J., Christian Spiriuality in the Catholic Tradition, Ignatius press, SanFrancisco, 1985, 59-61. & JONES C., The study of spirituality, Oxford University Press, New York, 1986, 145-148.


With his friend Germanus, he entered a monastery in Bethlehem in his youth, and after a short time he went with Germanus to visit the monks in Egypt. He visited famous monasteries of Cells, Egypt and so on. He was then ordained as deacon by St. John Chrysosten in 400. And he was ordained as priest in 415. His works are: Three books on monks dress and psalmody A book on the rules appropriate to a monastery Eight books on the eight principal faults Three books of conferences. He translated the purer form of Eastern monasticism to the West. The Monk is not to seek anything beyond the Kingdom of God, and only purity of heart will open the mystery of the Kingdom to him. The essence of perfection is charity and the perfection of Charity is reached by the way of asceticism. To attain the perfection of contemplative love the monk has to pass through thee phases : Rejection of all pleasures and riches of the world Renunciation of ourselves-vices, wicked habits, untruly affections of spirits and flesh Withdraw oneself from sensible things and seeing at heaven. The first fruit of asceticism is the gift of contemplative prayer. And for Christians there can be no prayer without virtues and no virtues without prayer. There are 4 kinds of prayer: a) prayer that asks pardon for sins (beginners), b) the prayer that makes good resolutions to God (one who progressives in sp. Life) c) prayer for the salvation of souls (it is done by those who have grown in charity and love of neighbour) d) prayer of thanksgiving (it is done by those who contemplate God) it is called prayer of fire. Christian life is one of constant prayer wholly inspired by the Gospel. b) St. Augustine of Hippo ( A.D. 354- 430) Biography: Augustine was born at Tagaste in Numidia on Nov 13. 354. His father was Patrick, a civil official of Tagaste who embraced Chrisitanity shortly before his death in 371. Her mother was Monica, daughter of Christian family and a model of virtue. In 371 he went to pursue more advanced rhetorical studies. In 372 he had a son Adeodatus who was born of a concubine. In 374 he joined Manichean sect, fleeing all the while from the Christ he could not escape. And he finally abandoned Manicheism. In 383 he obtained a position as teacher of rhetoric in Milan. He was much impressed by the preaching of Ambrose. And he was baptised in April of 387 at the hands of St.Ambrose. For nearly 3 years Augustine lived a monastic life at Tagaste. His son died during that time. In 391 He was ordained to the Priesthood by Bp of Valerius of Hippo. And he was ordained as Bp of Hippo. 16

His writings: His writings are no less remarkable than his life. His famous works are as follow: a) His Confessions, - It is autobiographical information. b) His City of God - It constitutes the earliest known theology of History. His corrections in which he pronounces judgment on the effectiveness individually of all his previous writings. Of all the Fathers, none wrote so well or so much as Augustine. He was unique in his time. St. Augustine developed a theology of S.life that was rooted in charity, perfected in Wisdom and intimately united to Christ and the Church. Context: Pelagianism, Manicheism, and Neo-Platonism were theories which he has to confront them. Pelagianism stress the autonomy of human liberty. Man was created free and freedom is the gift of God, which is essential and without it he can not exist. And therefore man was not affected by Original sin and there was no need of divine grace for the soul. The teachings of Christ assist us to do good and our duty is to do good and there is no need of counsels and prayer of petition. Manicheism23: It is started by Mani (215-276). His teachings are the following points; There are 2 principles- Good and Evil (God & Satan) and both are infinite and have kingdoms. In Each Kingdom there is a hierarchy of Beings- God, 5 tabernacles, angels. Satan has its own kingdoms. A male and female devil are causes the causes of all evil. His spiritual doctrine: a) Out of goodness, God created the world and man; and had a personal relationship with man. HE then endowed them the gifts of immortality and perfect integrity. But man committed sin, for humans are subjected to change and turned from Good. The root of sin was pride. b) As a result, man lost the original state and his love of God was changed into love of self and inclined to evil. Sexual concupiscence became the strong inclination of the flesh. Because of one mans sin, all are sinned, because He is the father of all humanity. Due to Original sin the human race became a mass of corruption. As a result man longs for God and for the good. And without Gods help man can only sin. Therefore, God justifies humans in Christ Jesus and justification and salvation are the works of God. c) The requisite for justification is faith in Christ Jesus and He defended the reality of sanctifying grace against the pelagians. Through Justification the

SHEED, F.J., THE CONFESSIONS OF ST.AUGUSTINE, Sheed &ward , New York, 1942, ix-xi.


soul becomes adopted son or daughter and participates in the divinisation thereby the soul becomes the image of God. d) On regarding his actual grace he is ambivalent. He says that God is the master of all the determinations of the human will. Man is as free with grace as he is without it. Its compatibility depends on the mode of divine government. e) He defended the gratuitousness of grace and the freedom and responsibility of mans cooperation with grace. Therefore man first of all has to be docile to the H. Spirit thr humility, faith and the practice of prayer. Secondly He or she has to respond to the grace through the practice of Charity. It is possible through the purification of souls by the practice of virtues. When the soul reaches its perfection it enjoys its intimate union with God and at this point soul enjoys the true wisdom mystical contemplation. He points out 7 stages thr which Soul passes as it advances to contemplation. They refer to the vegetative, sensitive and rational levels of h. life. The fourth stage is a stage of virtue, accompanied by purification in which a soul makes progress towards perfection. The fifth stage is tranquillity as a result of control of passions. The sixth stage is called entrance into the divine light in which the soul seeks to penetrate the divinity. And the last stage is that stage of habitual union and indwelling. As regarding the active and contemplative phases of life in the world he maintains that no man can be exclusively active or exclusively contemplative. He therefore proposes 3 modes of life: contemplative life, active life and the combination of the two. He promoted cenobitic life and the members were called servants of God and they held all possessions in common. He was himself dependent upon this monastic spirituality as developed and practiced in the East. But he subtly revised it in a more psychological and critical direction. Spiritual discernment does not bring us knowledge of God in Christ so much as self-knowledge in the light of Christ, the interior teacher of wisdom. On the other hand, it was also Augustine who wrote in the city of God: no man must be so committed to contemplation as, in his contemplation, to give no thought to his neighbours needs, nor so absorbed in action as to dispense with the contemplation of God24. His insistence of monastic life was based on the Acts 4:32-35. He emphasised fraternal charity along with other r.vows. c) ST. BENEDICT OF NURSIA(A.D.480- 547) a) Biography: Benedict was born in Nursia about the year 480 and died as abbot around 547. He was from a illustrious family and educated in Rome and later retired to monastic life at Subiaco. Later he was asked to be the Sp. Director of them and later founded 12 monasteries under the direction of himself. b) His contribution to the Spirituality:


Book XIX, Chapter 19.


The Rule of Benedict is the most influential document in all of western monasticism. For it , he was inspired by Pachomius. It consists of prologue and 73 chapters. First seven chapter consists of spiritual doctrine and the rest deals about the regulations and discipline of monastic life. There are 4 types of monks: a) cenobites-who live in cty under a rule or an abbot b) hermits or anchorites are those who have lived in the monastery for a long time and now they can live a life of solitude in the desert. C) Sarabaites are self-willed monks who followed their inclinations without any abbot. D) Gyrovagues are those who constantly move from one place to another. He explains in the first chapters the requirement of a monk obedience, the practice of silence, and humility 25. The rest of chapters explain the plan of life such as liturgical prayer, lectio and manual work. Monks were laymen and later put down details for the admission of priests to the monastic life.

ST.GREGORY THE GREAT (540 604 A.D.) Biography: He was born around 540 of a noble family and became prefect of Rome in 570. He then later converted his home as a monastery on the Coelian Hill and founded many monasteries in Sicily. In 579 he was sent to Constantinople a papal nuncio where he continued to live the monastic life. He was then elected Pope n 590 and reigned for 14 years. During his papacy he wrote many letters for the laity, clergy and monks. He gave superiority to the Contemplative life and he was called doctor of contemplation. He died in 604. His spiritual doctrine: According to him, there are thee stages of progress in spiritual life. In the first stage the Christian strives to combat vices and gain control of the passions. The Second stage is a period of growth in virtue, and especially moral virtues and theological virtues. Finally, all the virtues are brought to their perfection by the actuation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The two lives in which the active life is necessary for salvation- that which pertains to the operations of the moral virtues. But the theological virtues (contem. Life) are necessary for merit. St. Gregory says that the con.life is greater in merit thatn the active. Although the active life is good, the contemplative is better. He realized the difficulty to keep them in proper balance and warns preachers not to abandon contemplation and the service to others. The active life serves as preparation for the con. Life and likewise is a consequence of the contemplative life.


There are 12 steps of humility acc to him. And we find them in our text book: Aumann, J. , Christian Spirituality in the Catholic tradition, Ignatius press, USA, 1985, 71.


He advises all Christians to meditate on the mysteries of Christ , both in his humanity and in his divinity, in his sufferings as well as in his glories. But the work of mans salvation is perfected by the Holy Spirit, whom Christ sent after his ascension to Heaven. There are two classes of the laity: the ordinary faithful and the more fervent or devout Christians. They were taught basic catechism, preparation of marriage and received religious formation. But many were attracted to magic, superstition and the occult. The fervent Christians constitute elite group who group themselves around a ch or monastery and lived a penitential life for their sins. They attended D. Office, practiced private prayer, and a life of austerity. They resembled like third orders. In this epoch, the spirituality of sp. was spi .of monasticism especially Benedictine monasticism. Because many Bps were selected from among the monks. There was slow shift from severe asceticism of the ancient monks to a great extent service to neighbour and manual labour. Yet the individuals who devoted themselves and motivated to the spirit of Penance and a fear of last judgement. The prayer life of this period was still communal and liturgical. Many hymns, litanies in the D.office were composed and the Sp. life of the Christians was nourished by the mass, D. Off, homilies and the reading of the Scripture, and the teachings and sermons of the Fathers of the Church.

CHAPTER 2. THE MIDDLE AGES (VIII- XIV CENTURIES) A) Back-ground and context: In the beginning of seventh and eighth centuries the Church was still carrying along the good activities initiated by St. Gregory the Great. In this period the predominant influence was Benedictine Monasticism. In different countries Ch. Life was renewed by different people like St. Isidore of Seville(+696), Bede the Venerable (+735) in England, and St. Boniface in Germany and in France who based themselves on the teaching of St. Augustine, Gregory the Great and so on.


During the reign of Charlemagne26 (Carlous magnus)(768-814) the liturgy was stabilized, the biblical texts were unified and monasteries played a vital role in all of this renewal and reform under one role. A) St. Benedict of Aniane (750 -821) observed the rule of St. Benedict and imposed lengthy ritual prayers in addition to the Divine office. He composed two documents: a collection of Latin rules, and a commentary of the rule of St. Benedict. B) Hildemar was another reformer who insisted that Ben. Spi. should be characterised by an intense love of Jesus Christ, total renunciation, an awareness of the presence of God, and the virtues of holy fear, obedience and patience. The monk should live a life of prayer and manual labour. The monks gradually moderated their practices of asceticism and gave less importance to manual labour in monasteries. And they concentrated more and more on the liturgy and on lectio divina . As a result, the influence of B. Spir was on the church in the areas of Scripture and the liturgy. Their contribution to the Church was the composition of new hymns, church calendar, and private devotions. And the Eucharist was the centre of attraction at this time. At the end of the Carolingian era the history recounts the seizure of Church power by the laity and other schisms, scandals in the Papacy, simony and sins against celibacy among the clergy and investiture of laymen as abbots of monasteries. Ch was oscillating between decadence and reform. In this juncture there was reform of Cluny 27 in the tenth century in the Be. Spirituality. There was new interpretation of the rule of St. Benedict of Aniane by Cluny. And the reform spread out throughout the Europe. As a result, this reform made impact even on diocesan clergy and laity. The monasteries were freed from domination by the laity and civil power and undue intervention of Bps. Monks dedicated themselves for studies and manual labour was neglected. Eventually this led to a division of choir monks and lay brothers. Monasticism moved into two different directions. St. Romuald founded the camaldolese in 1010 a eremitical life under the Rule of St. Benedict and st. Robert of Molesmes founded Cistercians in 1098 to promote a cenobitic life of greater separation from the world, poverty and strict observance of the Rule of St. Benedict. In this situation we have two men namely for the reform in the Church and in monastic life; a ) John of Fecamp and Peter Damian. Well deal on John of Fecamp. 2.1. Benedictine Spirituality: a) John of Fecamp (1017-1076 A.D)
26 27

Charles the great, who was the king of Franks from 768-814 king of Lombards 774-814) Cluny is mere obstruction, given different meanings at various reforms times and place. Clunic monasticism drew its inspiration from the rule of St. Benedict and the legislation of Benedict of Aniane. Thus, its reforms spread fast. The Popes & feudal authorities entrusted the abbots of cluny, the reform order of older monastries and the foundation of new houses. It is based on consteudines and supported from the reform of simony and unworthy clerics.


He was born near Ravenna and lived as hermit until he went to the monastery of St. Benignus at Dijon, in 1017 to the monastery at Fecamp. His writings were: Suma sacerdos prayer, and Confession Theologica His Spi. Doctrine: It is eminently Christocentric and he emphasised the life of Christ that show his love for humankind. Although he does not propose any method for the union of souls with divine, he says that the contemplative souls with a kind of lectio divina that could dispose them for an experience of the divine. He develops his Spir. from the lectio divina. After chanting the Divine Office or reading of the Word of God in Scripture, the monk may be moved by divine inspiration to enjoy an affective, silent prayer which will sometimes blossom into genuine infused contemplation. He insisted much in the importance of prayer in the Be. Sp. of the early middle ages. However, John of Fecamp believed that it was better to live in a monastic community and thus combine the active with the contemplative life. In summary, we can say that in his system, quiet meditative reading occupies the mind with thought about God; the thoughts give rise to acts, to affective prayer, and this in turn becomes simplified until it merges into a contemplative prayer. B) St. Peter Damian: ( 988- ) Peter Damian was born in 988 at Ravenna and entered the eremitical monastery founded by St.Romuald at Fonte Avellana where he became the superior in 1044. He was made cardinal and dedicated his life for the reform of the Church. His activities extended in three distinct areas: reform of the clergy, renewal of monastic life, and adjustment of Church-state relationship. He was interested primarily in the reform of the spiritual life. His works: De fide catholica - in which he interpreted the Scripture De divina omnipotencia in which he discussed the relationship between theology and philosophy.

His reform was very harsh and like St. Augustine he insisted that the ascetical practices are not an end in themselves, but a means to attain to the perfection of charity and divine wisdom. Nevertheless on the reform of monastic life he advocated the use of discipline and other severe bodily mortifications. In addition to fidelity to the Divine Office and the night vigils, he sought to impose on the monks an almost continual fast and a strict observance of poverty. His concept of monastic life was that of separation from the world and concentration on the things of God; a life of penance and prayer.


As regards the reform of the diocesan clergy, St. Peter Damian was tireless in his efforts to combat the sexual immorality and the ignorance of secular priests and to correct the abuses of simony. He drew his arguments from the Sc, fathers of the Church, and the canonical legislation of the Church. He advocated the study of the Scripture and the practice of meditation of the word of God. Later it was proposed the community life for the diocesan clergy. 2.2. CARTHUSIAN SPIRITUALITY: (XII th century) a) Context: The 12th century was a period of political and ecclesiastical turmoil, intellectual stimulation and challenging adjustment to the changing times. The merchants and artisans of the towns and cities were confronting the ancient feudal system and demanding greater freedom and autonomy as individuals and as members of the guilds. Latin was much used in the liturgy and people were slowly alienated from the Latin liturgy. The masters of schools and monasteries were previously immersed in Patric resources and tradition, were reaching out to new methods of scholarship and prepared the way for new universities. Finally, the laity, individually or in groups began to take a more prominent place in the life of the Church. The middle age is divided into two great epochs: the high middle age and low middle age. In the low middle age the religious orders are transformed into the centres of learning of Mystagological. It disposes schools, universities which are linked particularly with scholastic methodical studies. Spiritual knowing was comprehended as silence, reading, liturgy and contemplation. Only in the 12 th century there was a painful separation between dogmatic theology and Spirituality. And now we are dealing only on Spirituality. b) St. Bruno Carthusians: of Cologne (1030/1035 -1101), Founder of

St. Bruno was born in Cologne in 1030/1035 A.D. He was an intellectual person and became a professor in Reims and later retired to monastery and established the Carthusian order near Grenoble, in 1084. He provided for its members an eremitical life within the framework of the primitive Benedictine cenobitism. He gave them a semi eremitical life. Under the guidance of Pope Urabanus II he founded another monastery in Italy. In 1092 he founded a monstery called The monstery of st. Mary in Sicily where he spent last days and died there on 6th October 1101. His works: Of the valueless world Exposition on Psalms, Paris, 1509. Comentary on the Epistles of St. Paul.


He wrote two letters and in one of them to the lay brothers of the Order, he stated that the key and seal of all spiritual discipline is obedience, humility patience and accompanied by the chaste love of the Lord and true charity.

Sp. Doctrine: They do not follow the rule of St. Benedict but followed their own customs of Carthuisans(consteudines). Their mode of life was similar that of anchorites of the East. To live for God alone and to adore Him in a radical manner and for that purpose, an absolute silence and contemplation are necessary. Their specific character is loneliness and silence. Carthuasians were totally cut off from the world; and their sole occupation is to cultivate and maintain a direct and immediate contact with God. Their life is also characterised by the direct vigilance of and the direction of Prior of the community under obedience. The simplicity of life and anonymous which mark the triple character of their life: Soberness, plainness or simplicity and hiddeness of proper identity. As a work they were busy in the translation and the study of Scripture. Famous two successive Carthusians: Guigo I ( 1083 1136) : Prior of the Grand Charterhouse Guigo I was born in Valence in 1083, and at the age of 23 he entered into the Carthuisans. Between 1121 and 1128 he formulated consuetudines Cartusiae (Book of Customs) and died in 1136. His famous Works: consuetudines Cartusiae (Book of Customs) Guigos Meditations for Carthuisans (They are 476 reflections)

His Spir. Doctrine: Throughout the entire treatise the emphasis is on simplicity, moderation and peace. The hermits are to observe an austere simplicity in the ceremonies of the liturgy and Divine Office; Poverty is to be observed with great diligence; as hermits, the Carthusians are to observe strict silence and keep to the solitude of their cells. There are 2 types: monks and lay brothers, but all are hermits and their residence is called hermitage. They are allowed to have the use of discipline but with the permission of prior. Moderation is used so that an atmosphere of joy may pervade the silent but occupied solitude of the hermits. Their life is to be given to the study of Scripture and spiritual writings. Everything that the Carthusians need for his health, work and prayer is provided for him so that he never departs from his cell for 24

anything at all. Everything is ordained to solitude and prayer. They never intended to be recluses, but hermits who live in a communal setting. This school of Carthusians is characterized by wise discretion, joy and simplicity, constant care nor to lose sight of the lowly struggles of the purgative way, even in the heights of the contemplative life, and a tender love for Jesus and Mary. GUIGO II (+1188): The New prior of the Grand Charterhouse ; We are not sure of his date of birth and We only know that he was the procurator of Grand charterhouse and later became the prior of it. He left it in 1180 and died in 1188 with the fame of holiness. Works: Scala Claustralium ( The scale of the Contemplation) Mediations (12 meditations) Scala Paradisi (scale to heaven)

Spiritual Doctrine: The Scala Claustralium is a letter written to a young man on the scale of contemplation. He was called Gervasio who was residing in another monastery. Guigo II describes four stages in the development of the spiritual life of the contemplative: reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation. Reading is the careful study of the Scripture, concentrating all ones powers on it. Meditation is a busy application of the mind to seek the help of ones own reason for knowledge of hidden truth. Prayer is the hearts devoted turning to God to do away with what is evil and obtain what is good. In contemplation the mind is in some way lifted up to God and held above it, so that it tastes the joys of everlasting sweetness. He says that Reading without meditation is sterile; meditation without reading is liable to error; prayer without meditation is lukewarm; meditation without prayer is unfruitful; Prayer, when it is fervent, wins contemplation, but to obtain contemplation without prayer would be rare, even miraculous. He then explains each of these rungs on the ladder of Perfection. 2.3. CISTERCIAN SPIRITUALITY a) The features of Cistercian Spirituality: The Cistercian Order was founded by St. Robert of Molesmes at Citeaux in 1098. Later he moved to Molesmes but the members remained at Citeaux and were guided by St. Alberic and St. Stephen Haring.


The Cistercians did not differ essentially from the Benedictines in general as regards their concept of monastic life; what they sought to do was to restore the primitive observance in all its simplicity and austerity. They reduced the liturgical accretions, restricted the activities in scriptorium, and returned to manual labour. For them, separation from the world was important and they lived in remote places and observed strict cloister. Their asceticism consisted in manual labour and an austere mode of life, thus embracing the cross of Christ without mitigation. They withdrew from all forms of apostolate and priestly ministry, observed perpetual silence and accumulation of wealth in order to safeguard their contemplative recollection. Their gaze was fixed on eternal realities and on the goal of life in glory and considered themselves as pilgrims on earth. Paradoxically, however they appreciated the created things and were sensitive to human needs. They cultivated the fields, became experts in animal husbandry. Two other qualities of C.life were poverty and simplicity. Poverty is an interior attachment and the extirpation of possessive spirit as require of monks. They did not go to the extremes that the mendicant friars would propose in the 13 th century. And they lived a simple life doing away with all pomp and ceremony and avoiding any trace of triumphalism. b) St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090- 1153 AD) Biography: He was born in Burgundy, near Switzerland, in 1090. He entered the abbey at Citeaux in 1112 with four of his brothers. Later he was sent to make a new foundation at Clairvaux and became an influential person in the order. He composed an Apologia in defence of Cistercian reform; and worked for the reform of diocesan clergy and the laity; he helped to end the schism in the Church by defending the rights of Pope Innocent II against the pretender, Anaclete II. He preached against the Manichaeans in southern France; he went on missions as a peacemaker between warring factions and preached the Second Crusade; He wrote De consideratione for reforming the Church. He died in 1153 and was canonized in 1174 and proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 1830. His books: He was a prolific writer. He wrote 500 letters and 332 sermons. Commentary on Song of Songs. The degrees of Humility and pride in 1124. Apologia defence of Cistercian reform. The love of God, Grace and free will, The Customs and obligations of Bishops, Conversion (for the reform of diocesan 26

priests), Precepts and Dispensation, were written between the years 1126 and 1141. De Consideratione

The Inspirations for St. Bernard for his writings: The holy Bible, and the biblical commentaries of Origen, St. Jerome, St. Augustine and St. Gregory the Great. His spiritual doctrine: His Spi. doctrine was Christocentric. The Christian has to be assimilated to the mystery of Christ. This assimilation is effected only by participation in the doctrinal, sacramental and liturgical life of the Church. He identifies Christ as the bridegroom, and the Church or individual as the bride. In the beginning the soul has a carnal love which meditates on the humanity of Christ and later passes beyond the humanity of Christ and concentrates on His divinity and enters a mystical union wit God. It is expressed through imagery forms as it is expressed in the commentary of Song of Songs such as embrace, kiss, ecstasy, and marriage. He also emphasised like St. John the evangelist; that God is to be loved, just HE himself is love and loved us first. His starting point is humility and which is the fruit of self-knowledge that reveals man to his sinful condition. Mans free will is the key to conversion and progress in spiritual perfection. Before union with God either through grades of love or through humility, mans will cannot be sacrificed with intellect and memory. The Love of God should grow constantly in the perfection of Christian. It has four basic Stages: as Carnal, mercenary, filial and mystical; CARNAL Love is a natural, instinctive love which a man has for himself and when it becomes supernaturalized by grace it normally concentrates on the sacred humanity of Christ and the mysteries of his life on earth. Mercenary Love is a servile love whereby a man loves God because of benefits received God and it springs from mans awareness of his need for God. Filial Love is a disinterested love of God as our Father and it enables us to taste the sweetness of the Lord. Mystical love is a pure love of God, it is in which the individual no longer loves himself except for Gods sake, and his only prayer is: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The means of growth for perfection acc. to Bernard are the following: Gods grace, the humanity of Christ, Mary co-redemptrix, meditation on the mystery of Christ, prayer, examination of Conscience, custody of thoughts and affections, and spiritual direction.


On apostolate: He saw the Apostolate as the fruit of love and an overflow from the interior life of prayer. Those who have the care of souls should be devoted to meditation on divine truths; then they should pass from the quiet of contemplation to the labour of preaching. He should be a contemplative and a man of action. He should be concerned with the sanctification of his own soul before dedicating himself to the Sanctification of others. d) William of St. THIERRY (1085-1148 A.D) He ruled for fifteen years as abbot of the Benedictine monastery near Rheims and later in 1135 he was transferred to Cistercian Abbey at Signy where he remained till his death. His famous works: Aenigma fidei- a defence of the doctrine of the Trinity Against Abelard Golden Epistle De natura et dignitate amoris And he wrote of number of treatises on the love of God, the nature of man, the Eucharist, faith. He too was influence by Origen, St. Gregory of Nyssa, John Scotus Erigena, and St. Augustine. Spir. doctrine: He also sees mans life on earth as a return or an ascent to God. This ascent is divided into the classical three stages: beginners, advanced and perfect. The beginners are in purgative period. In the beginners, in whom the animal man predominates, and is stimulated by his senses and sensate appetites and he needs the ascetical practices of mortification, examination of conscience, spiritual reading and prayer of petition. It is also seen a stage of faith, because he lives by faith since he is under the rule of senses and he is led to the Trinity by what is perceptible to senses. This stage is closely connected with the Incarnation and the whole temporal economy whereby what is eternal, invisible, spiritual manifested through the medium of what is temporal, material and visible. The advanced are in an illuminative stage. In the advanced, the rational man takes the ascendancy. In which the soul begins to seek reasons for its faith either by theologising or meditating on the Scripture. Here the reason is always obedient to faith and it will ascent to trinity. The perfect are in a Unitive stage. He or she is truly spiritual. It is the state of perfect Christian who passes beyond intellectual reasoning to the mystical experience of Trinity. The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit reveal themselves and the Christian shares and experience the life of the H. Trinity. It is the anticipation of beatific vision.


This experience of Trinity involves a transition from man as an image of God to man as likeness of God. Even this animal is an imprint of Trinity and this innate image gives him the capacity to receive the higher types of image. e) St. Aelred of Rievaulx (+1110 -1167) Aelred was born in Hexham in England, entered the Cistercian monastery at Rievaulx at the age 24 and died in 1167 after being abbot for 20 years. His works are : Mirror of charity, Jesus as a Twelve year-old Boy, and Spiritual friendship . He was much in favour of cenobitic life. Sp. Doctrine: Acc to him, mans whole being longs for God because God has instilled this desire in the human heart. It is through Christ that man can realize his inmost desire, and hence he should love Christ as his dearest friend. God himself is friendship, and he, who dwells in friendship, if it is a spiritual friendship, can be a means of friendship with God . Monstery should be a school of love. Monks should have friendship with brothers of the community through fraternal love in community. And monastic life is a life of suffering, trials and crosses and we have to imitate Christ like the apostles who suffered persecution and death. Summary of B. Spi: Spirituality is rooted in biblical sources and nourished by lectio divina and liturgical prayer. Life of prayer and penance to unite with God. Evangelical life imitation of Christ In the Cistercian movement manual labour and contemplation was stressed. 2.4. MILITARY ORDERS: a) context: St. Bernard not only preached the Second crusade in the name of Pope Eugene III in 1145, but also cause of the emergence of new religious Institute in the Church. The feudal Christianity saw Christ as King and His kingdom. They came up new kind of militia to expel the Muslims from the Holy Places. i) The Knights Templar, one of the military orders was founded in the Temple at Jerusalem in 1118 and was to extent affiliated with the Canons of the Holy Sepulcher. Its mission was to defend the Christians in Jerusalem even by force of arms. The Knights Templar observed poverty, chastity and obedience and were recognized as religious. Their rule was based on that of canons regular, the Rule of St. Benedict. So they were obliged to fast and abstinence.


ii) The Knights of Malta was founded in Jerusalem like Templar to care for the hospital of St. John the Baptist. They followed the Rule of St. Augustine and they were clerics and laymen. They observed Evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience and lived in community. The problem arises of how to reconcile Christians with dedication to war and the necessary killing of the enemy. But they were considered as martyrs. B) St. Norbert and Premontre: There emerged slowly canons regular as religious institutes dedication to the ministry and the care of souls superseded in every case of monastic elements. There were 2 types: Those who were in contact with the people, and those who were more separated from the world. The famous canonical orders are Premonstratensians and the Victorines. St. Norbert was originally a canon secular of the diocese of Cologne and in 1115 retired to a solitary life of prayer and austerity. He became later an itinerant preacher denouncing the laxity of morals among clergy and laity. At the request of Bp of Laon he gathered a group of priests and laity at Premontre, where they dedicated themselves to a life of prayer, austerity and manual labour. Preaching was not abandoned. It was slowly spread to Northern Germany to reform the clergy. He died in 1134 and at that time Premonstratensians had already found in France and England. It was founded to combine the life of cloister with the clerical ministry. St. Norbert was a forerunner of mendicant orders. He was strictly observing the vow of poverty and austerity. Solitude in the Cty life, recitation of liturgical prayer, intellectual and manual labour were the main features. They followed the rules of Cistercians. C) Canons of St.Victor: In 1113 we see the school of St.Victor became an outstanding theological centre and enjoyed tremendous growth as congregation of canons Regular. In this school we have Hugh of St.Victor and Richard of St.Victor were the greatest luminaries. There were many other people who contributed spirituality. Hugh of St. Victor (1097- 1141) who composed first synthesis of dogmatic theology in the period of high Scholasticism. His major works are : On the sacraments of the Christian Faith, On the sacraments of the Natural Law and the Written Law; His teaching on the spi. Life was on meditation, on the method of prayer, charity, formation of novices, and commentary of the works of Pseudo-Dionysius. Original sin has left disastrous effects, and man retains a memory of God. This serves man who can return to God and the path of this return is knowledge and virtue. This spiritual life is therefore at once speculative and practical and wisdom is the unifying principle of the sp.life. There are 3 stages of the sp.life on the speculative level are symbolic knowledge, rational knowledge and mystical knowledge . The world is a mirror in which are reflected the divine ideas, and this constitutes the 30

symbolic knowledge that one finds, for example, in scripture. As to the rational Knowledge one ascends to the invisible by means of the visible, and this calls for reflection or meditation. Departing from an awareness of his dissimilarity to God, man can attain to the divine likeness. But this reflection is not be pure speculation; it should stimulate effective love and lead at last to contemplation which is mystical knowledge. Thus, Hugh sees theology as a practico-speculative Science that uses both reason and faith to lead one to Mysticism. There are five steps in prayer that leads a soul to the loving contemplation. They are as follows: reading, meditation, prayer, growth in love and finally contemplation. He distinguishes contemplation from reading, reflection and meditation by saying that it is a penetration of the intellect that comprehends all things in one clear vision. It is the joy of possessing in one glance a great number of truths, as a result of which the soul enjoys great peace and tranquillity. Richard of St. Victor (+1173) born in Scotland, was a disciple of Hugh whose famous theological work is De trinitate, Benjamin minor, Benjamin major and De Quatuor gradibus violentiae amoris. For him, the goal of Christian perfection is contemplation, which presupposes a period of preparation through ascetical practices and the cultivation of virtue, starting with self-knowledge and prudence. He then analyses contemplation by reason of its objects and by reason of its origin or cause. The three kinds of objects are corporeal objects, spiritual creatures and the divine reality of God himself. In the lowest level of contemplation are the material things which are perceptible through the senses. In the second stage is a person perceives the order and interrelationship of material things in the universe. In the third stage one passes beyond the purely sensible to an awareness of the immaterial; and the fourth stage he contemplates his own soul and also the angelic spirits. In the fifth and sixth stage the human mind becomes in a manner angelic and the heart must be completely purified. The fifth and sixth degrees of contemplation are totally divine; they are the result of a special grace, and therefore not all souls attain to them.

CHAPTER 3. THE SPIRITUALITY OF MENDICANT ORDERS (XIII-XIV Centuries) a) Historical context: Religious Life continued to evolve in the 13 th century as it had in the 12th, and the evolution necessarily involved the retention of some traditional elements as well as the introduction of original creations. In reaction against the formality and splendour of the monasteries, many people sought something more austerely evangelical. The population steadily grew in that time from 23 to 73 millions. The 80% percent started to live in small villages and suburbs, and it was rural 31

mentality. It gradually grew economically advanced like usage of plough, pumping machine. The places of education and culture remained monasteries, Episcopal premises, cathedrals, and Latin was used much. Theological reflections and Christian spiritualities were shifted to powerful monks. The universities like Paris, oxford, Cambridge, Bologna, Salamanca, for various studies especially theology. In the church level it was a transition period, and the worldliness of many of the clergy gave heretical preaching an easy target. But many wanted to follow authentic teaching of the gospel. Two important movements namely: The catharists and the Waldensians appeared. The Catharists and the Waldensians. The Catharists who stressed dualism. There is a good God and a Bad God who is in charge of created world. Christ is not the Son of God, but of an angel who apparently became man in the womb of Mary. Christ lives, suffers and dies in an apparent body and denied incarnation and Trinity. Waldensians which was started by Peter Waldes. He was a prosperous merchant in Lyons and in 1176 abandoned his property and his home to adopt a life of mendicant itinerant preaching. They preached about poverty, simplicity, and the following of Christ. But his followers preached without mandate of Eccleiastical mandate, and were excommunicated by the council of Verona in 1184. Church had civil power and there was much laxity of life in the Clergy. In this context emerged Mendicant orders: The Franciscans and Dominicans. The spirituality of Mendicant orders: Poverty: Both emphasized a strict observance of Poverty. Christ as Poor. Fraternity: All are considered as brothers. There was not any distinction among them. Itinerancy and apostolic life: They were fully available for the Kingdom of God and there is a distinctiveness of the monks with the vote of stability. There is equilibrium between fuga mundi and the incarnation. 3.1. St. Dominic preachers: a) Biography: He was born at Caleruega, Spain in 1170 or 1171. He was subprior of the Augustinian canons of the Cathedral chapter at Osma. He later founded the order of Preachers in 1216 and it was approved by Honorius III. He died in the year 1221. Sp. Doctrine: Dominican Spirituality was dominated by a concern to be useful to the souls of our neighbours. But it is essentially defined by the Orders job, not by the spiritual needs. Poverty was adopted as an essential element in the apostolic life. They preached against heresy in the Midi, 32 Guzman (c.1170-1221) and the Order of

France. In 1220, Dominic gave up all his possessions for the sake of Christ the preacher. He had a profound love of extreme poverty. But his order recognized that poverty as secondary to preaching and they abandoned rigorous mendicancy. The essential point is that the Order should trust in God rather than earning its living, and it is this dependence on Providence than on rigorous austerity. It was slowly introduced the study. It was decided in the first General chapter that in every priory there should be a professor. Therefore, the study replaced the manual labour and lectio divina of monasticism and they produced outstanding theologians like St. Thomas Aquinas. Dominican life was also contemplative, not in the sense of monastic tradition, but in the canonical manner of the Victorines. The contemplative aspect is seen in the study of sacred truth and in the liturgical worship of God. The contemplative occupation of the study was directed to the salvation of souls through preaching and teaching and the liturgy in turn was streamlined with a view to the study that prepared the friars for their apostolate. They were also characterized by a pragmatic attitude of piety. Poverty, chastity and obedience are means to an end, not values in their own right; the end is the universal Christian goal, perfect charity. St. Dominic founded monasteries of enclosed nuns. There were also a number of lay confraternities, some of which were simply devotional. The most successful was the Confraternity of the Rosary established in the late 15th century. Later in 1285 Munio of the Zamora, created a branch of Order of Penance under his own jurisdiction and from this grew the Dominican third order. St. Catherine of sienna belongs to the third order of Dominicans. 3.2. FRANCISCAN SCHOOL OF SPIRITUALITY a) Biography of St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) Francis Bernadone was born at Assisi in 1181. His father was Pietro di Bernadone who was a textile merchant. And his mother was called Juana. It is said that his affection, motivation and his sensibility was motivated by his mother. Having received the usual liberal arts education of the period, he knew Latin and possessed some knowledge of French. He was converted in 1206 or 1207 from a life of wealth and laxity to a life of poverty and penance. Key experiences in his life: Night of stimulation: In 1205 He dreamt about joining a campaign against Apulia, at Sopleto. In the night there was vision in which he had an intuition of serving God the Beloved than as slave in the military. This


intuition animated him to return to Assisi and left the arms and to plan out his mode and project of his life28. It is called Night of Sopleto. Encounter with a Leper: Francis encountered a leper who made him to reflect his life and this made him also towards the life of poverty. It was for him literally to donate his cloths to the poor. The change of cloths for him was a change of identity. It was the poor who causes and was the motive of conversion. He interpreted this encounter like an encounter with Christ to whom he decided to serve. - April 1207: His father being tired of his extravagances of his son demands him to return all his goods which were given to him. The total nudity before his father who claimed everything was a confirmation of his vocation and his radical option for the poverty in the presence of Bishop of Assisi GUIDO II. - February 24th 1209: The hearing of the Gospel reading: He was inspired by the gospel reading Mt 19: 21-22. It says that if you want to be perfect It is said that his vocation of messenger of peace born from here. - The stigmata: He received the stigmata on September 17, 1224, two years before his death, on the top of the mountain called la Verna, the five wounds of Christ. The five wounds are external seals of his internal conformity with Christ. -The foundation: He was not a founder in a classical sense, but rather was a charismatic leader with him many followed his models and examples. His first followers were Bernard of Quintavelle, Peter Cantan, Egidio, Silvestre, Leon, Rufino and so on. With eleven disciples were attracted towards him in 1209 and he gave them rule of life which was approved by Pope Innocent III. And it was later approved by Pope Honorius. The Rule of St. Francis stressed poverty, humility and complete submission to the authority of the Church. In 1212 and St. Clare (1193-1253) founded the cloistered Franciscan nuns, known as Poor Clares. In 1221 he established the Third Order composed of priests and laity. In 1220 he resigned and Brother Peter became Minister General. Later St. Francis dedicated himself exclusively to preaching, penance and prayer. He died on 3 rd October 1226 and was canonized by Pope Gregory IX on 16 th July 1228 and his mother, brother angel were there for his canonization. After his death his Order was fragmented into observants, conventuals, and spirituals. St. Bonaventure as Minister General tried to bring all friars to a consensus on the life style proper to Franciscans. In 1909 Pope Pius X declared that the three branches as Friars Minor of the Leonine Union (O.F.M), Friars Minor Conventual (O.F.M. Conv.) and Friars Minor Capuchin (O.F.M. Cap.) and that all three ministers General are successors of St. Francis, because they are branches of the same tree. They are called the First Orders ( OFM, OFM conve, OFM capuchins), and the branches of Second Order of Poor clares (Urbanists, Clottines, and

2 V (6), Writings . First Life , II, 233.


Capuchinesses, etc.) and the Franciscan third Order Regualar, (30 congregations, and more than 400 communities of Franciscan Sisters, and numerous lay communities of Third Order secular. B) Works of St. Francis: They He wrote very little and they are not systematic writings. are the following: 9 prayers 9 letters Spiritual admonitions The Rule of St. Francis ( consists of 12 chapters0 In April of 1226 he composed his TESTAMENT in which he made his final appeal for strict observance of poverty and fidelity to the Rule.

c) His Spirituality: 1) Theo-centrism: God appears as an absolute Being for Francis and HE is present in all moments and circumstances through his immediate and mediations. God is present through JESUS CHRIST, the Church, the world and through the events of the history. God is a transcendental being and at the same time HE is near to us, personal and at the same time HE is omnipotent, almighty and goodness. God is the God of Praise and God of Glory, a God of Adoration and respect. The proximity of the experience of God is directly proportional to the praise and to the reverence to which it is called. Our God is the God of Mercy and of Pardon of Which emerges his insistence for the Mercy and pardon among human beings and also the love of enemies. 2) Christ centrism: - Humanity of Christ: He is the great saint of the Humanity of Christ. His way will be of the gospel, and norm of the life of Jesus. For Francis, Jesus is God who became human, poor, simple, humble whom it is possible to follow. Of the humanity of Christ sprouts the principal devotions of Francis such as the Christmas crib, the Calvary, Stations of the Cross, the name of Jesus, the Holy Blood of Christ, the wounds of Christ, the joys and sorrows of Blessed Virgin Mary. This identification with humanity takes place in a way in the stigmas which he received. For him, Christ is the one who crucified. Therefore, He had a great devotion to Bethlehem. -The Poverty of Christ:


The poor are the doors to reach Jesus Christ. Poverty is not an ascetical practice, but the way of following Christ. According to him, Christ was poor and humble. The poverty is the virtue for excellence of Christ. It is the deprivation of all temporal beings both individually and collectively. Friars should not be related with the money and he has to ask alms when he has no way to live and he has to renounce intellectual, scientific values. He has to renounce all sorts of functions. To serve the needy is to give Glory to God. - The symbolism of the creatures: The creatures have the print of Christ or they can make to reflect Christ or Christ Himself can abide in them: for example, the lambs, trees, flowers, the Sun, the Moon, and the fire.. Etc are the expressions of Christ. It is not pantheistic view, but he maintains always the transcendence of Christ and majesty of the Creator. The creatures reflect and remind us and point us the Creator.

3.The Sacramentality of Christ: He was the great apostle of Sacrament. The Eucharist is the sacrament of the humanity of Christ, of the body and blood of Christ. From here emerge all sorts of devotion around Eucharist such as chalices, churches, chapels. Eucharist is the act of love and of humility of God. His notion of humility is in relation with the Eucharist, humble like God among us. Eucharist is the act of humility of God towards being as human. Some spiritual experiences of Francis took place during the celebration of the Eucharist. 4) Ecclesiology: His devotion to priesthood is connected with the Eucharist in the Church. By the holy hands of Priest through the words of Jesus Christ bread and wine become body and blood of Christ. The Church is the mystical body of Christ and outside the church there is no salvation. The Bishops and priests were sons of God. The theologians and preachers are collaborators of God. There is a perpetual oblation of Christ takes place through the Eucharist in the Church. 5) The Evangelisation: The gospel is the form, patron, the mode of life, the rule of life which regulates all behaviour of Christians. From the Gospel come the values of poverty, sensitivity, humility, simplicity, the joy, and the charity. The reasons for being poor are the following: Jesus was poor. Franciss inspiration on Mat 10 and the mission was note worthy.


His precedence and his conversion, the experience of no salvation in the richness His life is a critique to the rich system which is the cause of power and oppression. The poverty is the manner of restoring the order in the world, returning to God that which belongs to Him and to the poor what it belongs to them.. Poverty and Justice are very closer in the message of poverty of St. Francis. The happiness, consolation of imitation and to follow Jesus This is expressed in the foundation of the minor brothers.

5) The Universal fraternity: The love of all creatures is founded in the love for Christ. The values are as follow: The service and love are to be practiced between the brothers. No one should hurt other by word or deed. His insistence is to serve the others even washing their feet. He had great compassion for those who suffer, and the marginalized by society and insisted universal reconciliation. It is a human model configured by meekness connected with fraternity which is the result of love of Christ. It is the Canticle of the Brother sun which is probably the text of spiritual tradition which reflects the spirituality of Franciscans. b) ST. CLARE OF ASSISI (1193-1253) He was the first woman to follow St. Francis and became the foundress of the Second Order, a new way of contemplative life for women. Poverty, humility, charity and rewards of a life focused on penetrating the great mystery of God are important charisms of it. Contemplation is to ponder experience and embrace all that is found in the heart of Christ who is example of love. She and her followers focussed their energies toward a life of freedom from what is not necessary in order to gaze in the mirror, that is, to know a peace that sees clearly and experiences profoundly Gods love revealed in the ineffable charity of Christ on the cross. 3.3. ST. BONAVENTURE (1221 -1274) Among the principal Franciscans of that time namely St. Anthony of Padua, John Duns Scotus, St. Bonaventure was very famous. He joined the Franciscan order in 1243. Leo XII called him the prince of Mystics. He was a contemporary of St. Thomas Aquinas. Bonaventure was voluntaristic and mystic while Thomas was intellectual and analytic. He was made cardinal in 1273 and died at the Council of Lyons in 1274. His works:


The souls journey into God The tree of life is a wonderful life of Christ- life, passion and glorification of Christ. The fire of love The Six wings of the Seraph The mystical wine- It dwells on the life of Christ. Here we get tenderness, the affective spirituality which runs through his writings. The souls journey into God in which he expresses the Franciscan awareness of the presence of God in creation; the physical universe and the soul of man are seen as mirrors reflecting God, and as rungs in a ladder leading to God. The first 6 chapters trace the stages of the journey and the seventh the goal of ecstatic rapture. He understands peace as right order specifically the order of divine love as shared within the Trinity and as poured out into creation. Receptivity is the root of the right order of peace. True order is not a static thing imposed, but a dynamic relationship of love that is freely shared. The journey of the soul ends with the poverty of the cross. The disorder of sin must be reordered by the love of the cross whereby the highest becomes the lowest and the richest becomes the poorest. On the cross God becomes poor. Here the very root of souls union with God is the poverty of the reciprocal self-emptying of the divine into the human and the human into the divine. The fruit of this union is the souls transitus into the ecstatic peace of Gods love. Poverty is therefore absolute and radical dependency on God. Poverty is fundamentally openness and receptivity. Spiritual Doctrine: His spiritual doctrine is the traditional doctrine taught by St. Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, St. Bernard and the School of St. Victor. It is eminently Christocentric and while he agrees with Thomas Aquinas that the purpose of the incarnation was the redemption, he sees Christ as the center of the entire created universe. The fundamental virtue of Christian spirituality is humility; grace is a likeness to God which is received both by the soul and its faculties; the essence of Christian perfection is charity, which is perfected as wisdom, to which the mystical graces are related; Contemplation is the perfection of charity and wisdom and it is much more a savory experience of God than it is a vision; it is entirely passive and infused and usually accompanied by some form of ecstasy which Bonaventure calls Excessus. He classified the sp. life into the three ways and uses the terms of P. Dionysius: purgative, illuminative and Unitive or perfect. They are not separate stages, at a given time one or another will predominate. The goal of Christians is holiness which is passed through various stages and each one is bestowed with own gift. Thus, the purgative way leads to peace of soul and is characterised by meditation, examination of conscience and consideration of the passion of Christ. The illuminative way leads to truth, and its predominant exercises are consideration of the benefits received 38

from God and frequent meditation on the passion and death of Christ; the Unitive way terminates in charity, union with God through love and an awareness of the divine beauty through contemplation of the Trinity. 3.4. FRANCIS OF OSUNA (1492- 1540) He influenced greatly St. Theresa of Avila through his writings. He was born at Osuna, Spain in 1492. He studied in the famous university of Salamanca, Spain. Without neglecting his studies he devoted himself to prayer and contemplation. He was chosen to represent his Order at chapters in Toulouse (1532) and Paris (1533). Afterwards he spent some time in Flanders, but he returned to Spain and spent his time in writing. Osuna is known chiefly for his Abecedario spiritual (Spiritual Alphabet), which influenced St. Theresa. The work is in six parts, treating respectively of the Passion, asceticism, prayer and the contemplative life, love, poverty and riches, and of Christs wounds. CHAPTER 4. The School of Modern Devotion or Devotio Moderna 1 Definition and Context: The modern devotion (MD) is a spiritual movement which originates in the low countries of Europe at the end of 14th Century and it was then developed slowly throughout 15th century extending itself up to France, Germany. The Modern devotion takes form of two religious institutions which are principally Brothers and Sisters of common life and the Canon Regulars of the congregation of Windesheim. It is called devotion because this spirituality proposes a spirituality of interiority of personal manner and affective in a decretive manner. It is a call to virtuous life in day today life, in silence, in work and is centered intimately in the relationship with Christ especially in His humanity with a moral tone. It is called Modern, because it was at that time considered like this and it offered a modern proposal to which they were asked to live by it. Reasons: It emerged as a reaction to metaphysical or abstract character mysticism or in contrast with the imaginative world- visionaries of the island. People were bored with the speculative intricacies of the German and Flemish writers. This New movement MD offered an affective type of spirituality which answered the practical needs of earnest Christians, without excessive theorizing about union with God in the highest states of the mystical life Throughout the entire church there was manifest need for reform: there was schism in the papacy, moral laxity among the clergy and religious and false mysticism among 39

the laity. The externals of the Christian life were deeply entrenched, but lifeless; basic theological principles were being contested; traditional ideals were taught but not practiced. The church was marching towards Renaissance, the protestant Revolt and the council of Trent.

The Important Persons in this Movement: 1. Gerard Groote (1340- 1384) a deacon who dedicated his efforts to preaching. Two years after his death his followers formed a community of Brethren of the Common life at Windesheim. He was familiar with the teaching of Ruysbeck and the Rhineland mystics but his predominant concern was for the reformation of the Church. He was opposed to the esoteric theories of speculative mysticism; he preferred to cultivate a popular, pragmatic teaching that was divorced from intellectualism. He was more interested in the Ch. Life of the ordinary Christian and had little discussions the active and contemplative lives which are equivalent. His spirituality is the spirituality for day today life of Christians. Contemplation is the perfection of charity according to him. He insisted spiritual poverty, self-detachment and the practice of the virtues. The Sacred humanity of Christ is a door of spiritual life especially the mysteries of incarnation and passion of Christ. Through Christs humanity we are led to the contemplation of his divinity which involves a progression from sensible images to a spiritual harmony. 2. THOMAS HEMERKEN A KEMPIS (1349- 1471) Thomas Hemerken Kempis was born at Kempen in 1379 from Hammerken family. He was a student in Deventer from 1393 to 1398 under the patronage of Florentius, and after, the superior of brothers of common life, which he eventually left to enter a newly founded monastery of mount St. Agnes where his elder brother was prior. In 1413 he was ordained priest and spent the rest of his life at Mount St. Agnes. His master piece is Imitation of Christ Imitation of Christ came out of the reactionary movement against speculative spirituality. It was written for men living a monastic life and it was composed in an age that clamored for reform and renewal of the Church. Spiritual Doctrine: 40

His insistence was on separation from the world and a constant emphasis on repentance and conversion. The true sp. Life is the imitation of Christ, and by meditating on his sacred humanity the Christian arrives at contemplation of his divinity and a union with God which liberates the soul. The goal is possible for all sincere Christians. Contemplation is essentially the operation of the virtue of Charity. Three stages of Christian life: First of all, it is important to recognize that Sp. Life is an interior life and secondly that the most difficult battles must be waged within the confines of ones own soul. Imitation of Christ states as a first condition for the Sp.life a knowledge of oneself29. This self-knowledge is acquired only at the cost of turning away from self and from creatures; when the Christian does that he is confronted by his own sinfulness and misery, which prompts him to turn to God in humility and repentance. In this way he quiets his trouble conscience and enjoys peace of conscience. But at this point the soul needs stability, for there is always the danger of falling back. Stability or constancy can be safeguarded only by control of the passions, which are so prompt to respond to stimulation. Then the task is to die to self-love. It means renunciation of self is a total abandonment to God. There are only two ultimates: God and Self. Therefore, death to self necessarily implies submission to God, which is achieved only with the help of Gods grace. The second phase of Sp.life consists in carefully observing in ourselves the diverse movements of nature and grace. As individual becomes more recollected, grows in selfknowledge, and endeavors to remain completely resigned to God, he experiences the tension between nature and grace (inner struggle)30. The third phase of Sp.life is that the Christian achieves a profound awareness of the power of God, his care for all men through divine providence, and the divine goodness which is manifested in mans redemption through Christ. Considering Gods knowledge and watchfulness, the Christian reacts with a holy fear, and he gives place first to Charity and then to humility. Finally, it is in and through Christ who will be uniting with the Holy Trinity. The doctrine of the Imitation of Christ terminates in Christ centered Spirituality which rests on the biblical statement that Christ is the way, the truth and the life (JN 14:6). Perfect resignation to God is preserved by frequent meditation on the passion and death of the Lord;
29 30

Book I Chaps. 1 &2. Rom 7:14-25


the following of Christ is the royal way of the cross; Union with Christ is experienced with joy in reception of the Eucharist. Union with Christ also means union with the Father, and the Holy Spirit (III, ch.54). Sources: He was influenced by his master and his spiritual director FLORENCE OF RADEWIJNS (1350-1400). The Holy Bible (140 times psalms, 60- wisdom literatures, 42prophets, 24- Job, 124- St. Pauls writings) General structure: It has got four books or parts. 1. First book has 25 chapters 2. Second book has 12 chapters 3. Third book has 59 chapters 4. Fourth book has 18 chapters. First book talks about useful admonitions for the spiritual life and it is to awaken the interior man. And the way of interiorisation is also stressed. The second book is on admonitions concerning interior things. In this book it is stressed on negation, humility, and patience. Negation prepares for interior freedom. The third book is on interior consolation and discernment. The Fourth book is about Blessed Sacrament in which the Eucharist is sacrament of love is stressed. Literary Genre: It has a specific generic type. Each book was written in different time. Four parts or books form one book. There is an exposition of maxims, sentences to arouse or to awaken and to animate the interior life of humans. Although it does not have any systematic presentation, it offers as a doctrine based on his experience. Theological approach: Imitation of Christ is not directed in a high intellectual level nor directed to intellectual persons, but to all Christians without forgetting fundamental theological principles. The message is not directed towards to the reason, but to the heart, and pretends to transform feelings more than teaching doctrines.


This book is born of an experience. A sinner would experience friendship with God, consolation and joy of Jesus. It is to awaken the affection of humans and devotion so that Christian can have a good Christian life.

Principal Themes found in the Book. Themes of the world The vanity of the world, the misery of temporal goods. The falsity of fame and honour The danger and wounds of self love The Disordered affections The temptations: Its dangers and its strategies The danger of knowing and intellectual knowledge Themes of the Kingdom of God The peace of heart. The interior freedom The purification of senses and spirit The unconditional abandonment in God The patience and humility The obedience and personal surrender of judgment. The frequent communion as privileged means to encounter with God. The Characteristics of Modern Devotion: 1. Psychological realism of religious sense: It does not believe on super senses or common measure. There is nothing exaggeration nor radicalism and neither it has any unachievable projects. The discretion would change into a theological category and in practical spiritual fundamental system with moderate austerity and a moderate life. 2. It is about the interior life of Christian. It also speaks about the vanity of the world. 3. Method.: It proposes methods spiritual life for mental prayer: reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation. 4. Christ-centered: The humanity of Christ is the key of its mediations. 5. Mysticism: It is based on the true virtues of humility, renunciation and obedience.


Chapter 5. Ignatian School of Spirituality (Mysticism in action) Introduction: The Jesuits have derived their spirituality from the experience of their founder, St. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA, and from the spirit that he inculcated in his growing order. From the end of 15 th century there was a series of spiritual leaders and their spiritual movements through their lives and writings who influenced the piety and the devotion of 15th century. a) Biography of ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA (1491-1556)

Loyola: (Aut 8) He was born in casa Torre de Loyola, Azpetitia, Province of Guipuzcoa, Spain in 1491. His parents were called Beltrn Ynez de Onez and Maria Saenz de Licona. He was baptized Iigo in the parish church of St. Sebastian. From 1537 onwards he used also the name Ignatius, particularly in documents. Loyola is known as his first experience of God, a door to discernment. When King Francis I of France sent troops into Spain to reestablish the claims of Jean d Albret to the kingdom of Navarra, Ignatius, while, defending the castle of Pamplona, was struck by a cannon shot that wounded one leg and broke the other on May 20 th, 1520. In the course of his convalescence at Loyola he learned of the heroism of sanctity by reading the vita Christi of LUDOLPH OF SAXONY and the Flos sanctorum of James of Voragine. These readings opened him to internal world. These internal experiences were later interpreted as motions of consolation and desolation which are coming as good from God and bad from devil. He traveled first to Montserrat, where he made a night vigil before Our Lady on March 24, 1522 and received spiritual direction from the French Benedictine Jean Chanones. Before reaching Montserrat Ignatius vowed perpetual chastity and dedicated himself to a spiritual life. Then for 11 months he remained at nearby Manresa. Manresa:(Aut. 18-37): He resided in a cell of the Dominican priory, administering to the sick at the Hospital of St. Lucy, and spending hours in penance and prayer in a cave. He suffered from scruples, which gave way to spiritual revelations and the decisive illumination near the Cardoner River. He had also visions of Trinity, visions on the presence of our Lord in the Eucharist and visions of humanity of Christ and Mary. Ignatius left Manresa toward end of February 1523, and after many delays landed at Jaffa on September 1, with a party of pilgrims. The hostility of the Turks prevented fulfillment of his original plan to remain in 44

the Holy land, so he returned to Europe and began a program of study at Barcelona (1524-26), Alcala (1526-27), Salamanca (1527), and Paris (1528-35). During these 11 years he studied Latin, philosophy, and theology. He obtained his master of arts at Paris in 1534 and together with Peter Faber, Francis Xavier, Diego Lainez, Alfonso Salmeron, Nicolas de Bobadilla, and Simon Rodriguez, he vowed to live poverty and chastity and to go to the Holy Land. Foundation of the Society of Jesus: After the encouragement of his vision at La Storta, in which he heard the words, I shall be favorable to you at Rome, he drew up the five fundamental chapters of the rule for a new Institute. The Society of Jesus was approved solemnly on September 27, 1540. St. Ignatius was elected general of the new society and he remained in Rome to consolidate the society. His companions were sent to different parts of the world as missionaries. He founded also homes for orphans, for catechumens, and for penitent women and founded colleges. He died in 1556. At his death, Society had 1000 members distributed throughout 100 houses in 12 provinces. He was canonized by Pope Gregory XV on March 12, 1622. Pope Pius XI in 1922 declared him patron of spiritual exercises and retreats. b) His works: 1. Spiritual Exercises : He began to write at Manresa and completed in Paris in 1534 and Rome. They were approved by Pope Paul III. The purpose of Spiritual Exercises is to help the retreatant to purify his soul in order to discern his vocation and follow it faithfully. It consists of four weeks. First week: the subject matter for meditations is sin and hell. Retreatant has to recall to ones memory the sin and finally to move the feelings with the will. It is included particular examination, and penances. Second week: In this week it is meditated on the life of Christ. The goal of this week is to make ones election in response to Gods call. Third week: The subject matter for the third week is the passion and death of Christ, so that the retreatant will find motives for fidelity to Christ and will also be able to petition the graces and strength needed to carry out his election. In this week, he concludes with detailed rules for abstinence in food and drink. He advises the retreatant to imitate Jesus. Fourth week: It consists of meditations on the events of Christs life from the resurrection to the ascension and the emphasis is not so much on asceticism, as on the third week, but on temperance and moderation. He then outlines for meditations aimed at fostering growth in love and three different kinds of mental prayer. 2. Autobiography of St. Ignatius of Loyola:


It was written by Fr. Luis Gonzalez of Camara. It is said that he was narrating his events to this father. Sometimes it might have been written by his faithful secretary John Alphonse of Polanco. 3. The formula of the Institute: This formula consists of 5 chapters which was presented to the Holy See for its approval as identity and charism of the society. 4. The constitutions of the Society of Jesus: It was redacted by St. Ignatius. It consists of 10 parts. The first 6 parts deals about the incorporation of members and other parts about mission, the community and so on. He proposed obedience as the prominent virtue, renounced monastic choir, a fixed garb, and penances obligatory on all. He established the novitiate for 2 years followed by simple vows, and a third probation after studies. 5. Spiritual Diary: Sp. Diary was written by Ignatius himself and in which he is revealed as a true mystic. His ideal was the promotion of Gods Glory and he saw this as the work of the society. 6. The letters: He wrote around 6000 letters in which he dealt about how to organize the community, the problems of administration, themes of religious life, spirituality and mystical life, relationship with the Bishops and hierarchy of the Church and the mode to run schools and colleges and so on. C. Spiritual Doctrine of St. Ignatius: C. 1. Summary: Ignatius spirituality is apostolic not only in its expression but in its underlying conceptions of God and of Gods ways with humankind. We need to cultivate a holy indifference toward created things. Man is created to praise, reverence and serve God and thereby save his soul; All created things are for the use of man in striving for the end for which he is created; therefore, man is to use created things so far as they help him achieve his eternal goal and rid himself of them so far as they are obstacles to that goal. We have to do all things for the Glory of God. (ad majorem Dei gloriam) The Trinity, the creator and redeemer God is at work in all things. Union is union-in service of human person in the redemptive work of the Trinity in the world. Asceticism consists in striving for interior freedom and right intention, the qualities needed for ordering all things to the Glory of God. The discernment of spirits is brought to bear on the concrete decisions that arise from the life of action. And it is precisely in and


through the exigencies of apostolic service that the apostle lives the mystery of the cross. As a teacher of prayer and contemplation, Ignatius is known for methods. The methods which he employs in the Exercises are imaginative contemplation and prayer. These methods are for the beginners. His concern was that prayer should be integrated with service. Whatever forms of prayer and whatever his Unitive gifts, the gifts of prayer are conferred on him for service; Ignatius apostolic doctrine lays heavy emphasis on the prayer which belongs to action itself, the prayer of finding God in all things. Finding God in all things is not in itself an extraordinary gift but a grace linked with the apostolic calling, a possibility offered to the life of service. In and through action, he grows towards the contemplative versatility which makes it possible to find God in all things, actions and conversations , to enjoy the Lord in many places and duties rather than in one only , so to live that every action is itself a prayer. All apostolic action must however be guided by true love of the Church and an unconditional obedience to the Vicar of Christ, the Pope. Man or woman must exert every effort to cooperate with Gods grace; he was equally insistent that growth in grace is more doing Gods will than humans will. He therefore emphasizes the importance of the prayer of petition for obtaining Gods assistance, but because of the spiritual climate of his day, he also had to encourage the individuals cooperation with grace. C. 2. Key elements in the spirituality of St. Ignatius: a) The Humanity of Christ: St. Ignatius and his companions during their six years of stay in Paris, they had the deep experience of their interior life through the spiritual exercises. This experience united and consolidated them to base themselves on the Person of Jesus Christ. The Spiritual exercises centre itself on the humanity of Christ which polarized the affectivity, the heart and lives of every one. They have experienced the salvation and reconciliation in the first week of spiritual exercises by contemplating sin and hell. As a response to Gods salvation which is reflected in the person and mission of Jesus in the second and third week of the Sp.Ex. As a result, man is called to follow Christ radically as poor, chaste and obedient. The contemplation of the paschal experience stimulates love. It is an Ignatian proposal to be in the world in a new way in the Son through love. It calls for love in action, because, everything returns finally to Him. It is a call for Contemplation in action. b) Poverty and apostolic life: His spirituality was essentially apostolic, that is, concerned with the kingdom of God. Man is created to serve God and Christ in the enterprise 47

of the salvation of humankind. Ignatius prohibited joining the choir for the purpose of apostolic itinerancy and poverty. The first Jesuits were sent to different places like the apostles which were the ideal to follow Christ. Little by little there were many institutions like colleges, schools which conserved the availability of the Jesuits as model of poverty. c) Mission: Go and make the disciples of the world (Mt 28:19) was understood as they have been sent by Christ and later the Vicar of Christ , Pope for the Glory of God and salvation of the souls. Therefore, St. Ignatius took care of the orphans, sick and there were variety of activities among which the important one was the preaching. St. Ignatius also gave importance to spiritual exercises, teaching catechism through publications or oral teaching, study of sacred lections such as theological studies, and so on. d) Obedience: Obedience is one of the pillars of the theology and anthropology of Ignatian Spirituality. It is not only something obeying some commandments, but rather it means the attitude which Jesus had in this world. Obedience is the historical verification of an attitude of availability to the Father maintained by Jesus till his death, which is underlined as virtue of abnegation. It is like a capacity of conquering ones own judgement and conquer one self. The Jesuits also make a fourth vow to the Pope. There is no particular habit, no particular penitence which is imposed as rule in the constitutions. There is no particular task or specific apostolate, but to serve God in the universal mission.

D. Mysticism of Interiority: Louis Lallemant (1588-1635) D.1.) Biography of Louis Lallement : Louis Lallemant SJ was born on 1st November 1588 from the noble family. We know little about the ancestry and infancy of Lallemant. He was son of a Magistrate in the service of the king of France in the province of Champagne. He was sent as a boarding student to the Jesuit College at Bourges where he gave evidence of a precocious and solid piety. He entered the novitiate at 18, and pronounced his solemn vows Oct 18, 1621. He then became professor of Philosophy and theology, later master of novices and, of special importance, instructor of tertians, charged with the spiritual formation of Jesuits making an additional year of novitiate after having finished their studies and before beginning their apostolic ministries. And he died in the year 1635. D. 2 ) His principle work: 48

The Spiritual Doctrine (Doctrine Spiritualle) although was not written by himself, but one of his students gathered notes that were preserved, arranged and published in Paris (1694) by Pierre Champion SJ. D.3) spirituality: In his book, he insists on purity of heart, on docility to the direction of the Holy Spirit and second conversion. Under the influence of the Spiritual Exercises he teaches the discernment of spirits, that is, the discovery of the action and the will of God, recognized in everyday life through the movements of the heart. He insists as well on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and on union with our Lord in prayer. He poses the classic problem of the relation between prayer and action. For him, prayer ought to lead to a disinterested contemplation, but it ought to prepare for apostolic action, nourish it, and submit it to the light of the Holy Spirit. Action, on the other hand, ought to lead us to God and be a constant stimulus to prayer. This is an apostolic spirituality: prayer and action are the means of becoming a true apostle. The final point of the highest perfection in this world is zeal for souls.

Chapter 6. CARMELITE SCHOOL OF SPIRITUALITY I. The Context in the Sixteenth Century Spain in the sixteenth century the Christian life was flourishing. Persons who claimed to be favoured with revelations, visions, and other extraordinary mystical phenomena were greatly admired and sought after. Some persons earnestly desired to receive these special gifts; others actually simulated the stigmata or visions in order to impress the faithful. Illuminism gained great headway, especially in relaxed religious houses, as a means to eminent holiness without the practice of asceticism or the effort of acquiring virtues. All the structured and institutional aspects of religion were rejected as obstacles or as totally necessary for immediate union with God in mystical experience. Pseudo-mysticism was the object of intense investigation by the Spanish Inquisition, which managed to control the situation but at the expense of further development of authentic, orthodox spirituality. II ST. THERESA OF AVILA (1515-1582) A). Biography St. Theresa of Avila:


She was born at la Moneda, near Avila, in 1515. She was from her earliest years drawn to God and her devout spirit was fostered by the example of her parents. When she was 13, her mother died, and the young girl was sent to a boarding school conducted by Augustinian nuns. She left the school a mature young woman and assumed the duties of managing the family household for her father. By 1536 She was convinced that her vocation was to religious life and in spite of her fathers initial unwillingness, she entered to Carmelite monastery of the Incarnation at Avila. Once professed, she determined to strive for perfection, but she soon became ill that her father had to take her to a neighbouring town for treatment. She fell into a coma for four days. She then gradually recovered her health, and she was paralyzed for some time. Due to the intercession of St. Joseph, she then was completely recovered. Her spiritual life at the beginning in the convent was in the stage of mediocrity. Later she was converted by a realistic representation of the ECCE HOMO. From that day on, her interior life improved, she became more recollected and drawn to solitude. Baltsar Alvarez was gifted with unusual discernment and the ability to recognize the working of God in the soul of Teresa. Since monastic life was lax, in 1560 Theresa and a few companions decided to reform the Carmelite life. After numerous difficulties and delays, the first monastery of the Reform was opened at Avila in 1562. Later she founded many convents in Spain. She was constantly beleaguered by the attacks and criticism from Ecclesiastical prelates, members of the nobility and her own fellow-Carmelites. She died in 1582 at Alba de Tormes. b) His works: 1. The Life 2. The way of perfection 3. The interior castle. His works are practical rather than theological, descriptive rather than expository, from personal experience and a penetrating observation of the conduct of others. She read the Spiritual works of Confessions of St.Augustine, the Third Spiritual Alphabet by Francis of Osuna, The Ascent of Mount Sion by Bernandine of Laredo and possibly the Life of Christ by Ludolph the Carthusian. She wrote for contemplative nuns, but she realized that not all of them were in a mystical state. III. Spiritual Doctrine: According to St. Theresa, sanctity does not consist in the extraordinary but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. The basis of sanctity is complete conformity with the will of God, so that as soon as we know that he wills a thing, we subject our entire will to itThe power of perfect love is such that it makes us forget to please ourselves in order


to please him who loves us31. The quick way to reach this perfection of love is obedience by which we completely renounce our own will and submit it totally to God. The means for growth in holiness are the reception of Holy communion, the cultivation of humility, obedience and fraternal charity, the observance of poverty and love of God. Interior Castle: She pictures the soul as a castle of numerous suites or apartments in the center which Christ is enthroned as King. As the soul progresses in the practice of Prayer, it passes from one apartment to another until it reaches the innermost room. Once the soul resolves to follow the path of prayer and detaches itself from created things, it enters the castle and begins to follow the path of prayer, which leads through 3 stages of active or ascetical prayer and then through four stages of passive or mystical prayer. Mental prayer is nothing else but friendly conversation, frequently talking alone with him whom we know loves us. It is a loving dialogue between friends, and ones progress in prayer is a sure indication of ones progress in the spiritual life. She insists that progress in prayer consists not so much in thinking a great deal but in loving a great deal. 1. First mansions or apartment: The soul is in the state of a beginner, living in the state of grace but still greatly attached to the things of earth and always in danger of falling away from its good desires. The practice of prayer at this stage called vocal prayer. 2. Second mansions: Upon entering the second mansions, the soul begins to practice mental prayer in earnest, although there are frequent periods of dryness and difficulty which tempt the soul to give up the effort. The prayer of this stage is discursive meditation- it is a reflective type of prayer, which should terminate in love, not reason alone. 3. Third mansions:, Moving on the third mansions, the soul enters upon the last stage of natural or acquired prayer, which is called the prayer of acquired recollection. It is a consciousness of the presence of God that is so vivid that all the faculties are united in a state of recollection and a attention to God. This type of prayer can be fostered, even if some one is engaged in occupations other than prayer, if he or she submits his or her will totally to God. 4. Fourth mansions:


Cf. Book of foundations, E. Allison Peers, trad., Vol.3, p.23.


It introduces the soul to the first type of mystical prayer, which is a supernatural, infused prayer or prayer or quiet. It is an infused recollection which consists essentially in an intimate union of the intellect with God, so that the soul enjoys a vivid awareness of Gods presence. Here memory and imagination are free. Therefore, one should remain quiet and recollected before God, submitting oneself entirely to the arms of divine love. 5. Fifth mansions: Here the soul is introduced to the prayer of union, which admits of a variety of degrees of intensity. In the prayer of simple union, all the powers of the soul are recollected in God. Then, the soul realizes that God is present in such a way, that When it turns in on itself, it cannot doubt that it is in God and God is in it32. 6. Sixth mansions: As God gains more and more dominion over the soul and floods it with his light and consolations, the soul experiences the prayer of ecstatic union, which is the beginning of the sixth mansions and the introduction to the mystical spousal. As in the highest stages of ascetical prayer, so here at the heights of mystical prayer, the soul undergoes trails and suffering, the difference being that now they are mystical or passive purgations. It is not infrequent to find that the souls at this stage of prayer are favored with extraordinary mystical phenomena such as raptures, flights of the spirit, locutions, visions, and so forth. 7. Seventh and the Last Mansions: Here the soul realizes the petition of Christ to his heavenly Father: that they may be one as we also are one; I in them and thou in me . (Jn. 17:22-23). This is the state of mystical marriage or the transforming union and St. Theresa states there is such a close relationship between the mystical espousal and the mystical marriage that the sixth and the seventh mansions could be well be joined together. In the transforming union the three divine Persons communicate themselves in an ineffable manner, often by an intellectual vision, and it is not unusual for Christ to reveal himself to the soul in his sacred humanity. The result is that the soul is totally forgetful of self, it thirsts for suffering and rejoices in persecutions, and it experiences a great zeal for the salvation of souls. Thus, the summit of mystical contemplative prayer is crowned with apostolic fervor. St. Theresa says in this stage that Martha and Mary work together. IV. ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS ( 1542-1591)

Cf. Interior Castle, E. Allison Peers tr. Vol. 2, 253-258.


A) BIOGRAPHY- (Ref. the handouts) b) Works: 1. 2. 3. 4. The The The The Ascent of Mount Carmel ( 1579-1585) Dark night of the Soul (1582-1585) Spiritual Canticle (1584) Living flame of Love (1585-1587)

All works are composed by St. John of the Cross. Ascent and Dark night cover the entire subject matter contained under the division of the active and passive purgations of the senses and the spiritual faculties. C. Psychology of humans according to John of the Cross : Human being is composed of Body and soul. 5 Lower part (animal soul) Soul
Higher part (spiritual
Ex.senses-sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste

Internal senses: Imagination& fantasy

Understanding or intellect

Will D. Spiritual Doctrine: God is ALL and the creature is nothing (nada). Therefore, in order to arrive at perfect union with God, in which sanctity consists, it is necessary to undergo an intense and profound purification of all the faculties and powers of soul and body. The Ascent-Dark night traces the entire process of purgation, from the active purification of the external senses to the passive purification of the highest faculties. The entire path to union is night because the soul travels by faith. John is speaking here of supernatural union, not the general union by which God is present to the soul simply by preserving it in existence. The supernatural union of the mystical life is a union of likeness which is produced by grace and charity. But in order that this union of love be as perfect as possible and as intimate as possible, the soul must rid itself of all that is not God and of every obstacle to the love of God so that it can love God with all its heart and soul and mind and strength. Since any deficiency in the union of love is due to the soul and not God, St. John concludes that the soul must be completely purified in all of


its faculties and powers- those of the sensory order and those that are spiritual- before it can be fully illuminated by the light of divine union. The purification of senses is discussed in the first book of Ascent and he discusses the active purification of the spirit in the Second & third books of Ascent. He states that the purgation of intellect, memory and will is effected through the operation of the virtues of faith, hope and charity, and then explains why faith is the dark night through which the soul must pass to union with God. The passive purgations are explained in the Dark night and in this stage God brings to completion the efforts of the soul to pure itself on the sensory level and in its spiritual faculties. The soul is led into the dark contemplation which he calls Mystical theology. It causes pain for God strikes a soul that is not yet entirely purified, it causes spiritual darkness, for it not only transcends human understanding, but it deprives the soul of its intellectual operation. Nevertheless, even during this dark and painful contemplation the soul can see the streaks of the light which announce the coming of the dawn. In the Spiritual canticle St. John describes the souls search for God and the ultimate encounter of love, using the symbol of a bride seeking the bridegroom and finally attaining to the perfect union of mutual love. God draws the soul to himself as a powerful magnet draws the metal particles, and the journey of the soul to God is more, having left all else behind, and then it enjoys the most intimate union with God. It is described as mystical marriage of the transforming union. It enjoys a foretaste of eternal life. Conclusion: Both have contributed a lot to the Church. Their influence has far outshone all the other writers of the golden age of Spanish spirituality. They are inspiring the other writers of Religions such as Hinduism and Islam.

CHAPTER 7. FRENCH SPIRITUALITY IN THE 17TH CENTURY 1. CONTEXT During the second half of 16th century and throughout 17th century in France emerged a series of devotions, movements and personalities which favoured the development of life and Christian pieties. It was also time for renewal of the spiritual life of the church in an opportune moment. Many of them were directed principally against Protestants. But the life within the Church was anything but fervent. The regulations of the Trent were in large part a 54

dead letter; the king was absolute sovereign of all religious holdings; bishops were worldly, priests were ignorant and immoral, and religious life was at low ebb. The majority of candidates were sent to monasteries by the will of the families. The intellectual and moral level was mediocre. There were also positive elements in this century in France. Reaction against the Protestants was practically the only restraint and the only unifying factor. The first move toward actual reform of the life of the Church must be credited to the Capuchins, the Carmelite Nuns, the Jesuits (established in France in 1553), the professors at the Sorbonne, and the Carthusians. The Capuchin, BENEDICT CANFELD (1562- 1610) through his work Regle de Perfection he insisted the necessity of death to self and total abandonment to God. The French school of Spirituality starts with PIERRE DE BERULLE (1575-1629) who was the founder of Oratory of Jesus, defender of Carmelites and reformer of clergy. He knew St. Francis de Sales and his works, St. Ignatius and St. Theresa of Avila, St. Augustine and the Fathers of the Church. He founded the Oratory of Jesus in 1611 under the patronage of Christ, the Sovereign Priest. His works: Brief discourse on the interior abnegation, in 1597 Diabolic possession, in 1599. Discourse on the state and the power of Jesus in 1623.

His spiritual doctrine: Several events in the life of Berulle weaned him from the abstract school and emphasis on self-abnegation. Abnegation is necessary for total adherence to God. God is absolute being, unity of essence, and unity of love. The source and origin of unity is the Father. The son is always referred to Incarnated and he is the thought of the Father. The Word is the image of the father. The Holy Spirit is essentially love and interconnecting person of the three. His spirituality is Christocentric. In Incarnation is Gods chief creative act and therefore it would seem that it would have occurred even if it had not been necessary for mans redemption. It is a universal and cosmic event which establishes a new order of grace, of which Christ is the principle and source. We are born of Christ through grace as he is born


of the Father by nature. Christs fatherhood through grace is a recapitulation of all things in God; Christ is a microcosmos; He is the archetype of the entire universe. Jesus lives in different stages: in the father, in the humanity, in the Eucharist. In the fist stage his presence is eternal, the second is permanent since from incarnation, and third presence will last up to the end of the world. On Mary: Her function is to give the Church and to offer Jesus. His concept of the journey to Perfection was to Christ through Mary and through Christ to the Trinity. Berulle looked upon man as the most vile and useless creature of all; indeed, as dust, mud and a mass of corruption. Man must therefore wage relentless war against his own misery and sinfulness and at the same time have a deep conviction of his need for Gods grace. He must strive to reach the point of total adherence to God, but this can be done only at the cost of heroic self-renunciation. This involves various elements: voluntary renunciation of all sensible and spiritual consolations; a fervent desire to love God with all ones heart, opening of ones soul to the operations of the incarnate Word, at the same time willing what Christ wills; and finally, to maintain the disposition of total self-annihilation before Christ by making the vow of holy slavery to Jesus and Mary. 2. ST. FRANCIS DE SALES (1567- 1622) 2.1. Biography: He was born at Savoy in 1567; His parents were namely Francis de Boisy and Frances de Sionaz. He studied under the Jesuits at Paris and then went on to Padua, where he received his doctorate in civil and canon law. He was then ordained to the priesthood in December of 1593. Then, on December 8, 1602 he was consecrated Bishop of Geneva. Until his death in 1622, he dedicated himself to preaching, spiritual writing and the direction of souls as well as the administration of his diocese. Together with St. Jane Frances de Chantal he founded the religious institute of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin, a semi-cloistered community for young women and widows. In 1887 Pope Pius IX declared St. Francis de Sales a Doctor of the Church. 2.2. His works: 1. Introduction to Devout life in 1619: It is written for laity and is treatise of lay spirituality. His intention is to instruct lay people in their profession and in their families who can strive for the devout life. Spiritual content: 56

True devotion does not consist in any kind of extraordinary grace or favour. True devotion neither consists in any particular spiritual exercise. True devotion is the same as Christian perfection, which is fulfillment of the twofold precept of charity enunciated by Christ (Mt 22:34-40). It presupposes the love of God. As a result of true devotion good works flow from one person, but devout life is essentially an interior life. Moreover, the devout life will be live differently by persons in different vocations or professions; all, therefore, should seek the perfection of the devout life, but each one in accordance with his personal strength and the duties of his state in life.

He stresses the universal call of all Christians to perfection. He insists on the need of a spiritual director who must be a man of charity, learning and prudence. At the same time, spiritual direction must never impede the working of the Holy Spirit or be an obstacle to the freedom of the soul. Because all are not called by same road to perfection. (it is influence of St. Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross)

The first task is to purify the soul from sin and all other attachments to sin. To achieve this he or she has to avoid all occasions of sin and to be involved in worldly affairs only when necessity requires and not out of love for created things. To grow in virtue, we must overcome even our indeliberate faults.

He also proposes methods of prayer.

2. The treatise on the Love of God in 1616: It consists of 12 books and also explains in the beginning the sources of them. It is dedicated to Theotimus with whom he has dialogue. His intention is pastoral although it is considered as treatise. Sources: The Holy Bible, the Fathers of the Church (st.Augustine, John cassian, Dionyisius Areopagite,) and St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Bonaventure, St.Francis of Assisi, st. Ignatius of Loyola and Thomas Kempis on Imitation of Christ. The purpose of it is to trace the progress of the soul from its fallen state to the heights of divine love, which constitutes Christian perfection and holiness. Content:


He provides the psychological explanations which are necessary for understanding the theology of love. He then develops the theme of the divine origin of love, showing that mans love for God is a participation in the eternal charity of God himself. And since it is the nature of love to increase or to fall away, he treats of growth in charity which can be effected by even the most insignificant actions; the obstacles to charity; and the various ways in which a soul may distinction between the love of complacency and love of benevolence, stating that the former is proper to glory, where love is experienced in contemplation and repose, while the latter is proper to the soul in this life. In speaking of Prayer especially in the book VI and book VII, he situates himself in the affective way. It talks about affective prayer. It is not knowing much, but loving Him much, a talk and conversation of the soul with God. What do we talk about in prayerTheotimus, we talk only of God Therefore prayer and mystical theology are one and the same thing. It is called theology, because like speculative theology, it has God as its object; but it talks of God differently in three ways: First, it talks of God in so far as he is God; the mystical, in so far as he is eminently loveable, the speculative is concerned with the divinity of the Supreme Good; the mystical, with the eminent goodness of divinity; Secondly, the speculative discusses God with men and among men, the mystical talks of God with God and in God himself; thirdly, the speculative concerns the knowledge of God, the mystical love of God: The former renders its adepts learned, the latter makes them fervent. The theology which makes a Philothea and Theotimus is termed mystical because the conversation is quite secret and everything said between God and the soul is done in a communication from heart to heart which remains impossible to communicate to others..(VI 1, IV, 304) Here is fully influenced by St. Theresa of Avila. He refers three stages in the prayer: Recollection, the stillness and the union with God. All these stages are verified in the day today life. He does not preoccupy to establish these stages distinctively, for these themes are developed in the personal accompaniment. But he gives us a clear distinction between meditation and contemplation. The meditation is the mother of love, whereas the contemplation is its daughter. Meditation means thought, but thinking is not always meditating. Sometimes we think about something intently in order to learn its causes, effects, 58

characteristics: such thought is called study. But when we think of divine things, to grow not in knowledge but in lovethat is called meditation The contemplation is a loving, artless, unremitting, mental preoccupation with the things of God. Prayer is called meditation until it succeeds in producing the honey of devotion; after that it is transformed into contemplation. The Recollection(VI:7) is not properly of Franciscans or of St. Teresa of Avila, but is a gift of God that which does not depend upon the person. It is not ours to enjoy when we will, nor does it depend on our own efforts; it is all Gods doing, grace working as he wills. His presence causes our faculties and powers to concentrate, to recollect themselves, out of reverence of his divine majesty. Love makes us fear him, but it is a fear born of honour, of respect The Stillness is (Ch.8) is the state in which she describes the faculties of the soul as sleeping. It is like the state of beloved enjoys his beloved presence, not by reflecting on it, but simply by resting his mind in the peace and quiet it affords The union or the effusion of the soul in God: The love is so gratified by what he loves that a form of spiritual powerlessness results; this causes the soul to feel that it can no longer contain itself. Here is no soaring flight, no close embrace union; the soul, as though it were a liquid flowing, glides gently unto the God it loves. And just as we see clouds, piled up thickly by the south wind, unable to contain themselves, melt and turn into rain which falls to intimate union with the land it soaks; so the loving soul, without losing its identity, melts and flows out of itself towards its beloved-not merely to be close to him, but to blend into one with him33 St. Francis de Sales discusses the love of conformity by which the soul obeys the commandments, the counsels and particular inspirations, and the union of our will with the divine will of good pleasure, by which the soul accepts suffering. The treatise ends with a summary of the theology of charity. He discusses charity as the bond and impulse of all the virtues; the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. Other works:

The defense of the Standard of the Holy cross Spiritual interviews and so on.

VI : 12


3. Spiritual doctrine: a) The primacy of Love: His whole infancy experiences, spiritual direction from Jesuits, readings and influence of saints make him to express the experience of God as love. God is love and the union of soul with God is produced through love. The perfection of Christian life consists in the conformity of our will with the Will of God. He prefers the ecstasy of the will against the ecstasy of understanding, the ecstasy of the life without external manifestations. He prefers what God wills for him. b) The Imitation of Jesus Christ: Here he emphasizes the humanity of Christ. In his letter he says, The daily bread of the religion is the meditation of the passion of our Lord (letter to Jane Frances de Chantal) .The prayer should be simple and humble, and it should be based in the hope, rooted in the cross of Christ. c) The docility to the Holy Spirit: It consists in leaving to the Will, edified by the Grace, which has to be our filial condition. A devoted soul is a soul totally docile to the Holy Spirit. The filial love, the perfect conformity with Christ, the perfect indifference, the total surrender are important terms for salesian system. d) The sense of Church: The church is source of life. It is the mystical body of Christ, the church is the habitual place for love, for the practice of charity with our neighbour, and where we do our good works. Everything is oriented towards love, in love, for love and of love for the Church e) Salesian prayer: There is no method for love. The effects of prayer are charity and chastity which are basic criteria of discernment to evaluate the prayer. f) Salesian Mysticism: The call of God to perfection is universal, and such perfection is perfection in the love. God acts when the soul purifies itself for the emergence of the love. The mysticism begins with detachment. The desolation (passive sense of the sense) and dereliction (passive sense of the spirit) in which one has to surrender himself or herself totally to the will of God like Jesus. The mysticism is constructed from the experience of the love, a love of submission, a total abandonment, a total donation to the will of God living in indifference. 60

Conclusion: His spirituality is very much appreciated by all. He was a bridge between the Renaissance and the modern period and has been one of the strongest single influences on spirituality from the seventeenth century to the present day.

CHAPTER 8. VINCENTIAN SCHOOL OF SPIRITUALITY: ST.VINCENT DE PAUL (1581-1660) 1. Biography of St. Vincent de Paul: Vincent de Paul is one of the important personalities along with St. Francis de Sales in the 17th centuries in France. He was born in Pouy, France on 24th April 1581. He was the third of six children born in a peasant family. In 17th century there were 17 million peasants living in the rural area of France which consisted of 20 percentage of the French population. The situation of his time was a situation of poor peasants who were working in the fields for their livelihood. He studied the humanities at Dax from 1595 to 1597, then went to Toulouse for theology where he earned the baccalaureate in Theology and was ordained in 1600. His whereabouts from 1605 to 1607 are uncertain; one version has it that he was captured at sea and enslaved by the Muslims of Barbary, then made an adventurous escape by ship. It is certain that he was at Avignon and Rome in 1607- 1608. a) The conversion: In 1608 he arrived in Paris and there met Pierre de Berulle who later, exercised a profound influence on his life. The gradual conversion of Vincent from a seeker of benefices to a seeker of God began probably about this time; it seems to have been completed at the latest by about 1620. During the years immediately after conversion Vincent was almoner(1610) to Queen of Valois(repudiated wife of Henry IV); pastor (1612-26) of the parish of Clichy near Paris; and chaplain to the family of Philippe-Emmanuel de Gondi, who was the general of the galleys of France. From 1611, Vincent endured a three or four year temptation against faith; the trial left him after he resolved to devote his life to the service of the poor. As chaplain, he not only looked after the spiritual needs of the Gondi family and their household staff, but also felt himself responsible for the peasants on the vast Gondi estates. The deathbed repentance (1617) of an apparently good-living peasant opened his eyes to the spiritual misery of the peasantry.


He started preaching in the missions. In 1617, He was a pastor of Chatillon-les-Dombes near Lyons, where he founded the first Confraternity of Charity, an association of pious laywomen who helped the poor and the sick. Having returned to the Gondis in December 1617, he drew up plans to evangelise all their lands; thus his principal work from 1618m to 1624 was preaching missions and establishing the Confraternity of Charity on the Gondi territories. As chaplain general of the galleys from 1619, Vincent did all in his power to alleviate the corporal and spiritual woes of the galley slaves. He came to know St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal between 1618-1619. b) The missions: On April 17, 1625 with the support of the family of Gondis, he founded the congregation of the Mission (known also as Vincentians and Lazarists) for the purpose of the missions to poor country people. He was the first Superior General and this congregation was finally approved in the bull Salvatoris nostri in 1633. He had good and zealous collaborators namely Antony Portail, M. Belin, Francis of Cuodray and John de la Salle. He observed large number of priests and religious in cities than rural areas and only few priests dedicated themselves for the religious education of the peasants of the rural areas. In rural areas people was lacking of basic truths and elements of faith. Therefore, he gave priority for the rural missions. Our Lord implores us that we evangelise the poor to whom he preached, and He wants to continue his mission for the poor through us.34. The mission of St. Vincent de Paul consisted of a series of activities which are directed to the rural people. Preaching, catechism in groups, confessions, visiting the sick, meeting with the leaders of the church and teachers of the region were content of missions. It had its own basic structure. The missionaries were living for 15 days to two months in the rural zones. Their stay depends upon the villages or parishes. The mission started with sermons in the morning before they leave for work. The themes dealt were: sin, the divine Justice, penitence, prayer, confession, communion and the imitation of Christ. And till midday they were catechising children through songs of love of God. In the evening they taught catechism for the elders and other faithful. The mission used to end with General Communion in which children were given first communion, and they had procession of the Blessed Sacrament with those who received the first communion. The missionaries were mainly fighting against all sorts of superstitious beliefs, heresies, magic and witchcraft which were prevalent in rural areas of France. In their stay in the villages one day was given for the rest of the missionaries. These types of missions were conducted during summar vacation and not during harvesting and other periods. In


Conference XI, 386.


these periods the missionaries were preparing the homilies, doing spiritual exercises and revising their theological studies. The priests of the mission did not prefer to the status of religious, but preferred to maintain as secular priests. It would be a congregation of the Mission. The vows of poverty, obedience, chastity and service of the poor were private, and they were not received by any Ecclesiastical authority. Vincent defended the secular identity of the priests of the Mission, however, the other elements belonging to the Religious life such as the three vows, superiors, canonical visit, provincial or general assembly were not discarded. In 1642 a group was in charge of redacting the rules and constitutions which came to be published in 1658. They are the means for the salvation, and they are inspired by the life of Jesus. c) Foundation with Louise de Marillac : He had also met St. LOUISE DE MARILLAC (1591-1660), his collaborator in many charitable works, in 1625. The Daughters of Charity were formed (1633) from a group of girls who had been assisting her and had gathered together in her home. Vincent composed their rule, gave them conferences, and governed as Superior General. They, in turn rendered him invaluable assistance in his charitable works, e.g., the care of foundlings, which they undertook in 1638 and in which they continued long after his death. The last period of his life was not one many new undertakings, but rather one in which his earlier works (Congregation of the Mission, Daughters of Charity, missions, seminaries, charities)spread throughout France and beyond it. He died in 1660 and was beatified in 1729. In 1737 he was canonized by Clement XII and in 1885 he was named patron of all works of charity of which he is in any way the inspiration. 2. His Works: Vincent de Paul was neither a profound nor an original thinker; yet few have accomplished as much. His success was a result of natural talents and of tremendous amount of work, but above all of a profound spiritual life. In this he was deeply influenced by Berulle and Francis de sales, but he modified their ideas according to his own insights. The piety that he practiced and taught was simple, nonmystical, Christocentric and oriented toward action. His teaching and conferences were fundamentally found in the letters as eight volumes and were composed by the missionaries. Conferences: It was an old custom in the tradition of Spirituality that the Fathers of Church used to give conferences (e.g. Conferences of John Casino to the monks, the conferences of John of Avila, and so on.). It is used to be about the rules or the different aspects of the Christian Virtue or about the proper customs of the Institutions. The tone will be more of colloquial, direct, simple and with many allusions to the public which is listening to him.


Vincent employed the method of a dialogue (question and answer). The answer is direct from his personal point of view and from there he constructed his general point of doctrine. The structure was as follows: Opening prayer, situation (which marks the anterior theme spoken, or introduction of a new theme), presentation of the structure, direct questions, and short conclusion. The themes were about virtues, the community, religious life, the mission or about the aspects of the Institution. 3) Spiritual Teachings: His teachings and conferences as we mentioned above were completely influenced by Berulle and St.Francis de Sales. He recommended Introduction to Devout life to all. His spirituality touched the ascetical themes and more practical themes like humility, service, the abnegation, silence and observance of the vows. His advice to the priests was about the methodology of apostolates, adhesion to Christ, and the renunciation of the proper will. The perfection does not consist in the ecstasies, but in doing the will of God. The perfection is identified with the renunciation of oneself for God. 3.1. Christology: His doctrine on Christology seems to be the Christology of St. John. The Son of God is above sent by the Father to do the Will of the Father and He was sent to preach Good news to the poor who were the first beneficiaries of His mission. For them the Passion of the Lord is actualised. He was inspired by the words of Jesus: I am the Way, the truth and the Life. We need to see the reality as God sees them, in which abides the truth of the real. The world too offers its proper vision and judgement upon the things, but they are illusions. The maxims of the Gospel are infallible truths and thanks to the presence of the Holy Spirit in them. The intimate vision and life of a person is always marked by prayer and his constant offering to the Eternal Father (This idea he takes from Berulle). Christ is the Eternal Priest whose mission does not terminate with his death in the Cross but continues in the humanity here on earth. 3.2. The Holy Trinity: The humanity of Christ is going through a double movement in which from the Holy Trinity towards the poor and from the poor towards the heart of the Trinity. The Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Holy Spirit and the Holy Trinity indwells in the baptized person. On the other side, the Body of Christ is clearly in the poor and from them the movement is back through the Son towards the Father. This dynamism is repeated till the end of the world until God would be All in all (1 Cor 15:28). In baptism we become adoptive sons and daughters of God the Father and brothers of Jesus. With the sacrament of Baptism which is symbolized in the immersion and the emersion of the water, a Christian is incorporated


to the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ and is given the capacity of the mission of the Holy Trinity. 3.3. The Virtue of Humility: As a response of man to this great mission, he or she is entrusted in the virtue of humility to which he gives much importance. Through humility the human being enters into a dynamic emptiness which situates him or her before infinite love of God. It is the spirit of humility which makes us to maintain a continuous attention and disposition to humble ourselves without ceasing in all circumstances both interiorly and exteriorly. This disposition is a grace Who will give us this spirit of humility? If we ask our Lord, He would give us and we will be faithful to his grace. All the ascetical practice of Vincent de Paul is oriented towards action and the acquisition of the virtue of humility. Humility attracts the grace, prepares the acquisition of the other virtues, is source for the charity, gives peace and the union among the members of the community, bases for generosity, and it is on which our Lord constructs his projects, and is the sister of sweetness.35 3.4. The Will of God: To do the Will of God is one of the key elements in his spirituality. To do the Will of God is preceded by a process of discernment and it consists in to be available to do it in the world which is understood as continued creation. To do the Will of God is to join to the project of our God the creator who is always dynamic and He always works continuously. Here the theology of work is based upon the continuous work of God to maintain His creation. To do is to participate in the dynamism of the Incarnation for Him and in Him. And that is why he would confirm it as the rule of the mission is Christ Himself. We have to conform ourselves with the Will of God and ask ourselves, If Christ is here, how would He react to this situation, therefore we need to obey his Will in his style. This will of God is revealed through two signs of the history which can not be evaded. They are: the necessity and the events which make us to realize like true and infallible masters of God. The event is not only the data or the circumstance of the history which are presented to us, but also includes the critical process of analysis of causes and finalities of the process in which the data of the history is immersed and contextualised: from where? Towards which they go? For what purpose?. To walk towards God is to assume the responsibility with the world. This is the greatest motivations of the missions and his missionary spirit and his compromise with the world in the style of Jesus of Nazareth.

3.5. On Prayer:


The dictionary of Spirituality 16, 856.


Prayer is the life of the person and prayer is the soul of a person. He explained it in many conferences which he gave to the daughter of Charity. Prayer is a basic attitude and is the rectitude of intention: Whatever we do, or we speak or think we have to do for his love 36. Prayer should be centred in humility and in simplicity without any type of intellectualism or complex reasons. Since many sisters did not know to read and write, he proposes a methodology of affective prayer. Prayer is also an act of confidence and what is important is the interior attitude of the person in front of God. He proposes a structure for prayer which consists of 3 parts: Prepartion Body Conclusion. Preparation consists in putting oneself in the presence of God and telling God, Lord, teach us to pray. Then, it comes the second stage that those who do not know to read and write, can contemplate the mysteries of our Lord which appear in the printed pictures. His methodology is dealt of spiritual colloquial which centres on the intimacy and affectivity of the person in prayer. Intellectualism can block to grow in the virtue of humility. 3.6. Service for the Sick: He also gave a series of conferences to care for the sick people. Attention to the sick implies physical and spiritual support such as administering sacraments and spiritual advice. The sisters received the instructions how to offer consolations to the sick, and to animate the sick through reconciliation, and conformity with the Will of God. The help was also given to help the sick die peacefully and to care them till death. Everything is done with prudence and to strike a balance between the materials with the spiritual matters. It is important to serve God alone in and through the sick. 3.7. The Obedience and the Indifference: The theme on obedience he develops in the conference given on 23 May 1665, in which he develops into three parts: a) Reasons for the obedience b) Signs to know that he or she is obedient or disobedient c) Means to acquire this attitude of obedience.

a) Reasons for the obedience: Christological reason: - Christ is the source of our obedience, since he practised till his death


Conference, 1106.


Ecclesiological reason: - As Church obeys to Christ and in the Church the hierarchies (Pope, Bishop, Parishpriests) obey to one another. Therefore, inferiors need to obey the Superiors. Anthropological reason: Obedience is one of the means to maintain in ones vocation faithfully. He or she has to search for the Will of God. b) The signs of an obedient person: The signs which he proposes are Christological signs. Just as Christ was obedient to His Father, the candidate has to be. He or she has to be total: in all things but also things which he or she dislikes or makes him or her difficult to follow. He or she has to be denoted with humility: (phil 2:3) He or she has to be punctual in actualising as he or she has been ordered. Voluntary: He has to be voluntary in fulfilling the duties, not with dislikes. The obedience is noted with the following of the intention of Superior without any selfish intentions to fulfil the Will of God. Perseverance till the end is another sign of an obedient person. The Indifference: It is defined as: Not attaching to nothing, not refusing anything, but being permanent in an interior disposition without desiring anything, and to be in one place or another place either in parishes or in the villages or whatever places. It is based on the attitude of Christ for He came to this world to fulfil Gods will. The indifference is integral which consists of all dimensions of the person. In sickness, in good health and in all circumstances we search for Gods will. It is do the Will of God in all things. 3. ST.LOUISE DE MARILLAC (1591-1660) She was born at Ferrieres en Brie, near Meaux, France on August 12, 1591. Although she was a member of the powerful de Marillac family and well educated, she led an unhappy childhood as an introspective, melancholy girl of poor health. She was married to Antoine Le Gras on February 5th, 1613; In October of the same year, she gave birth to her only child, Michael, who was to cause her much heartache. She was widowed on December 21, 1625. At some earlier time she had come under the influence of St.Vincent de Paul, who was her spiritual director. By 1629 her interior life was firmly established, and with the collaboration of St. Vincent she was sent to make an inspection tour of the Confraternities of Charity that he had established in the provinces. To better care for the poor, Louise assembled a few country girls in her own home in paris in 1633, where she trained them in piety and in service of the poor. Thus began the Daughters of Charity. Louise devoted the rest of her life to the formation of Daughters of Charity and to the supervision of the works


entrusted to her by Vincent: the care of the foundlings, galley slaves, aged persons, poor children, and the insane, as well as charitable activities. She died on March 15, 1660 and was beatified on May 9, 1920 and she was canonized on March 11, 1934 and on Feb 10 th , 1960 was named patron of all those who devote themselves to Christian Social work.

CHAPTER 9. MODERN SPIRITUALITY 1. Introduction: The period covering under the heading modern spirituality extends from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century and the focal point was in France and England. Modern spirituality retains something of the affective flavor of the teaching of St. Francis de sales. It was basically Christocentric, firmly rooted in the Christology of St. Paul and the theology of St. Augustine. Christocentric spirituality of French School was diffused by Benedict Canfeld, Joseph Tremblay, Peter de Berulle (1575-1629), JeanJacques Olier (1608-1657), and St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) England was occupied with the work of restoration of the Church after the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 and the establishment of a Catholic hierarchy in 1850. There were many outstanding spiritual writers namely Augustine Baker, Richard Challoner, John Henry Newman (18071890). 2. JOHN HENRY NEWMANN (1807-1890) a) Biography


He was born in February 27th 1807 in London, and he was the eldest of the six children of John Newman, an unsuccessful London Banker, and Jemina Fourdrinier. He did his primary studies in the private boarding school at Ealing. His father died in 1824. Newmans early religious orientation was toward Calvinism and Fundamentalism. In 1816, he had a spiritual crisis due to an illness and problems in his family. His reading on The force of Truth by Thomas Scott and Milners Church history made him to convert himself. He concluded that God willed him to lead a life of celibacy. There was apparently a complete change in the vision he had of himself. He gained a profound awareness of the presence of God. He emerged with a love for the fathers of the Church. He studied Oxford university mathematical sciences. He decided to become a priest was ordained priest in 1847. He established the first Oratory in England in which Anglican converts joined. He was then made cardinal in 1879 and died in 1890. b) Writings: He was not a spiritual writer in the strict sense nor dealt matters concerning ascetical and mystical matters; nevertheless, through his sermons he did provide valuable insights into the theology of the spiritual life. His work, meditation and Devotions was published by W.P. Neville in 1895 after his death. c) Spiritual Doctrine: He was a man of deep prayer and had a special predilection for solitude and was convinced that God had called him to lead a life of celibacy. Moreover, he was completely convinced that he was being led by an interior light which would gradually become brighter and reveal Gods plan to him. The principal contribution is his extraordinary ability to gather insights and express them in so complete a way that no aspect of them is left untouched. He was not schooled in the traditional scholastic method, nor was he attached to pure speculative reason, which, he often feared, had a tendency to outstrip the facts on which it exercised itself. He based himself from his earliest days in the daily reading of the Sacred Scripture. It was not something theoretical or speculative; it was pulsating reality and a hidden mystery. He says: A true Christian may almost be defined as one who has ruling sense of Gods presence within him. As none but justified persons have that privilege, so none but the justified have that practical perception of itIn all circumstances, of joy or sorrow, hope or fear, let us aim at having God in our inmost heart Let us acknowledge him as enthroned within us at the very springs of thought and affection. Let us submit ourselves to his guidance and sovereign direction This is the true life of saints.37

Cf. Newmann, Parochial and Plain sermons, Vol.5, 225.


Finally, the primacy belongs to charity, but a charity which is a love of complacence in God and tends to contemplative activity. Yet there is room for Martha as well as Mary because both of them glorify him in their own line, whether of labour or of quiet, in either case providing themselves to be not their own, but bought with a price, set on obeying, and constant in obeying his will. If they labour, it is for his sake; and if they adore, it is still from love of him.38 3. St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) a) Background: The Carmelites in France 19th Century: The Carmelites had 74 monasteries and around 1700 religious cloister Carmelites nuns were living in France before French Revolution. The French revolution Religious life considered as useless way of life and nuns are as parasites of the society. There were lots of persecutions. Many religious nuns were persecuted and died as martyrs for Christ. The fall of Regime of Robespierre on 27 th July 1794 saved many nuns of Carpentras, Chartres, Bourges and Tours. Some religious sought refuge in Belgium. The contact of 1801 brought peace between the religious and others in France. King Napoleon also did not like cloistered nuns, but preferred active orders who can dedicate themselves in teaching, healing through hospitals and of missions. After long negotiation, Carmelite nun was restored by the Bishop Hernier of Orleans. The Catholicism was reacting against the French Revolution which had already suppressed all the catholic privilege. Nearly after hundred years, many Catholics are already in the process of acceptation and integration of this new situation. The reaction was of Catholic Church was of introversion, separating from the world, closing oneself in the churches and perceiving the world as evil to which they have to have a less contact with it. Holiness was considered to rectify the horrors committed against God and the Church. The missionary spirit was very much present in the life and in the spirituality of the convent. There were new communities opened in different parts of the world. b) Biography of St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) Therese was the last of the nine children born in 1873 into Martin family of which four children died in their infancy. Four of the girls became Carmelite nuns at Lisieux and the fifth became a visitandine. His early life can be divided into three periods: 1. The first was the happy and untrammelled period of her infancy before her mother died.




2. The second, the eight years from 1877- 1886, her winter of trail, as she called it, a time of sensitivity and weariness and occasional religious scruples; 3. The third was the period between 1886-1888, beginning with what she called her conversion and terminating with her entrance into the convent. In 1881- Her family was moved to Lisieux and she was enrolled in the Benedictine Abbey School as a day student. She was a bright, retentive student, found school life unpleasant. In 1883 at the age of ten she contracted a strange illness during which she suffered a mixture of convulsions, hallucinations and comas for three months. She was instantaneously cured by imploring of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1886, she experienced her conversion an instant exchange which marked the inception of a new maturity and a move intense religious programme. After the midnight mass, she had just returned from midnight mass, and her father made a depreciatory remark about the festivities arranged for his youngest daughter. Although she was hurt, she writes: Therese was different now, Jesus had changed her heart . It marked a new stage in her religious development as she acquired an intense interest in the apostolate, conceived a desire to suffer for God, and began to make plans to enter into convent. She made then the formal request to Carmel, the superiors refused her because of her youth. She traveled with her father and Celine, to seek a dispensation from Pope Leo XIII. On April 9, 1888 she was admitted to Carmel and made her religious profession on September 8, 1890. In 1894, she was asked by Mother Agnes to write her life. In 1895 she took the name sr. Therese of Child Jesus and offered herself to God a victim soul. In 1895 she suffered her first hemorrhage. In 1897 she completed the autobiography and received the last communion on August 19 and died on September 30, 1897. In 1925 she was proclaimed a Saint by Pope Pius XI. In 1927 she was declared co-patroness of the missions with St. Francis Xavier. Works: 1. History of a soul: First reduction from 1895-1896: Manuscript A 2. She completes with the Manuscript B to her sister Marie of the Sacred Heart. 3. Third Manuscipt C which is the collection of all her memories, asked by her prioress Mary of Gonzaga in 1897. 4. Letters around 238 5. Poems- she wrote some poems for some liturgical feasts; they are 54 poems. Spiritual Doctrine: 71

1. The language of Therese is a language of experience and her experience is direct and narrates by first person. Her life itself is her theology and it is a treatise of encounter which she offers to the readers in a spontaneous way and in a simple way. I cannot express the joy of my soul since these things are experienced but cannot be put into words. Several months have passed since this sweet dream, and yet the memory it has left in my soul has lot nothing of its freshness and heavenly charms. I still see Venerable Mothers glance and smile which was Filled with love. I believe I can still feel the caresses she gave me at this time39 2. It is an experience of lucid or clarity. The verbs like Understanding. Feeling which express revelations, intuitions, and illuminations which affected her whole being, which is nothing but to be in God. There is an integration and understanding of God from the point of love and in love. 3. Therese emphasized the need for fidelity to the ordinary duties of ones state of life, the importance of love as a motivating power, and the cultivation of a filial trust in the heavenly father. 4. She did not practice extraordinary penances or mortifications like the other saints, although her mortal illness surely constituted a severe form of asceticism. Nor do we find in her the numerous charisms and extraordinary phenomena, although she asserts that she was cured of a strange illness in 1882. She appears to be a mystic ordinary, day today life. All his life is natural, lived a natural life. 5. The little way: According to her, this is a new little way to reach God. Mother Ines in 1907 said that she coined for the first time that Therese proposed a the way of spiritual infancy to the world. Therese herself says, I want to search a mean to go to heaven through a small way, short way or narrow way which may be new . I want to discover a lift to climb up to Jesus since I am very little girl to pass through the scale of perfection. 6. Her motivation was to be a saint. She said, I always to be a saint. God may not inspire me desires, in spite of my littlenes s, and she had the vocation of the Warrior, the priest, the Apostle, the Doctor and the martyr. 7. Smallness and littleness: She found it in herself from her weakness as smallness and from her weakness or littleness to the Love of God. In spite of my smallness or littleness, I want to enlighten the souls like the prophets and doctors of the church. And she had the profound humility like St. Francis of Assisi. 8. Charity: It is a key for her to say that Jesus is my friend, beloved and Master. It is Christ who did everything in her life, and not herself alone. Being aware of her weakness she experienced a change in her life that made to orient her holiness from her proper effort to the

Cf. Therese, History of a soul, 191.


total and radical abandonment to Jesus. It is Jesus who does everything; I do nothing from my part. She was an apostle of love. Love is nothing but to surrender ones desires and wills to the proper will of God. She says, I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that love was everything, that it embraced all times and places.. in a Word, that that it was eternal my vocation is love. She was able to practice total abandonment to the divine will and embrace her vocation as a victim soul because of her childlike love and trust in the heavenly father. 9. Her missionary vocation: She says, I feel in me the vocation of the Priest. With that love, O Jesus, I would carry You in my hands when, at my voice, you would come down from heaven. From her childhood she had desired to have a brother Priest who would occupy specially of the salvation of her soul and would help her with his prayers and Holy Mass, and if he is a missionary priest who save many souls. Her heart and mind was to save the many souls of people who still knew nothing of Christ and His love. That is why, she is proclaimed as copatroness of missions by Pope. 10. The night of the Faith: Therese also experienced the separation of God from her, or the distance of God, or absent of his Spiritual consolations. It appears to be us that she had the night of the faith. She says, HE permitted me to enter into thick darkness and the thought of heaven which was very sweet for me, would last for sometime without any motif of fight and torment. It is necessary for me to travel in this dark tunnel to understand his obscurity. This testimony shows the she has not neglected her faith, but shows that God has hidden His face to her. The experience of God according to her has been converted in the experience of night, in the absolute transcendence of the Mystery of God that cannot be anything but night for humans. Conclusions: Shunning any and all extraordinary favours and practicing utmost fidelity to the ordinary tasks of her daily life, she offers hope and encouragement to all the little souls who seek to follow Christ by performing their ordinary tasks extraordinarily well. Her little way is possible for all Christians to reach the Almighty God.



THE SPIRITUALITY OF NAZARETH 1. Biography Of Charles De Foucauld Charles Eugene de Foucauld was born into a devout, aristocratic family at Strasbourg on September 15th 1858. Both of his parents died before he was six. He was brought up and spoilt by his grandfather. While pursuing his secondary studies at Strasbour and Nancy, he lost his faith. Then, He entered the military academy of St.Cyr. He squandered a fortune. He passed out eighty-seventh in a class of eighty-eight. At the age of twenty-three he enlisted in the army and then later, from 1883 to 1884, he explored Morocco scientifically, for which he received a decoration from the French government. Converted from atheism in 1886, Charles thought of entering the religious life. After a visit to the Holy Land, he entered the Trappists in France but after six months he was transferred to a Trappists monastery in Syria, where he made his religious profession in 1892. The Trappists life did not satisfy Charles de Foucauld, for he wanted to found his own religious order in which there was no distinction between choir monks and lay brothers, no choral office, and the monks would support themselves completely by manual labour. He left the Trappists and went to Palestine, where he lived as an odd-job man in a tiny hut by the convent of the Poor charles at Nazareth. And also he spent hours of the day and night in mental prayer. Later he returned to France, where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1901. Thereupon he went back to the Sahara (Africa) and established a hermitage at Beni- Abbes on the Morocco-Algeria frontier. He sought to bring Christianity to the Muslim desert tribes, not by preaching but by good example. By his life of contemplation and charity he aimed to show himself as a man of God and as the universal brother, and thereby to prepare the way for later missionaries. In his hermitage, he kept the Blessed Sacrament always exposed and spent long hours in adoration. In 1905 he set up his hermitage in the Ahaggar Mountains near Tamanrasset. Respected by the Turaeg tribesmen, Foucauld was able to learn a great deal concerning their customs and language. He was murdered by a maurading band belonging to the fanatical Senusi sect. Foucauld had no disciples during life, but the publication of his personal papers inspired the founding of the LITTLE BROTHERS OF JESUS (1933) and the LITTLE SISTERS OF JESUS (1936). He was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on 13 th November 2005. 2. His followers: In 1896 he redacted the rules for the Little brothers of Sacred of Jesus who would be marked with hermitical, silent characters. Later, the Little sister of Jesus was also formed. The constitutions form 40 articles and it is also based on the inspiration from St. Augustine. The life of 74

Nazareth is the pillar of their life, reason for their silence, and their intimacy with Jesus and their mission. The Eucharist and the priesthood form another important element in their lives. The priesthood is understood as living sacrifice for Christ, and of immolation to God. It is a radical donation to Christ as martyr in every day today life and it has to be marked with the universality of charity and has to be given to Him unconditionally to all. 3. His spiritual Doctrine: The sources of his spirituality are taken from his letters, spiritual diaries, points of spiritual retreats, and it is said that they preserve some 6500 letters of him. His vocation to the desert life was taken from the fathers of the Church. His silent life, poverty, and search for God are inspired by the fathers of the Church and he learned the method of prayer from St. Theresa of Jesus. a) Only Jesus: Jesus is the only way for us. Only Jesus we need to occupy ourselves, nothing else. Jesus is the unique and principal master. The Love for Jesus is exclusive and absolute. Our love for Jesus must be fixed in Him and contemplating Him alone. During his life in the desert, he was reading the gospels and the descriptions of Jesus and made him as his model. And he was following Him deeply in the liturgy and His actions, sayings in his life. All our life is to imitate His unique model, the salvation of our souls. b) Nazareth: His spirituality is centred on the hidden life of the mystery of Jesus Nazareth. This is the spirituality and ideal of religious life of Charles. He did not feel that he was called to an apostolic life, but to the hidden life of Jesus in Nazareth. Nazareth is the place of intimacy with Jesus, his home and his family. Nazareth is like a school in which he learns how to live daily the gospel of Jesus. In it he walks with the marginalized, the rejected, the simple people and to love them as Jesus loved. It is in which Jesus prepares Himself for the great act of Salvation. The Word of God became flesh in Jesus of Nazareth and it was significant for him even life of Jesus at Nazareth in which he was serving, working as poor. Adopt indefinitely your life to the life of Nazareth .Your life is your life in Nazareth which is hidden in God with Christ. It is a life between his parents and Him. . Charles wanted in his place, the last place. To confirm his vocation to the life of Nazareth, after his ordination he left for the desert. c) Work: Work is an instrument of collaboration in the redemptive work of God, and practice of humility which is considered as a possibility of living 75

communion with the Father, like Jesus of Nazareth. We need to work like Mary, Jesus and Joseph who were honest workers of the world. Jesus worked with his own hands and sanctified the work with his hands and at the same time he was communion with the Father. Work and prayer go together. It is manual work which makes possible to be with Jesus. Work makes unity with Christ through prayer, and favours the concentrated attention in Jesus. Work and poverty also go together in spiritual life. His option of life was to live a life of poverty and misery to imitate Jesus. Work was their sustenance and livelihood for his surrounding people and he adopted it as his style of life. His poverty was real and without assistance from others he lived by manual labour. Work is the identification with Jesus who was the worker who consecrated the creation with his work. d) Silence: Charles de Focuald went into desert and lived a life of silence. He lived among people in the desert; it was a double harmonic movement of the commandment of love. He discovered silence as a contrast to the life of noises (internal and external) which he had it before. His search for silence made him to join the Trappist and to live a life of loneliness, and prayer. The option for the life of silence is inspired from Jesus hidden life of thirty years. A silent and contemplative monk is my vocation; and I have been made for silence and not for the word 40. In the constitutions of Little brothers, it was clearly explained: Silence is perpetual. The brothers do not speak often except the prior. To speak with the others he has to get permission from the Prior. 41 Silence and solitude are the two indispensable conditions to have communication with the Beloved, because, HE communicates with us in silence. Silence sometimes is from part of God and we have to follow the obscure way of faith. 42 He distinguishes three types of life in the life of Christ: Cenobitical life (Nazareth), heremitical life (Desert), apostolic life (Public life). His vocation is to preach the Gospel in Silence, in the hidden life as Mary and Joseph did in their lives. His preaching was silence, his presence, and his humble existence. e) Desert: Desert according to him is a theological and symbolical echo of the desert in the Holy Bible: Abraham, Moses, Israel, a condition to encounter with the Beloved and to listen to the Word of God ( For this I am going to seduce her, I will take her to the desert and will talk to her heart (Hos 2:16). Desert is a time of silence and it is for silence. Many groups and orders have gone to the desert to begin their lives.

40 41

A second letter written on 2nd of July 1907. Constitutions no. XIX & XX. 42 Jesus is not happy about me,, obscure and dryness are there in my life. Communion, prayer, meditation are painful, but Christ loves me more..(letter of 6th June of 1897)


Desert is also in the function of the imitation and the following of Christ. It is lived as a place of conversion and mortification for Christ and to encounter Christ.

f) Universality and Availability: One of the ways to announce the Gospel was for Carlos is a silent presence, simple before the world, nothing else. His community was always opened and desired that his community may be a symbol of the universal fraternity in Christ, a community of testimony of the universal charity which encloses the love of Jesus for all humans without any partiality of colour, culture and religion. His universality is constructed from humility, simplicity and the respect for all cultures and religion. His fundamental universal vocation is dedication to the service and work among the marginalized and poor with whom he had a profound solidarity. I see that all the inhabitants, Christians, muslims, jews and pagans have considered me like their universal brother. And they have begun to call my home khaoua (fraternity)43

CHAPTER 12. CURRENT SPIRITUALITIES Introduction: The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) is a convenient reference point for surveying twentieth-century RC spirituality. The councils aim was to make the entire Church community a more authentic and more comprehensible sign to the modern world of Gods saving design for the human race. The Council Fathers clearly proclaimed that God calls all his people, not just priests and religious, to the perfection of love taught by Jesus in the Gospels,44 and they strongly encouraged all the faithful to minister to others since all share responsibility for the life and mission of the Church at every level. 45 Since 1965 devotional expressions such as Stations of the Cross, novenas, holy hours, and special practices in honour of the Eucharist, the Heart of Jesus, and the Blessed Virgin have sharply declined in many places, not without serious loss, when they have not been replaced by something better. But liturgical renewal, more personalized retreats, Bible and theology courses and study groups, the charismatic renewal, Focolarini, Marriage Encounter, Christian Family Life,
43 44 45

A letter dated on 7th January 1902. Lumen Gentium, Ch.5. Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity.


Young Christian Workers, Christian Life Communities, social action groups, base communities, and other movements have supplied new insights, fresh fervour and creative action. Regular spiritual direction is sought after by increasing numbers of persons and excellent training programmes have been created to prepare qualified spiritual guides. In this juncture we would like to expose on few current spiritualities of RC. 1. Charismatic spirituality: The Charismatic movement is a fast growing phenomenon in the Catholic Church. Today many have become involved with charismatic groups and experience great changes in their spiritual life. 1.1. What is meant by Charismatic? Etymologically charis in Greek or charisma in Latin denotes gift or a favour received from or given by the Holy Spirit. Charismatic used as a noun means a person who has or who enjoys the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit. In this sense all of us who are baptized and have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit can be called charismatics. Charismatic used as an adjective means a quality attributed to a person who enjoys the special gifts of the Holy Spirit like healing, discernment of the spirits, etc. Charismatic used with a movement indicates a movement which is centred on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 1.2. The Origin of the Charismatic Movement: Actually, the CM started on the day of Pentecost, the day on which the Holy Spirit descended on the Blessed Virgin Mary and the apostles. 46 As we know that Seven weeks after the feast of the Passover, i.e. the fiftieth day the Jews celebrated the feast of harvest and they offered the first fruits to God47. It was on this day (50th day), Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon Mary and the apostles. It has already outpoured of the Spirit on the day of the first Pentecost in the Church. However, the movement as such gained momentum in the Catholic Church only in the 20th Century. In 1967 some Catholics at Duquesne University in U.S.A. met and prayed regularly. They were upset by the obvious decline of religious practice, both on the campus and throughout the whole Church. They were convinced that a renewal could be effected in the Church by a new Pentecost. i.e. a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. So they began to pray for the outpouring or advent of the Holy Spirit. As they prayed to the Holy Spirit they were blessed by Him with the charismatic gifts, they were renewed internally and they began to live like Jesus. This was the beginning of the Catholic Pentecostal Charismatic Movement in the Catholic Church. 1.3. Definition of Charismatic Movement: (CM) The Charismatic Movement is so called in as much as the gifts of the Holy Spirit move us towards a renewed life, i.e., a life transformed 48 by the Spirit where we dwell not led by the standards of the world49 but by the standards of the Spirit50. The belief of the CM is that if a person receives the Baptism of the Spirit or gets anointed by the Holy Spirit, a healing will begin to take place within that person and when
46 47

Cf. Acts 1:13-14, 2: 1-4. Ex 23:16., 34:22, Lev 23:16. 48 Cf. Rom 12: 1-2 49 Cf. Jn 1:10. 50 Cf. Gal 5:22-23a.


that person is healed internally, he or she will begin to confess through his or her words and deeds that Jesus is the Lord and He will create a new world- a world of justice, peace and Joy51 around him or her. 1.4. Clarification of some terms: a) Praying in tongues: It is a strange language which has no letters or script but is capable of giving expression to ones deep feelings or thoughts. It is a gift by which a person prays to God in a language which he or she does not know. It is a prayer in which a person does not use his memory or intellect, but uses only his lips, tongue or larynx. It is a sound produced by repeating a few words in various ways or rhythms. Praying in tongues is meant to praise the Lord or to be used as a means to express ones feelings or thoughts to the Lord. It is meant to convey some message to the people who participate in the prayer meeting. Praying in tongues should be conceived as the exclusive and the only sign of the anointing of the Spirit or of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

b) Baptism of the Spirit: The Baptism of the Spirit implies complete renewal of the human being by the Holy Spirit. We know that we have received the Holy Spirit during our baptism. Therefore, why should we be renewed again? Or we pray for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? We call the Holy Spirit to come and help us to utilise the gifts and the fruits given to us on the day of baptism and confirmation. On the day of baptism the seeds of the Holy Spirit, His gifts and the fruits were sown in our hearts. When we call upon the Holy Spirit during Charismatic Prayer, we entreat Him to create an atmosphere in us, an atmosphere of justice, peace and joy where the spiritual seeds could sprout and grow and yield thirtyfold, sixtyfold and a hundredfold. The Baptism of the Spirit is not a second baptism but an outpouring of the powers of the Spirit 52. The Spirit will help us to pray 53, free us from the bondage of flesh54 and reveal us to us Gods wisdom.55 The preliminary baptism introduces us into the life of God and His kingdom, while the Baptism of the Spirit prepares us to live a renewed life in Christ by our courageous and conscious Yes to the daily demands of Christ. The initial baptism makes us Christians, but baptism of the Spirit renders us Christ-like, i.e., it makes us the authentic disciples or authentic witnesses to Christs values, especially to the value of love.

51 52

Cf. Rom 14:17 Cf. Rom 15:13, 1Thes 1:5 53 Cf. Rom 8:26. 54 Cf. Rom 8:2-11. 55 Cf. 1 Cor 2:10, Jn 14:26.


A person may receive the Bap.of the Holy Spirit privately through personal prayer. As Jesus has promised, the Holy Spirit will be given on all those who ask for him56. A person receives the Baptism of the Holy Spirit publicly when the members of the prayer community pray that the person may be delivered from all that is evil and filled by the Holy Spirit who will actuate all the gifts present in him. Normally when the members of a prayer meeting pray over a person, they place their hands on the head or the shoulders of the person on whom they invoke the Holy Spirit.

c) Charismatic prayer meeting: A large part of prayer meeting is spent in prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God. They pray spontaneously and like little children submit their petitions to God with great trust that God loves them. The participants utilise their charismatic gifts like knowledge, understanding etc. freely and stimulate others to grow in their faith and friendship with God. Many participate and the time is not monopolized by a few. The participants are enabled to feel the presence of the Spirit in them. The participants enjoy an atmosphere where they feel the release of the spiritual powers like the gift of the prophecy, praying in tongues, etc. concealed in them. The meeting should not become a routine, weekly song festival. Teaching or sharing should not predominate a prayer meeting. Excessive or unnecessary noise should be avoided. Too much of emotionalism should be discouraged.

1.5. The Role of the Priests in the CM: Advantages: CM provides an opportunity to priests to be among the people. (Heb 5:1) It will move priests to pray. It will help priests to extend the sphere of their ministry and to go beyond the ministry of the sacraments. It will furnish priests a golden opportunity for teaching and guiding their people. The more priests involve themselves in prayer meetings, the more will they emerge as spiritual leaders in the midst of the lay people, and the people will begin to approach the priests for solving their spiritual and personal problems. The more priests are approached for personal guidance, the more they grow in their relationship with their people, and, step by step, a community of love and concern is built up. Roles: Priests must first of all try to learn what CM is. They must realize that they have the obligation to provide the people with the methods of prayer they like. People should not be deprived of an opportunity for charismatic life.


Cf. Lk 11: 9-13.


They should yield to the acting of the Spirit who is residing in their hearts. They should respond wholeheartedly to the promptings and inspirations of the Spirit.

1.6. How to find out whether a CM is a catholic one? Its center must be the Holy Eucharist. It ought to accept full participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass, celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, recitation of the Rosary and veneration of the saints. Especially the Blessed Virgin Mary. It should obey the Bishop. Eco-Spirituality: What is Ecology? It comes from the Greek word oikos which means house. It is coined by the German biologist Haeckel in 1866 to designate the newly developing science of the habitat or science of the natural environment of home or house. House here implies the environment or the natural conditions or circumstances, etc.. which affect peoples lives, the life of animals, plants, air, and water and anything that is associated with created things. It can be divided into autecology and synecology. Autecology studies the individual organisms or individual species in relation to environment. Synecology, on the other hand, studies groups of organisms which are associated together as a unit in relation to an environment. It covers a vast area. What is eco-spirituality? EC could mean to acknowledge God as the center of the Universe and praise Him for the gift of this beautiful earth, our house. It can be described as the act of glorifying God by praising, loving and serving this universe, especially our mother earth. It can also mean to feel one with Nature and to help it to realize the purpose of its existence. It can be further be construed as loving, respecting, preserving and admiring the earth or the environment for its own sake in as much as it is the handiwork of God and as splendid gift of God to humankind. It can be envisaged as a constant experience of the abiding presence of God in everything and everything in God. It can also be viewed as looking at the world with the mind and the eyes of Jesus. We need to ask ourselves why is the world today experiencing global warming or the green house effect, depletion of the ozone layer and the extinction of various species of flora and fauna? Why are we facing today environmental issues like acid rain, deforestation, pollution of different kinds, i.e., air, water, soil, vehicular, industrial noise, etc..? What are the causes for such a dismal phenomenon? Sir Edmund Hillary says, Environmental problems are really social problems anyway. They begin with people as the cause, and end with people as victims. They are


usually born of ignorance or apathy. It is people who create a bad environment- and a bad environment brings out the worst in people57 What the Christians should do? 1. By deep prayer and contemplation we must imbibe the Spirit of Christ who is pervading the whole of creation. 2. We must be sensitive to the divine whisper of the winds, waves, mountains, valleys, rivers and oceans. 3. We must see the Lord who is present in our brothers and sisters and do all that is possible which help them rise from the tomb of their agony. 4. We must try to respect the land or this earth which has Jesus Christ as its center. 5. Bending our head to no unjust organization or sly planning, come what may, we must pledge to act as free children of God. 6. In our daily life the use-and-throw culture must be replaced by a life style marked with recycling and re-use. 7. Without being discouraged by failures we must rise always from the ashes hoping that new peoples movements, dedicated educational institutions and committed individuals will be with us to combat common ecological problems. 8. All beings have been created by God to glorify Him; their vocation is to reflect to mankind the goodness, beauty, wisdom and holiness of God. Since they are the mirrors through which God is reflected they are to be revered, protected and acclaimed. If man fails to see in Nature the countenance of God he may not respect and praise Nature. Conclusions: In conclusion, it may be stated that no created being or object can live without an environment. Every being is born, grows and dies in a certain environment. There is a very close relationship between every being and its environment. Man or woman needs to take care of the environment in which he has his being if he sincerely desires to live a healthy and peaceful life. If human wishes that his surroundings should be favorable to his physical, psychological, sociological, spiritual and religious growth he or she must see to it that his or her surroundings remain free from all sorts of pollution and undue attachment to artificiality. If human takes care of his habitat or eco-sphere it will take care of him; if he kills the environment, the environment will kill him. Edmund Hillary rightly states, The future is entirely in our hands. We can make the world what we will, a paradise for all or a barren desolate globe spinning endlessly through space58

57 58

Cf. S.E. Hillary, (ed.,) Ecology 2000: The Changing Face of the Earth (London, 1984) 15. Cf. S.E. Hillary, (ed.,) Ecology 2000: The Changing Face of the Earth (London, 1984) 12.


General Conclusions:
There was dispute concerning basic principles of ascetico-mystical theology shortly after the First World War. There were incompatible views concerning such questions as the call to perfection; the relation between mystical experience and Christian perfection; the distinction between acquired contemplation and infused contemplation; and the unity or diversity of the path to perfection. The mystical question has been a source of controversy since the early days of the Church, when the Apostolic fathers attempted to defend orthodox Christian gnosis against pagan Gnosticism. Until the seventeenth century, theologians of spiritual life generally accepted the fact that individuals who cooperate fully with the graces received, can attain to a mystical experience of God. There came John Baptist Scaramelli SJ (+1752) who made a complete separation between the ascetical and mystical aspects of the Spiritual life and posited to distinct types of Christian Perfection.. His reasons are as follow: All are called to the perfection of charity, but only few attain the mystical state of infused contemplation and the ordinary perfection of Christian life is realized in the ascetical state. The ascetical state and ascetical perfection are the normal, ordinary and perfection of the Christian life. Mystical state is extraordinary. There are two paths to perfection and actually two distinct types of perfection at the end of these paths. There is distinction between acquired contemplation and infused contemplation. The perfection of Charity does not necessarily involve for all Christians the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit nor infused contemplation nor a mystical experience of Gods presence. These ideas were put into questions and John Arintero, (1860-1928), a Dominican defended the unity of spiritual life, the place of infused contemplation as a normal development of the life of grace, and mystical experience. The emphasis of Vatican Council was on the Christian call to holiness which is the mark of the Church. It was treated in Lumen Gentium . All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of love and by this holiness a more human manner of life is fostered also in earthly society. In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christs gift, so that, following in his footsteps and conformed to his image, doing the will of God in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of the neighbour. The forms of life are many but holiness is one-Obey Gods will and adoring God the Father in spirit and in truth, follow Christ poor, humble, and cross bearing. Everyone according to his own gifts and duties must steadfastly advance along the way of a living faith, which arouses hope and works through love.