Catholic Spirituality

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Posts 2733
Milkman | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, May 25 2018 1:15 PM

I'm still making my way through both Eastern Orthodox Spirituality and Catholic Spirituality.

For now my attention is on Catholic spirituality. This is what I'm doing and if anyone has a "better" or different approach I'm all ears.

In the book, The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints

Ralph Martin uses these Doctors to guide the newbie, me and others unfamiliar with Catholic spirituality, toward the journey to God.

What I'm thinking of doing is reading each of the Doctors he mentions in the below snap shot and following the advice in each. 

Why am I doing this? Simple. I just want a closer walk with the Lord. I realize this will be an ongoing, as it has already been, progress till the day I leave. 

Some of my Reformed companions, those I've met in Seminary and many of those I've read and am still reading are quietly, but persistently speaking in my ears, "Don't go there, it's heresy and Roman Catholicism is anti us."' "Remember the Reformation. Remember the sacrifice of your forefathers. Beware"'

Well that's a struggle I can put up with. For now, I'm wanting something more than what I've been doing in the past.

So this is the list of Doctors that Ralph Martin is using in the above mentioned book.

Once again, if anyone has something to offer this pilgrim to aid in the quest, I'm all ears.

mm.

mm.

Posts 18141
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 25 2018 4:12 PM

I applaud your approach. I was first made aware of the wealth of Catholic spiritual writing by a professor of mine at Regent College, Dr. James Houston. Over the past few decades, he has been quietly reintroducing evangelicals to the Christian classics that were "thrown out with the bath water" in the Reformation. (Richard Foster and Renovaré have also been working in this area.) In my younger years, I too had been afraid of reading anything by a Catholic author because I thought it was a slippery slope towards heresy. But as I've read more, the more I've realized I was ignorant. And I have not become one of those people who feels that I must convert to Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy because of the barrenness of spirituality in the Protestant/Reformed faith. Rather, I've grown broader in my views and more able to remain where I am while not rejecting everything that comes out of a different tradition. I am fortunate that I attend a church that is open to learning from other traditions; otherwise I'd probably be fighting an uphill battle and might be tempted to leave.

Of course not everything in every one of these "classics" will be something you agree with. I've had to in some cases just shake my head and say, "no I'm not going to take that in, but this other stuff is pure gold."

Of the works you highlighted above, I've read Augustine's Confessions, and The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila. I also recommend Spiritual Friendship by Aelred of Rievaulx (unfortunately not in Logos, but available in PDF format here; including a long introduction). Other Catholic spiritual writings I've read which I would recommend include The Rule of Saint BenedictThe Cloud of Unknowing (Anonymous), Revelations of Divine Love (Julian of Norwich), The Imitation of Christ (Thomas à Kempis), and The Practice of the Presence of God (Brother Lawrence).

Some good anthologies, for dipping your feet in, are Spiritual Classics: Selected Readings on the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines and Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups, both put out by Renovaré, and both available only in print form as far as I know. There is also 25 Books Every Christian Should Read: A Guide to the Essential Spiritual Classics, which is available in Kindle format. These will also provide you with some introductory info about each author/book to guide you in plunging in deeper.

Posts 778
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 25 2018 7:14 PM

Do you have the Study Guide?  It helps by posing questions that may lead you in different directions that explore the topic.

https://www.logos.com/product/153075/the-fulfillment-of-all-desire-with-study-guide

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 26 2018 2:12 AM

Deacon Steve:

Do you have the Study Guide?  It helps by posing questions that may lead you in different directions that explore the topic.

https://www.logos.com/product/153075/the-fulfillment-of-all-desire-with-study-guide

Steve, note that the study guide is still in development (available on its own as PrePub), same as the bundle you linked to. Only the book itself has currently been produced for Logos. 

Running Logos 7 latest (beta) version on Win 10

Posts 2733
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 26 2018 6:19 AM

Thanks. I too was introduced to Jim Houston while we were attending SWBCC in Kamloops. The pastor at that time, DH, introduced some of us to his writings. We also made a trip to Regents book store. I was stunned by the 'stuff' they had coming from a smaller book store at the Seminary. I picked up Bloesch's Essentials Vol 1,2 and thought I had the only two books on theology that I'd ever need. Boy was I wrong. Yes it would be nice to have Dr. Houston's works in Logos.

In your list that Logos carries I have all but The Cloud of Unknowing. I just purchased the 25 Books and now I have it in Kindle.The Spiritual and Devotional Classics I may order from Chapters.

I'm excited about the 25 Books book. 

As always Rosie, thanks for your thoughtful replies. Hope all is well.

mm.

Rosie Perera:

I applaud your approach. I was first made aware of the wealth of Catholic spiritual writing by a professor of mine at Regent College, Dr. James Houston. Over the past few decades, he has been quietly reintroducing evangelicals to the Christian classics that were "thrown out with the bath water" in the Reformation. (Richard Foster and Renovaré have also been working in this area.) In my younger years, I too had been afraid of reading anything by a Catholic author because I thought it was a slippery slope towards heresy. But as I've read more, the more I've realized I was ignorant. And I have not become one of those people who feels that I must convert to Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy because of the barrenness of spirituality in the Protestant/Reformed faith. Rather, I've grown broader in my views and more able to remain where I am while not rejecting everything that comes out of a different tradition. I am fortunate that I attend a church that is open to learning from other traditions; otherwise I'd probably be fighting an uphill battle and might be tempted to leave.

Of course not everything in every one of these "classics" will be something you agree with. I've had to in some cases just shake my head and say, "no I'm not going to take that in, but this other stuff is pure gold."

Of the works you highlighted above, I've read Augustine's Confessions, and The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila. I also recommend Spiritual Friendship by Aelred of Rievaulx (unfortunately not in Logos, but available in PDF format here; including a long introduction). Other Catholic spiritual writings I've read which I would recommend include The Rule of Saint BenedictThe Cloud of Unknowing (Anonymous), Revelations of Divine Love (Julian of Norwich), The Imitation of Christ (Thomas à Kempis), and The Practice of the Presence of God (Brother Lawrence).

Some good anthologies, for dipping your feet in, are Spiritual Classics: Selected Readings on the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines and Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups, both put out by Renovaré, and both available only in print form as far as I know. There is also 25 Books Every Christian Should Read: A Guide to the Essential Spiritual Classics, which is available in Kindle format. These will also provide you with some introductory info about each author/book to guide you in plunging in deeper.

mm.

Posts 778
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 26 2018 7:26 AM

NB.Mick:

Deacon Steve:

Do you have the Study Guide?  It helps by posing questions that may lead you in different directions that explore the topic.

https://www.logos.com/product/153075/the-fulfillment-of-all-desire-with-study-guide

Steve, note that the study guide is still in development (available on its own as PrePub), same as the bundle you linked to. Only the book itself has currently been produced for Logos. 

Thanks for pointing that out.  I have it in my Verbum library and didn't check what my grayed-out button was saying.  I assumed something incorrectly.  Sorry about that Embarrassed

Posts 778
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 26 2018 7:49 AM

I would also add to Rosie's list any of the books from the Classics of Western Spirituality depending on your area or time period of interest.

It's important to know that Catholic Spirituality takes many forms and has developed continuously since the time of the Apostles.  There is a good resource, unfortunately not in Verbum, that covers the movements and key people:  Christian Spirituality: An Introduction to the Heritage by Charles Healey, SJ  A very helpful resource.

Posts 2768
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 26 2018 11:34 AM

Milkman my recommendation is outside of Logos, but there is a comprehensive book on the life of the 35 Doctors of the Church called 35 Doctors of the Church. I have read it and it's excellent - my paperback copy is filled with notes, comments and thoughts! While the paperback is more expensive at $25 or so, the Kindle version is only $2.99 (which means you could turn it into a personal book in Logos if you desire). The authors (Matthew Benson and a Franciscan Fr. Christopher Rengers) have wonderful reputations as authors and speakers. IMHO this book will complement your study and discernment. 

Posts 18141
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 27 2018 7:43 PM

Milkman:
We also made a trip to Regents book store. I was stunned by the 'stuff' they had coming from a smaller book store at the Seminary.

Yes, it is probably the best theological bookstore in all of North America, or at least tied with Eighth Day Books in Wichita, KS. It is a joy to browse through it. It's got great stuff to discover that you'd never know about otherwise. The Regent Bookstore manager, Bill Reimer, has such a wealth of knowledge about books and authors and publishing. I am so blessed to live about 5 minutes away.

I forgot to mention the Catholic Spirituality Collection, which is a cheaper way to pick up several of these books at once, or add to the ones you've already got using dynamic pricing.

Deacon Steve:
I would also add to Rosie's list any of the books from the Classics of Western Spirituality depending on your area or time period of interest.

There's also Classics of Modern Catholic Spirituality, which is a subset of Classics of Western Spirituality that's more manageable than buying the whole of the latter.

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 28 2018 2:30 AM

Milkman:

Once again, if anyone has something to offer this pilgrim to aid in the quest, I'm all ears.

If you want to read from start to finish one of the classics quoted a lot in Fulfillment of All Desire (which is a great introduction to Catholic spirituality), I would recommend starting with The Story of a Soul by Therese of Lisieux. It is a real gem, and is brief as well.

Posts 17
Manuel Maria | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 28 2018 1:23 PM

I agree. Therese of Avila might be quite dry and hard to understand (at least in the original text, I don't know if translation to English makes things easier...).

And if you like bible study (after all we are at logos), you can take a look at the Navarre Bible commentaries, which are cheap and not long, and include lots of quotes from the catholic church. It is a quick way to obtain an overview and know relevant authors.

Posts 183
Stephen Terlizzi | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 28 2018 4:46 PM

Manuel Maria:

I agree. Therese of Avila might be quite dry and hard to understand (at least in the original text, I don't know if translation to English makes things easier...).

The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila set me on my path to Catholic Spirituality. I highly recommend reading it.

Agape,

Steve

Posts 2733
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 29 2018 11:04 AM

Thanks Devin,

Fortunately I have that in Logos. 

Fr Devin Roza:

Milkman:

Once again, if anyone has something to offer this pilgrim to aid in the quest, I'm all ears.

If you want to read from start to finish one of the classics quoted a lot in Fulfillment of All Desire (which is a great introduction to Catholic spirituality), I would recommend starting with The Story of a Soul by Therese of Lisieux. It is a real gem, and is brief as well.

mm.

Posts 2733
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 30 2018 12:09 PM

Just pre-ordered it.

Thanks for pointing it out. Looking forward to it.

Deacon Steve:

Do you have the Study Guide?  It helps by posing questions that may lead you in different directions that explore the topic.

https://www.logos.com/product/153075/the-fulfillment-of-all-desire-with-study-guide

mm.

Posts 2733
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 1 2018 1:54 PM

So after looking through 25 Books Every Christian Should Read: A Guide To The Spiritual Classics I've decided that my first dip in these waters will be John of the Cross.

The reason I chose this book or Saint first, there was no set or demanded order to begin the 25, was on account of one of my professors who suggested reading him while I had an "experience" in Seminary. Tried to read it back then, but I think it went in one ear and out the other. Now, it's different. Many ups and down in both personal and pastoral life. Hopefully more mature now than back in the day. Maybe not, but every day is moving me closer to the One I'm supposed to be in love with and as it stands right now, the landscape is pretty arid. So if I can gain any wisdom or direction from an old timer, then I'm all ears. Besides, St. John brings a bit of nostalgia back into my life remembering the great time we had in Seminary. So nice to be part of a fraternity of brothers and sisters.

I also bought these three books as a primer to St. John's life:

  1. The Impact of God: Soundings from St John of the Cross
  2. Enkindling Love: The Legacy of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross (Mapping the Tradition)
  3. The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth

So, thanks for all your help.

mm.

mm.

Posts 17
Manuel Maria | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 1 2018 2:17 PM

Good choice. After all both saints were good friends. You are absolutely invited to visit Alba de Tormes in Salamanca, Spain, where you can see her uncorrupted heart at an arm distance from the visitor.

Posts 2733
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 1 2018 2:23 PM

Thanks. I didn't realize their friendship until I started reading about them. Can't believe he did at 49.

R U in Spain?

mm.

Posts 2733
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 1 2018 2:27 PM

Rosie? Just wanted to say a 'special' thanks for your advice over these years. You truly are a treasure! 

Rosie Perera:

I applaud your approach. I was first made aware of the wealth of Catholic spiritual writing by a professor of mine at Regent College, Dr. James Houston. Over the past few decades, he has been quietly reintroducing evangelicals to the Christian classics that were "thrown out with the bath water" in the Reformation. (Richard Foster and Renovaré have also been working in this area.) In my younger years, I too had been afraid of reading anything by a Catholic author because I thought it was a slippery slope towards heresy. But as I've read more, the more I've realized I was ignorant. And I have not become one of those people who feels that I must convert to Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy because of the barrenness of spirituality in the Protestant/Reformed faith. Rather, I've grown broader in my views and more able to remain where I am while not rejecting everything that comes out of a different tradition. I am fortunate that I attend a church that is open to learning from other traditions; otherwise I'd probably be fighting an uphill battle and might be tempted to leave.

Of course not everything in every one of these "classics" will be something you agree with. I've had to in some cases just shake my head and say, "no I'm not going to take that in, but this other stuff is pure gold."

Of the works you highlighted above, I've read Augustine's Confessions, and The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila. I also recommend Spiritual Friendship by Aelred of Rievaulx (unfortunately not in Logos, but available in PDF format here; including a long introduction). Other Catholic spiritual writings I've read which I would recommend include The Rule of Saint BenedictThe Cloud of Unknowing (Anonymous), Revelations of Divine Love (Julian of Norwich), The Imitation of Christ (Thomas à Kempis), and The Practice of the Presence of God (Brother Lawrence).

Some good anthologies, for dipping your feet in, are Spiritual Classics: Selected Readings on the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines and Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups, both put out by Renovaré, and both available only in print form as far as I know. There is also 25 Books Every Christian Should Read: A Guide to the Essential Spiritual Classics, which is available in Kindle format. These will also provide you with some introductory info about each author/book to guide you in plunging in deeper.

mm.

Posts 17
Manuel Maria | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 1 2018 2:45 PM

Milkman:

Thanks. I didn't realize their friendship until I started reading about them. Can't believe he did at 49.

R U in Spain?

Yes, and I am quite lucky to have visited Alba de Torrmes a lot of times since my father and his ancestors were born there. The small chair Saint John used (he was short) is also there in the same church. Saint Therese used to friendly call him half monk.

Posts 2733
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 1 2018 2:59 PM

Well, if my wife and I ever get the chance to visit your lovely country, I will certainly look you up. However, according to Google Maps it's just over 4000 miles. We are hopeing to visit England and surrounding countries sometime. When? More milk needs to be sold - :) and if that does actually happen, expect a knock on your door and a quiet, "Milkman calling."

Yes I did read, today, that he was a short man. Half monk? I like that. It's not always the big and powerful who are big and powerful.

thanks so much for the invite. Maybe a glass of red to cheer a new friendship when or if we meet?

mm.

mm.

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