A book on Spiritual Direction published, March 1998, entitled :
St. Francis de Sales
St. Teresa of Avila
Thomas a Kempis
St. John of the Cross
Concerns the spiritual direction of these four historically world renowned spiritual directors (pages 1-382). For peoples of All Faiths written by Joseph Paul Kozlowski. Fee without postage: $12.95.
Picture of author, Joseph P. Kozlowski with his grandchild Lori.
Spiritual Direction & Spiritual Directors has been given the official approval of the Catholic Church. [Nihil obstat: Rev. Isidore Dixon, Censor Deputatus/Archdiocese of Washington] [Imprimatur: Reverend Msgr. William E. Lori, S.T.D./Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Washington]
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People of all faiths will gain excellent spiritual advice from this helpful handbook. Spiritual Direction and Spiritual Directors is a collection of teachings from four spiritual masters who have a world-wide reputation in the subject field of spiritual development. Two of them, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross have received the highest spiritual ecclesiastical, academic accolades which their Church could bestow upon them, that is, Doctors of Mystical Theology (secret wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God).
YOU'LL FIND EXCELLENT SPIRITUAL ADVICE ON:
Jesus Christ, Prayer, Meditation, God, The Soul, Suffering, Eternal Life, Forgiveness, Knowledge, Friendship, Truth, Poverty, Reason, Devotion, Wisdom, Vices, Justice, Adoration, Grace, Virtue, Depression, Humility, Imagination, Anxiety, Scruples, Patience, Sickness, demons, devil, devils, Bible, Sin, Temptation, Temptations, Catholic Church, And Much More
"The smallest thing when done for the love of God is priceless." -St. Teresa of Avila
"He who knows how to suffer will enjoy much peace." -Thomas a Kempis
On the Soul
"Every soul has a will capable of loving God." St. Francis de Sales
"The imagination plays a great role in the spiritual development of the soul."
St. John of the Cross
EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK:
St. Francis de Sales on
St. Teresa of Avila on the devil
Thomas a Kempis on knowledge
St. John of the Cross on suffering
"'Patience is necesssary for you; that, doing the will of God, you may receive the promise. 'If our Savior himself has declared, 'In your patience you shall possess your souls,' should it not be a great happiness for man to possess his soul? -- and the more perfect our patience, the more absolutely do we possess them. Let us frequently call to mind, that as our Lord has saved us by patient sufferings, so we also ought to work out our salvation by sufferings and afflictions; enduring injuries and contradictions with all possible meekness."
"Limit not your patience to this or that kind of injuries and afflictions, but extend it universally to all those that it shall please God to send you. Some are unwilling to suffer any tribulations but those that are honorable; for example, to be wounded in battle, to be a prisoner of war, to be persecuted for religion, or impoverished by some lawsuit determined in their favor; now these people do not love the tribulation, but the honor wherewith it is accompanied; whereas he that is truly patient suffers, indifferently, tribulations whether accompanied by ignominy or honor. To be despised reprehended, or accused by wicked men is pleasant to a man of good heart; but to suffer blame and ill-treatment from the virtuous or from our friends and relations, is the test of true patience. I admire the meekness with which the great St. Charles Borromeo suffered a long time the public reprehensions that a great preacher of a strictly reformed order uttered against him in the pulpit, more than all the assaults he received from others; for as the sting of a bee is far more painful than that of a fly, so the evils we suffer from good men are much more insupportable than those we suffer from others; and yet it often happens that two good men, having each of them the best intentions, through a diversity of opinion, foment great persecutions and contradictions against each other."'
DEVIL: His Mechinations Against the Soul
"The devil," Teresa points out, "gains much and is extremelyh pleased to see a soul afflicted and disquieted for he knows that disturbance impeded it from being totally occupaied in loving and praising God." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA, Vol II; p. 418)
DEVIL: Recognition of His Attacks
"The onset of the attacks of the devil are clearly recognized by the agistating dryness, taking place throughout the attack." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA, Vol. I; p. 197)
DEVIL: Attitude Toward Attacks
Teresa stated: "We should know that each time we pay no attention to them, they are weakened, and the soul gains much more mastery over them." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA, Vol. I; p. 206)
KNOWLEDGE: Our Best Teacher
"The Lord says 'I am He that in an instant elevates a humble mind to comprehend more reasons of the eternal truth than could be acquired by ten years' study in schools. I teach without noise of words, without confusion of opinions, without ambition of honor, without contention of arguments. I teach to despise earthly things, to loathe things present, to seek and relish things eternal, to fly honors, to endure scandals, to repose all hope in me, to desire nothing out of Me, and above all things, ardently to love Me. If one loves Me entirely, I will teach him divine things and he will speak wondrously.'" (Thomas a Kempis; p.305)
KNOWLEDGE: Learning, Cautions
"Never read anything that you may appear more learned or more wise. Study rather to mortify your vices, for this will be more profitable to you than knowing about many profound questions of knowledge. Woe to them that inquire of many people after many curious things, and are but little curious of finding out ways in which they can serve Me." (Thomas a Kempis; p.304)
The important value of suffering is stressed in his spiritual direction, that is, the wilful embrace of whatever misfortune may befall us, accepting it from God's hands as purifier of the soul. he did not believe in suffering for sufferings sake in a stoical fashion. In fact, throughout his life whenever he saw the sufferings of others, he made quick efforts to either alleviate them or to relieve them. He did not believe in harsh or severe penances, self-inflicted ones which he considered could degenerate into a penance of beasts. he stressed the constant reception of the Holy Eucharist as a source of strength accompanied by regular Confession as required. He emphasized agina and again the power of persevering prayer. Consideralbe attention in his spiritual direction was given to the principles or modes of prayer, and the vital importance of prudently, cautiously choosing devout and learned spiritual directors who undertook to give spiritual advice to persons, but who lacked the necessary abilities and competence to do to.
He emphasized the important distinctions between the prayer of meditation, the prayer of meditation-contemplation, and pure contemplative prayer. He was firmly critical of spiritual directors who, lacking the necessary competence, misguided many souls in their progress through these vaious stages of prayer. He described very simply and clearly how the soul in its prayer life will engage in meditative prayer and then alternate between meditative and contemplative prayer; and then finally, by the grace and love God, enter into the stage of purely contemplative prayer. During these alternations in prayer, if the soul does not have good spiritual guidance, or can not guide itself personally, it will not be able to recognize these various stages of prayer. He describes how the soul will know that it is in the stage of pure contemplative prayer, thusly: Three conditions mustg exist simultaneously: 1) The soul no longer can pray with thoughts of forms, visions, figures or images; 2) The imagination which always wanders often uncontrollably during prayer, although it still continues to wander somewhat, becomes subject to a more firm control by the will. It is, so to speak, reined in and does not wander so freely; and 3) The prayerful soul in pure contemplative prayer seeks as complete a solitude as it can while praying. Until this stage of pure contemplative prayer is reached, the soul will at times meditate or meditate-contemplate, or move back and forth in these stages until it reaches the final stage of pure contemplative prayer. He points out that under the guidance of imcompetent or unqualified spirtual directors, the prayerful soul will frequently be kept in the meditative or meditative-contemplative state of prayer too long, when it should already have arrived at the stage of pure contemplative prayer. He illustrates this by using the analogy of an orange, stating that such souls have already completed the process of peeling the rind or skin from the orange, and are not ready to bite into and taste the succulent fruit itself in pure contemplative prayer. However, they unfortunately will come under the guidance of an unqualified spiritual director who will ask them to peel away again the skin of the orange which has already been peeled away. He thereby keeeps them from tasting the sweetness of the fruit in pure contemplative prayer. In other words, such spiritual directors delay or frustrate their tasting of the sweet fruit of the prayer of pure contemplation, which they are already well prepared to do, and thereby they confuse such poor souls in their prayer life, and the regress instead of progressing in their spiritual developments.
New Booklet entitled:
Summary of the
To Read this Booklet go to this link:
We have available now for the first time in this third millennium the "Collected Works" of probably one of the most brilliant, world-renowned, interpreters of Holy Scripture and Spiritual Directors who ever lived* ( Refer to: "Collected Works of St. John of the Cross"; Edition, 1991, 814 pages. Publisher: Institute of Carmelite Studies, Washington D.C.). However, Johnís style of prose writing is difficult to penetrate, and requires three or four readings before his brilliance comes shining through. ó In order to gently ease the readerís way into undertaking a study of his "works", I devoted six years to preparing a 15-page booklet summarizing Johnís strategy for fighting and winning lifeís warfare against the World, the Flesh, and the Devil or Satan, thereby achieving through pure contemplation - by the grace of God - the mystical union or marriage of love with God, before departing this Earth - The greatest and most magnificent achievement possible to achieve for anyone upon this earth.
John drew from three sources for his spiritual direction**: First and foremost from holy Scripture ó For he considered God, its true author. The sciences and his life experiences, while important, were, comparatively speaking, of very minor secondary importance. John, paradoxically, difficult as his prose style of writing was, was a master of writing a soaring, mystical, hauntingly beautiful majestic poetry which he uses effectively throughout his "Works". He was declared the "Patron of Spanish Poets" in 1952. Also referred to as the "Mystical Doctor", he was declared a Doctor of the universal Church in 1926 (335 years after his death).
The 15 page Booklet can be read on the internet at:
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