For one hundred years after the Council of Trent, all went well until a terrible calamity took place that would all but destroy the inner spiritual life of the Church down to the present day. It was a heresy called Quietism that promoted far and wide a pernicious perversion of the mystical teaching that had for so long been the lifeblood of the Church. The father founder of this heresy was a Spanish priest called Molino who lived in Rome, but his teaching had tentacles that reached out all over Europe. He had obviously been influenced by the reformers, because he insisted that in prayer everything so depends on God and on him alone that we can do nothing at all, but sit like lumps of dough waiting to be soaked in syrup.
Further to this, as we can do nothing without God, we cannot do anything about temptations either, but give in to them, until God decides to rid us of them. As this included sexual temptations it led to gross indecency by Molino himself and by his followers. This did not just include sins committed in the imagination and in the mind, but with the body and with one another too. This led to Molino being convicted, not just of heresy but of gross sexual indecency many times over, and for giving the green light to others to follow his example while deceiving themselves that they were on the mystic way.
The whole of Catholic Europe was so shocked and scandalised by his condemnation to monastic imprisonment for life in , and the evil is done by his false mysticism, that Catholic vigilantes rose up everywhere. They inaugurated witch hunts to hunt down and harass his followers throughout the Catholic world. These vigilantes were unable to distinguish between good traditional mystical theology and its counterfeit, so the baby was thrown out with the bath water. All forms of prayer that had the slightest whiff of Quietism about them were crushed and the Gospel of good works alone was promoted together with a harsh Catholic Calvinism otherwise known as Jansenism.
Inevitably the profound mystical prayer that taught people how to love in such a way that they came to know and experience the love of God, simply fell into abeyance. Mystical theology is that branch of theology that teaches how the love of sincere Christian searchers is gradually prepared for union with Christ. It teaches how this union is brought about through a profound inner purification so that we can finally become one with him, not just with his person, but with his personal action: In other words in his mystical contemplation of the Father.
Take yeast, salt and sugar out of bread and what is left but an unwholesome indigestible lump of dough. Take the purification that leads to selflessness out of love and what is left but an unwholesome self-centred nobody who is going nowhere. Without the inner mystical contemplation that was called into question after the condemnation of Quietism, we will be going nowhere.
The most mischievous feature of Quietism was the suspicion that it threw on the contemplative life as a whole. At the moment when, more than at any other, the Church needed the strength that only the life of contemplation can give, it was the tragedy of history that this life shrank to very small proportions and religion, even for holy souls, too often took on the appearance of being no more than a divinely aided effort towards moral perfection.
The Mystical Theology that was previously taught side by side with Moral Theology was taught no more in novitiates, seminaries and houses of religious education. It struck me to the core, for I found that thanks to the ongoing effects of Quietism none of them had any training in personal prayer never mind mystical theology. One young Franciscan said that in seven years of training he was given no training at all in personal prayer and if mystical theology was ever mentioned it was seen as a joke.
When I continued the same survey when I lectured in Rome in the late nineteen seventies and early nineteen eighties I found the same ignorance of Mystical theology from priests and religious from all over the world. If celibate priests and religious are deprived of the teaching that enables them to come to know and experience the love of God, then the disasters that we have seen everywhere in the Church in recent years were bound to happen.
St Thomas Aquinas said that if a person does not come to know and experience the love of God then they will seek illicit love elsewhere. I have been writing these columns for months to detail traditional Catholic spirituality and mystical theology. I have avoided referring to the current sexual scandals in the Church so far to avoid giving scandal in the vain hope that with a return to traditional spirituality they can be undermined.
Then, armed with the profound mystical spirituality that animated Jesus, the first and greatest mystic of all, and those who followed him, everything will become possible. For with love all things are possible, even converting a pagan world into a Christian world in such a short time.
Only closed and hardened hearts can prevent him from doing today through us what was done before through his first followers. Mystical Theology is scarcely promoted in the post-Concilar Church because from childhood on, so-called Catholic school education is antithetical and noxious to the pursuit of personal sanctification. Scan the mandatory, graphic Sex-Ed curricula inflicted on Catholic students from grades and dare deny it blights the life of sanctifying grace in their souls and even drives out the Holy Ghost from them.
The mystical path advances only as the enmity of what Apostle Paul calls the carnal mind, subsides, and sensuality recedes from imagination and memory, as the Eucharist more easily turns us God-ward. Are purity, chastity and modesty esteemed anywhere in the Catholic educational establishment which explicitly teaches children how to commit the sins of the flesh?
Do you realize how much pornography, including obscene Planned Parenthood material, I have been forced to watch under threat of expulsion for refusal, fearing the scathing contempt of my Sex-Ed instructor and staff who would tacitly allow my fellow students to mercilessly ridicule me in open class, the gym, the school bus, and be bullied online? After all that legalized child molestation known as Catholic Sex-Ed you talk to me about Mystical theology?
The outcome of pending State and Federal prosecutions of clerical sex abuse crimes will usher in the Catholic Church restored.
Treatise of the Spiritual Life Book One (Catholic Classics 2) - Kindle edition by Charles J. Morozzo O. Cist., Bro Smith SGS. Download it once and read it on your . Treatise of the Spiritual Life Vol 2 (Catholic Classics Book 3) - Kindle edition by Charles Morrozzo owimejokev.ga, Bro. Give as a gift or purchase for a team or group.
I agree with you that we must surrender our carnal minds to Christ, but that surrender must be Sacramentally supported, most of all by frequent reception of Holy Communion. Where films are shown to students how a boy or girl, man or woman, should masturbate; Where adult actors go through all the steps and sequences of vaginal intercourse, as well as oral and anal sodomy. How can any Catholic participate in parishes whose schools mentally rape their students in the name of obedience to a bishop who imprimaturs this systematic scandalization of the young?
Of course, for anyone in that sordid situation, any pursuit or practice of Mystical Theology becomes impossible and absurd. Starting late Fall, prosecution commences against priests, bishops and Cardinals for their sexual crimes against children. Meantime, companies which insured the Catholic Church for decades, and now are hit hard to pay billions in claims to young victims of clerical predations, are seriously listening to some of their prominent shareholders, to either deny coverage altogether to the Church, or greatly increase the premiums they charge.
Thank you for this wonderful article, David. God graciously placed in my path spiritual directors and a few teachers steeped in Mystical Theology through my formative years as a young man entering seminary and studying theology, then leaving the seminary and onward into married life. Its principles have been my inner compass the last 35 years, bearing much fruit in my work and lay ministry. I am convinced that the vision it provides gives us the only viable way forward in which Catholic moral teaching, the sacraments, Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition — the totality of what it means to be Catholic — can remain unified without being compromised, fragmented or truncated as is happening in the Church today.
Anthony you were blessed indeed to have had such spiritual directors. Your commitment to these principles in your married life and work is an encouragement to us all. This is the true worship that you should offer. Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world worldiness , but let God transform you godliness inwardly by a complete change of your mind.
Where we direct that love is what matters. There is only one way to love God, and that is through obedience to His Commandments. In I attended a week-end Carmelite retreat with an old-time Carmelite Priest. I have given you more on Mystical Theology than young priests are taught about it in seminary.
This priest enabled me to see how prayer builds faith, the faith that moves mountains; and that with deepening faith comes greater capacity for sacrifice and the painful but empowering death of the ego. R Wenner, I am moved by your story as it demonstrates how essential it is that prayer is taught. Most moving of all is how you have applied that teaching in your daily faithfulness to live that life of prayer. God bless you always. So many important points are mentioned in this essay. Thank you for this lesson in history and relationship between mystical and moral theology!
God will judge them. But should you not judge the members of your own fellowship?
One reading is not enough. It should suffice for learning how to walk in the supernatural, mystical realm. God is not fooled and the entrance into the mystical is a constant striving for humility, love, and sacrifice. But Mary will lead you. I read the 4 volume book the first time in I re-read it 6 times the next 6 years. It is very powerful. It is essentially mystical and ascetical theology. I know I reveived the grace to just understand that much namely that is an enourmous work with inconceivable strata of meanings and content and dimensions of reality.
I never did understand why THAT book is not required reading for all seminarians especially since it describes in detail the whole of spiritual warfare. I am not surprised at the state of the church. When you read that book you understand. But make no mistakes. In as much as you become truly a child of Mary in as much do you become the most hated enemy of Satan.
But even so, her Immaculate Heart has always triumphed and defended and protected. David, thank you for this piece. It seems many of us younger people are sort of coming round to this perspective, partly due to the aid of the internet, which is also responsible for much filth, but also due to the attempted revival of the Latin Mass, which points so clearly to heavenly worship as described in the Apocalypse, etc. One of my concerns with the way our classic Catholic mystical theology is discussed and presented is such an emphasis on prayer, asceticism, active and passive purifications often seems to leave out the effect of the Sacraments, in particular Penance and Holy Communion and perhaps others too.
As if the Sacraments are leftover parts…as if anyone, even a protestant or a disciplined pagan, if they effected the Catholic prayer life and asceticism and little else, would be just as Saint John of the Cross himself. Can you recommend any sources which place the Sacraments in their proper context in the deep, mystical inner life of the Catholic soul?
John the Sacraments are integral. The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us.
There can be no better Authentic teaching than to read The Catechism of the Catholic Church which explains how each sacrament draws us into the life of Christ. In another answer to you I explain, quoting the Catholic Catechism how through Baptism …. The whole People of God participates in these three offices of Christ and bears the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them..
This does not imply as you believed, that I am advocating a change in Catholic Teaching and tradition to admit women to the priesthood. This is explained in the Catechism. But we are judged and punished by the Lord, so that we shall not be condemned together with the world. Suellen, You make an important point. It would be so easy for vigilantes to destroy the good that still exists despite the corruption. Appears the basics and doctrines of the Eucharist need to be given to the Church before more regression occurs?!
A deep prayer life should be natural and normal. Therese of Lisioux. Priests are indoctrinated in the Seminary to despise these practices. And their lives reflect this. Nonetheless, I eventually found answers by tracking down and reading the old books that described the spiritual changes a soul undergoes on the mystical path. John G.
Arintero, O. Teresa of Avila. God guides the soul on the path to union with Christ. Human perception of the spiritual world has been veiled. There are beautifully designed, generous pages for writing and art journaling. Step by step, day by day, these words console and bring clarity to the hard days. Questions at the end of each chapter can easily be adapted for group study, or used for private journaling or quiet reflection. Unleashed and also Fearless. Sonja Corbitt was an evangelical Baptist before she converted to Catholicism. In Unleashed, she shares her passion for the scriptures by weaving the Word of God with her own experiences to show readers how the Holy Spirit flows through their lives in relationships, prayer, and even in times of suffering.
No study or discussion guide included, but still adapted for use in a group setting. Handbook for Catholic Moms. With warmth and wisdom, Hendey creates an environment where Catholic moms can reflect peacefully upon often-competitive topics like parenting style, types of schooling, and working outside the home. By sharing her own story, Hendey inspires readers to better balance their own needs with the demands of family life and faith commitment.
No discussion guide or questions included, but a homework assignment at the end of every chapter. Beloved and Blessed. Applying Sacred Scripture, Church teaching, and pastoral wisdom, Kimberly Hahn helps you explore: Marital intimacy; Responsible parenthood; Facing the financial future without fear; Strategies for disciplining and instructing children; Trusting God when parenting hurts.
This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius Thomas comes to a minute exposition of his ethics according to the scheme of the virtues. The devil is not directly the cause of sin, but he incites the imagination and the sensuous impulse of man as men or things may also do. Kenedy and Sons. Communications 1. Authors ask and answer questions concerning the "exchanged life. Contrary to the Franciscan view that the sacraments are mere symbols whose efficacy God accompanies with a directly following creative act in the soul, St.
Discussion questions are included. Getting Past Perfect. Com Book. There's one question at the end of every chapter that could be used for discussion in a group. Resisting Happiness. Are you happy? It may be the wrong question. Most of us think we are relatively happy, while at the same time knowing that we could be happier -- maybe even a lot happier.
Ordinary people and the finest philosophers have been exploring the question of happiness for thousands of years, and theories abound. But this is not a book of theory. Resisting Happiness is a deeply personal, disarmingly transparent look at why we sabotage our own happiness and what to do about it.
The Little Oratory. With simplicity and holy wisdom, authors David Clayton and Leila Marie Lawler show you how to bring peace to your home by integrating your family into the calm, truly joyful way of Mother Church. Her feasts and seasons, prayers and devotions are gifts that draw us closer to God and unfold before us His marvelous plan of salvation. To help you live the Liturgical Life of the Church more fully, David and Leila reclaim here an almost lost tradition that families used for centuries to build a beautiful bridge between home and church: the little oratory.
Not really set up for discussion groups, but chapters could easily be discussed. From Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC, author of the bestselling book Consoling the Heart of Jesus, comes an extraordinary day journey to Marian consecration with four giants of Marian spirituality.
It also comes as a program with study guide and videos for your group. A Mother's Rule of Life. Do you want to be a better wife and mother? To have more order in your life? To grow in union with God? Are you desperate yet? Learn from Holly Pierlot how to craft a Rule that's right for you and your family. Then use that Rule to help God draw you, your husband, and each of your children into Heaven.
No discussion questions. And keep in mind it may not suit every mom's temperament, but everyone can still learn something from it. Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. This is the book that can help any frazzled Martha become more spiritually focused, more holistically fulfilled, and more mentally prepared than ever before. Discover practical tips that will help save time and your sanity. And there are lots and lots of practical tips.
It makes for a great spring board for discussion of what works for you. A discussion guide is available on the website, www. Control Girl. Learn how you too can lay down this burden of trying to control everything and find rest in surrendering to the One who truly is in control. This is a non-denominational book, not specifically Catholic, but certainly relatable to all Christian women. Walking Together. Mary DeTurris Poust looks honestly but hopefully at today's culture, where people feel increasingly isolated despite the advent of myriad gadgets designed to keep them "connected.
Readers will find here the guidance and encouragement to take the next step in developing spiritual friendships in their lives, one of the basic necessities of spiritual life. Each chapter concludes with "Food for Thought"--reflection questions and a prayerful meditation.
Good Enough is Good Enough. The truth about parenting is that you don't have to get everything right and your family doesn't need to be perfect. Colleen Duggan learned those lessons through years of struggling with unrealistic expectations. In this frank and intimate story, Duggan explores the emotional and spiritual healing that needed to take place in her life in order to be the parent, spouse, and follower of Christ God created her to be.
Sharing both funny parenting moments and difficult times of self-scrutiny, Duggan invites us to join her in experiencing God's healing mercy and shows how to allow that healing to rejuvenate our lives and revitalize our families. Does anyone know if any discussion questions come with this? Therese of Lisieux.
This spiritual classic has long been beloved by Catholics for its wondrous distillation of the teaching of St. It's perfect as a personal retreat when you have only a few moments to spare each day and for spiritual reading anytime and anywhere. Jean C. There is also a study guide and leader's guide that go along with this book.
Many women, courageously facing questions their mothers and grandmothers would never have encountered, are finding intellectually and spiritually satisfying answers within the framework of their Catholic faith. Nine such Catholic women -- varying widely in age, occupation and experience -- share personal stories of how they struggled toward the realization that the demands of their faith actually set them free.
Their stories -- full of honesty, but ultimately hope -- shed new light and new clarity on women's continued attraction to the Catholic faith. You're on your own for discussion questions. Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love. Study questions with each chapter make this a valuable resource not only for individual personal reading, but also for small group study. Drawing from her life experiences, Michaelann Martin offers ways that will help women improve their prayer lives, communicate with their family, and find fulfillment in their vocation.
Each chapter includes questions that mine the rich teaching of Scripture and the Church to help women apply those principles in their own lives. Those who seek to grow in holiness as wives and mothers will benefit greatly from this study. Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. Ever feel that no matter how hard you try, it's never enough? Maybe it's time to follow Mary's example: leave the dishes in the sink and sit at Jesus' feet!
Through practical strategies and devotional illustrations, Weaver explains how "living room intimacy" with Christ is the key to successful "kitchen service" in the world. This is also from a Protestant sister. It comes with a separate study guide that can be purchased, as well as, a complete DVD and study guide set. Full of Grace. Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life. What happens when women give their lives over to God? They become vessels of grace, bearers of healing, consolation, encouragement and strength to a troubled world. Far from being passive, the woman of grace will actively embrace God's will, actively seek out the suffering and lost, and actively bring God's healing love to others.
See more info about that below. The Well-read Mom. Young Catholic Mum Book Club. The Young Catholic Mums Book Club gives you a great opportunity to deepen your faith and grow in your vocation by reading some carefully selected, thoroughly enjoyable, books! The books are selected every 2 months and are discussed together on the Facebook group.