Monday, March 15, 2010

Since Ecstasies And Stigmata And Levitation And Such Like Rarer Phenomena

The nearest approach to this ideal is perhaps Fr. Emile Lamballe's Mystical Contemplation? Here the author's aim is to avoid all controversy on disputed questions—a purpose which in the main is kept steadily in view—and to make the reader familiar with what is thought by some to be not uncommon in the lives of God's children. The writer's teaching is explicitly not his own; it is that of the Masters of the science of prayer and these he cites copiously and to the point. A careful reading of some such book would well repay the labor, as it results in an accurate grasp of a complete system. There is another effect which ought not to be lightly passed over; it is the stimulus to the practice of real generosity and humility—the essential prerequisites for all spirituality; for it seems to be the clear teaching of the saints that we ordinary mortals may desire and pray for the gift of prayer. 
The standard classic however is the Jesuit Fr. Augustin Poulain's The Graces of Interior Prayer It is a colossal work, scientific to a degree, and traversing the whole range of mysticism; it has moreover this advantage that for the most part the examples where possible are from modern history and the author has a wide and exhaustive knowledge garnered from the experience of a lifetime. The book is absolutely safe, having a warm approbation from the Pope, from the Congregation of the Inquisition, from various bishops, as well as a very commendatory introduction written by a Jesuit Master of Novices for the translation of the sixth edition. 
The first six chapters are really enough for the average director; since ecstasies and stigmata and levitation and such like rarer phenomena are in a class apart from what is of not infrequent occurrence. This portion of the magnum opus has been published separately in English under the title The Prayer of Simplicity. 
Link (here) to the portion Fr. H.B. Loughan, S.J. his essay The Study of Mysticism is found in the book entitled, The Ecclesiastical review, Volume 65 By Catholic University of America

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's happening to this blog, Frommage? Most of your readers access it because they want to read about bad Jesuits and their supporters. All we get these days is anecdotal history from out of date sources and and equally out of date pietistic slop.

Anonymous said...

I wish a blog like this would have existed several decades ago during my 10 years of Jesuit schooling. I would have left in a week.

Joseph Fromm said...

I have given bad Jesuits for lent. I like the cheese pun. Be careful you might accidentally learn something.

Anonymous said...

This has been on my mind for some time..... and I agree with you to some degree.
frokostordning

Anonymous said...

The mob is clamoring for red meat! Here come the torches and pitchforks! Look--there's a Jesuit sneaking in the Psychology Building: let's get him!

Anonymous said...

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