Saint Thomas Aquinas

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Does Christ Command the Impossible?

With all of the buzz going about concerning marriage, divorce and the Pope's document 'Amoris Latetia' I thought it would be good to examine some of the demands of Christ. Demands you ask? Why yes, demands. Throughout the Gospels, many times Christ gives his followers demands, or rules to live by. They are not suggestions, but objective rules that must be followed in order to obtain the kingdom of God. In other words, these demands proved or disproved one's love for God. This happens many times, for example, in John Chapter 6 Jesus speaks of His Body and Blood being given to be eaten. He goes so far as to let everyone walk away from Him without hesitation who reject His teaching. Why do we believe that Jesus Christ is present in His entire Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist? Because He said so. He demanded that we believe it to be so. Is this an absolute teaching that we must believe in order to please God? Yes it is, and it is a bar that must be met with faith, it is not optional.  Thus our Lord spoke, "Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.... For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed..These things he said, teaching in the synagogue, in Capharnaum. Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard, and who can hear it? But Jesus, knowing in himself, that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you? If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life. But there are some of you that believe not....After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him. Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." (John 6:54-69)

Does Our Lord give us any secondary options to those who would deny His command? It seems He does not. Those who got up and left Him denying His teaching were obviously not pleasing to Him. Saint Peter gives the only possible pleasing answer to this hard teaching, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." Any other answer to the question is wrought with sin; a denial to believe what Christ was teaching. The alternative behavior to Saint Peter's demonstrates a lack of faith. Can we compare this to Christ's words on marriage? I believe this to be the case. We as Catholics believe Christ's teaching on marriage and divorce because He commands it. One cannot be pleasing to God who commits adultery. Christ once again speaks clearly and without hesitation to the apostles who once again view it as a hard teaching given their response that it may be better not to even marry, "And there came to him the Pharisees tempting him, and saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female? And he said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. They say to him: Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away? He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery. His disciples say unto him: If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry. Who said to them: All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother' s womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it." (Matthew 19:1-12)

We are hearing many voices today who are saying that although Christ is teaching an ideal, not all today can meet that ideal. This is a fantastical error in judgement by those who espouse such. Does Christ command the impossible? Were the ten commandments mere suggestions? Did Christ abolish the ten commandments? Of course we answer all in the negative. Christ commands only what He gives grace to meet His commands. Yes we could say that His commandment on divorce may be humanly impossible for some on a natural level. We however were not created for the natural, but the supernatural. Thus we must have supernatural grace in order to meet Christ's commands, and if we have not that grace, they become impossible! Those who are telling us that adulterers are now permitted to receive communion are openly rejecting Christ's teaching and are putting such souls in further jeopardy by encouraging them to continue living in such a sinful state. Thus we see at least three Sacraments being effected by this heresy. Marriage, the Eucharist, and Confession.

The Sacrament of marriage is being destroyed by adultery, the Eucharist is being profaned by those who take of it unworthily, and those going to confession without a firm purpose of amendment profane that sacrament. We must now more than ever cling to the words and teaching of Christ. They are not mere words and teachings of men, but of God. Those who seek to undermine His teaching anathemetize themselves from the Body of Christ. They are murderers of the gospel, and murderers of souls. I could go on with more of Christ's hard commands that we must accept and live by. There are many more examples. I can sum it up; being a faithful follower of Christ isn't always easy. Is it hard to live the gospel? Yes, and no. On a mere natural level it is impossible. With God's grace it is hard, especially for those who have lived without grace for many years. However, Christ gives us the grace to follow Him faithfully, and He makes it easier the more closer we grow in His love. Christ does not command the impossible, and there are no secondary options for His commands. There is no acceptable lower bar for which the Eucharist can be understood, and there is no acceptable lower bar for which one can remain faithful to their marriage vows.

Finally, if one were to accept these crazy proposals on how some cannot meet the "ideal" on marriage, where does this rationality stop? Is there now a lower bar for chastity? Is a frustrated single person who feels they cannot meet the high bar of chastity now permitted to frequent a brothel while looking for a spouse? How about the corporation who cannot meet the high ideal of paying the agreed upon wage of their workers? Should they defraud their workers of their agreed wages until their stocks come back into the stockholders ideal price? Only a fool would think to propose a sliding scale of morality. The only result is a slippery slope which all who tread upon will wind up sliding into the abyss of hell. We can ask ourselves, did Christ almost give His life on the cross? Did He almost suffer for our sins? Did He give a sliding scale to us when He commanded us not to sin? Bottom line for Catholics, you either resolve to live the hard teachings with God's grace, or you don't.

Pre-Lenten Meditation 2017- Charity

This Lent I will be posting periodically on spiritual topics that go along with the season. Today I wanted to comment on today's epistle, which gives a good foundation on what the Lenten season should do for us; first and foremost to strengthen us in divine filiation, or charity.

EPISTLE (I Cor. 13:1-13)

Brethren: If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Saint Paul here is telling us the importance of having a divine relationship above all things. This means that although men may do "good" things for others, unless one has charity, or divine grace within them it is ultimately worth nothing. This is one of the dangers today of the 'good works' clubs going around trying to make the world a better place. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with doing kind things to help others, but when it comes to working in true charity, driven by the grace of God, there is nothing more useless than works. Unfortunately we see many of these interfaith groups stressing social justice and yet say nothing of the love of Christ and His love for man. Its as if making the world a better place has now become man centered, not God centered for many of these groups, which happen to call themselves Catholic. There are also many dangers that these types of groups and people can cause others even though it seems they are doing good things for others. One of them is that these works can often replace God.

What does having charity mean for a Catholic?  It does not mean having feelings for others or merely wanting to do something good for someone. It means first and foremost that one is in a state of grace, and that God is the primary motivation for directing of one's will. Saint Paul is careful to tell us that though one can do extraordinary things, good works, and even have faith, they can still lack charity. This means that one can even go to Mass every week and have faith, and still lack divine filiation through grace. A Catholic can have faith, do all kinds of works, and still lose their soul. God the Father speaking to St Catherine of Siena said, "No virtue, my daughter, can have life in itself except through charity...Thus, every act of help that he performs should proceed from the charity which he has through love of Me."

As we begin Lent, I think it is important that we meditate strengthening our relationship with God. This means that we must cooperate with God's grace to a greater extent than we have before. If we are in a state of mortal sin, we have no charity, and therefore we must receive the Sacrament of Confession. Once we are in a state of grace we must strengthen our relationship with God. This means more prayer and more meditation during Lent so that we can receive an increase of charity. Having charity means that God's love lives within us. The more charity one has the more he or she loves God. This should be our main goal during Lent, to love God more. Only when one has this charity can one's works and gifts truly be of any value. It is in God's charity that we then are able to love others, our neighbor. So as we prepare for Lent, this will be one of my main meditations. I pray that throughout this Lent I will be strengthened in God's grace so that I may have an increase of charity. 

How virtues are accomplished by means of our neighbor, and how it is that virtues differ to such an extent in creatures. (From the Dialog of St Catherine of Siena)

"I have told you how all sins are accomplished by means of your neighbor, through the principles which I exposed to you, that is, because men are deprived of the affection of love, which gives light to every virtue. In the same way self-love, which destroys charity and affection towards the neighbor, is the principle and foundation of every evil. All scandals, hatred, cruelty, and every sort of trouble proceed from this perverse root of self-love, which has poisoned the entire world, and weakened the mystical body of the Holy Church, and the universal body of the believers in the Christian religion; and, therefore, I said to you, that it was in the neighbor, that is to say in the love of him, that all virtues were founded; and, truly indeed did I say to you, that charity gives life to all the virtues, because no virtue can be obtained without charity, which is the pure love of Me.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Bishop Athanasius Schneider Answers

Be sure to watch this entire interview with Bishop Schneider, and pass it along.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Luther: Just as Wrong Now as He Was Then

Luther: Just as Wrong Now as He Was Then.

Therefore let Martin himself and all those adhering to him, and those who shelter and support him, through the merciful heart of our God and the sprinkling of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ by which and through whom the redemption of the human race and the upbuilding of holy mother Church was accomplished, know that from our heart we exhort and beseech that he cease to disturb the peace, unity, and truth of the Church for which the Savior prayed so earnestly to the Father. Let him abstain from his pernicious errors that he may come back to us. If they really will obey, and certify to us by legal documents that they have obeyed, they will find in us the affection of a father's love, the opening of the font of the effects of paternal charity, and opening of the font of mercy and clemency. (Exsurge Dominiissued June 15, 1520 by Pope Leo X)

Who would ever have thought we would see a pope lauding the likes of the confused charlatan Martin Luther? In general I do not like to focus on the latest absurdities coming out of the Vatican. Many of the news headlines strung together day in, day out show much like a low budget soap opera. We could call it, 'As the Vatican Turns.' Certain things however I find hard to let pass by especially when it comes to the salvation of souls. I continuously see an erroneous narrative being put forth in the media by the Vatican which is hindering evangelization. Would most Lutherans today ever consider converting to the Catholic faith based on what we are hearing from the Vatican media? Notice I distinguish between the Vatican media and the Church. The Church cannot err, and yet individuals in the Church acting through the Vatican can err. Should we sit by silently with all of this absurd Martin Luther, Reformation praising nonsense being peddled? I don't think we should sit by silently while a false narrative continues to be painted which effect the souls of millions across the globe. Most people hearing the Vatican media will not distinguish between it and the formal teachings of the Church. That being the case I believe that each one of us can make a difference if we stand up for the truth of the Church so it is not hidden underneath what we see in the media.

Unfortunately Pope Francis and several of his cohorts in the Vatican have now made several public statements which are fundamentally false concerning the Reformation and Martin Luther. The statements are misleading to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, which could very well affect the salvation of souls. There are two statements that have been made recently among many, that I wish address in this article.

1. Pope Francis commenting on Luther’s view of justification. “Today, Lutherans and Catholics, Protestants, all of us agree on the doctrine of justification. On this point, which is very important, he did not err.”

2. The ecumenical document ‘From Conflict to Communion’ released under the watch of Pope Francis states the following, “29. Implicit rapprochement with Luther’s concerns has led to a new evaluation of his catholicity, which took place in the context of recognizing that his intention was to reform, not to divide, the church. This is evident in the statements of Johannes Cardinal Willebrands and Pope John Paul II. The rediscovery of these two central characteristics of his person and theology led to a new ecumenical understanding of Luther as a “witness to the gospel.”

In order to address these two erroneous statements, we must look at the facts. What was Luther’s view of justification, and does it coincide with the Catholic doctrine on justification? This should not be a hard question to answer since Catholic saints, popes and apologists have addressed this for almost 500 years now. But for my own exercise, and the benefit of my few readers, I will proceed. Luther’s teaching on justification is sometimes summed up as ‘Sola Fide’ or 'Faith Alone.' Luther’s confusing ideas lead him to despise many pious prayerful exercises like the Rosary for example. Luther claimed that works themselves were not sufficient means of salvation and he erroneously denied works done through grace are part of our justification. As Catholics we could indeed say that works done outside of the state of sanctifying grace are not salvific, but we would never deny that works are a part of the way God works out our justification.

For example, Luther said, "Faith is a living, restless thing. It cannot be inoperative. We are not saved by works; but if there be no works, there must be something amiss with faith.” Luther seems to think that works done in grace are merely outward signs of someone’s faith. In reality he denies the actual justification that God is working through those works, which is an error of the gravest proportion. Luther shows his erring understanding further when he states the following about Catholic “works”, “How they mislead people with their good works! They call good works what God has not commanded, as pilgrimages, fasting, building and decorating their churches in honor of the saints, saying mass, paying for vigils, praying with rosaries, much prattling and bawling in churches, turning nun, monk, priest, using special food, raiment or dwelling,-who can enumerate all the horrible abominations and deceptions? This is the pope's government and holiness.” The very fact that Luther attacks these pious acts should disturb any Catholic, but let us go deeper.

The problem here lies in the fact that Luther completely denied the notion that God actually perfects His elect by the works He does through them. Hence the age-old doctrine of deification. Luther taught that man was merely covered over by Christ’s grace, and not actually transformed by grace. The fact that Luther defines praying the rosary and saying Mass as man made evils, should give any sane Catholic a clue that he was not at all correct in his idea of justification, but lets continue. Luther’s error is like a snowball. It gets larger the further it rolls down the hill of heresy. Luther’s ‘Faith Alone’ doctrine when played out not only leads to denial of deification, it leads to an idea that the sinner remains a sinner and cannot stop sinning! This in turn leads people to a false confidence of their salvation, to which works are only symbols of their faith. Hence you have millions of people making mere professions of faith while not actually living their lives according Christ's demand of being perfected. (Matthew 5:48) This is not merely a matter of mild semantics, it is a fundamental difference in how one views God and how one views God's gift of grace and salvation to man.

Having been in the blogging business many years now, there will inevitably be a heckler who will say that I am not interpreting Luther properly. In order to avoid this I want to take a look at how the Lutheran’s themselves understand Luther's Sola Fide proclamation: "through faith alone" means that we believe that, to use a phrase Luther made famous, Christians are at the same time sinners and saints (simul justus et peccator). Justification is an act, a declaration. It is not a process. Through faith in Christ, and only through faith, sinners are declared to be forgiven and to be perfectly right with God. This declaration is whole and complete, totally independent of any inherent goodness in us sinners. In short, because of God's act on the cross received through faith, we sinners are declared to be perfect saints in God's sight. But this does not mean that forgiven sinners, when judged by God's law, do not continue to be sinners. We are not "perfectionists" in the sense of teaching that following conversion, Christians stop sinning. "Forgiveness is needed constantly," says Luther. "Because we are encumbered with our flesh, we are never without sin" (Large Catechism II, 54). (Taken from What do Lutherans believe? By Dr. Samuel Nafzger ) Again, for Luther God just overlooks everyone’s sin, and gives a pass to everyone’s sin after they are “justified.” The process of deification is outrightly rejected. So Luther teaches that by faith alone you have confidence that God has covered your sins, but that you still go on sinning. This is in complete contradiction to authentic Christian theology, which teaches that through God’s grace man can choose not to sin! Luther reinforces this line of thinking, “The commandments only purpose is to show man his impotence to do good and to teach him to despair of himself”

The Catholic Church teaches that when a man lives in God’s grace, everything good that they do in Christ is meritorious. That is, when man performs acts that are done in the grace of the Holy Spirit, God perfects him through those actions whatever they may be; going to Mass, praying the Rosary, etc. You know, all of things that Luther attacks. It is not as if God’s grace merely covers over the stench of man’s sin and his good works are merely outward signs of the stench being covered over. This was Luther’s foolish idea, which is actually a blasphemous insult to God, being that God wants us to live out the Commandments and not despair over them. As we will soon see, the Catholic Church condemned his teaching formally as heresy.

If we look to the infallible statements by the ecumenical Council of Trent, we can clearly see that through grace man actually receives divine filiation, through which he has the power to walk a righteous path, or follow the Commandments. After Luther boldly concocted his new teaching on justification, the Church took time to analyze his teaching, and then held the Council of Trent, which several of the canons that were proclaimed were directed toward his dangerous, perverse error. Trent clearly proclaimed that Luther’s teaching on justification to be anathema, i.e. heretical.

Canon 9: "If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema."

Canon 12 "If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ's sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified...let him be accursed"

Finally Canon 24 drives home the error of Luther, which is still the same error today as it was then...

Canon 24: "If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema."

In light of this examination I can say with complete confidence that Luther did err in his view on justification, and that Lutherans today are still teaching the same doctrine, and are hence, still in error.

This brings us to the second proclamation made by the ecumenical document ‘From Conflict to Communion’ which says Luther was a “witness to the Gospel.” At first glance after learning that his teaching on justification was completely erroneous as well as his assault on the prayerful gifts of the Rosary and other pious practices, it should be very easy to determine that he was not a "witness to the Gospel." Just for the fun of it, let us probe a little deeper into his life and statements so we may have no doubt as to his sub-defective witness to the Gospel.

Looking at Luther’s own words concerning his prayer life and his ideas of the Catholic Church give us an idea as to his credibility as being a “witness to the Gospel.” "For I am unable to pray without at the same time cursing. If I am prompted to say: 'hallowed be Thy name', I must add: 'cursed, damned, outraged be the name of the papists'. If I am prompted to say: 'Thy Kingdom come', I must perforce add: 'cursed, damned, destroyed must be the papacy.' Indeed I pray thus orally every day and in my heart without intermission" (Sammtl. W., XXV, 108). If we contradict the statements of this maniac with the statements of the Saints who are the true witnesses of the Gospel we hear a different tune. St Catherine of Siena wrote, “If you are against holy Church, how can you have a share in Christ’s blood, since the Church is none other than that same Christ?” Catherine wrote this in times that were just as corrupt as Luther’s time, and yet she loves the Church. Unlike the unhinged comments that came from the foul lips of Luther., she chooses to love despite the corruption she saw in the Church.

As we know Pope Leo X wrote a papal bull condemning Luther to which Luther responded in fury. This again demonstrates a disposition contrary to holiness. “But whoever wrote this bull, he is Antichrist. I protest before God, our Lord Jesus, his sacred angels, and the whole world that with my whole heart I dissent from the damnation of this bull, that I curse and execrate it as sacrilege and blasphemy of Christ, God's Son and our Lord. This be my recantation, Oh bull, thou daughter of bulls...Of the cross of Christ, that all men should resist them. You then, Leo X, you cardinals and the rest of you at Rome, I tell you to your faces: "If this bull has come out in your name, then I will use the power which has been given me in baptism whereby I became a son of God and co-heir with Christ, established upon the rock against which the gates of hell cannot prevail. I call upon you to renounce your diabolical blasphemy and audacious impiety, and, if you will not, we shall all hold your seat as possessed and oppressed by Satan, the damned seat of Antichrist; in the name of Jesus Christ, whom you persecute.” Does this furious rant sound like a “witness to the Gospel?”

I could go on recounting the terrible unholy life that Luther lived including the lauding of many who broke their vows including the former nun whom he “married.” I think that it is clear based on Luther’s own words and the infallible teaching of the Catholic Church that he did indeed err, and he was most certainly not a “Witness to the Gospel.” He was wrong then, and he is still wrong now, no matter what proclamations we may hear coming out of the Vatican media these days. Let us pray for our dear Church and those who have mistakenly made these public proclamations so that no souls may be lost because of them. We should also inform fellow Catholics and Lutherans that we personally know about the true teaching of our Church. When we have the opportunity we should charitably preach the true Gospel so that everyone may come to know Christ through His one and only Catholic Church, for her true teachings will never cease to be proclaimed until Christ returns.

"God called me to be a Franciscan for the conversion of sinners and heretics." St Lawrence of Brindisi.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Book Review: Christian Spirituality in the Catholic Tradition- Aumann

I have been spending a lot of time reading some great Catholic books on spirituality lately. One book I just finished was 'Christian Spirituality in the Catholic Tradition' by Jordan Aumann. I found the book to be quite informative as a survey of Catholic spirituality from the beginning of the Church until the 20th century. Although I was aware of different schools of spirituality, I was not aware of the different nuances and emphasis of many of the various schools. The books goes far beyond the schools that most Catholics are aware of, Franciscan, Dominican, Carmelite, etc.

The book provides a lot of valuable information surrounding how Catholics have lived the spiritual life over the centuries. What I found most intriguing were the basics in which every school subscribes to more or less. I would summarize a list of the very basic tenets of the spiritual life as follows.

1. Sacred Scripture is the most important reading source for meditation.

2. We are created to be deified and perfected in the image of God.

3. In order to be perfected you must repent for your sins and exercise some form of ascetic penance.

4. You must detach yourself from worldly things.

5. The Eucharist is the center of our faith and spiritual nourishment.

6. We must work on exercising virtue and rooting out vice.

7. We must strive in prayer asking for all the gifts we need to grow in love of God. First vocal prayer, then meditative, and finally contemplative.

8. There are generally three stages of the spiritual life: beginners, intermediates and advanced.

These eight general tenets are the building blocks for any solid Catholic spiritual life.

The book goes through many great spiritual writers over the course of 2000 years. I will list some of them so you get an idea of what the book covers.

1. The apostolic Church from Sacred Scripture.

2. The apostolic Fathers from the Didache and Church fathers such as St Ignatius of Antioch, Origin, Tertullian, and Irenaues. It also covers in brief the Gnostic heresy.

3. Eastern Monasticism, St Antony, Macarius, Pachomius, St Basil and the Cappadocian Fathers, Evagrius, Pseudo-Dionysius and Maximus the Confessor.

4. Western Monasticism, St Jerome, St Paulinus, Martin of Tours, John Cassian, St Augustine, St Benedict of Nursia, Irish monasticism and St Gregory the Great.

5. Benedictine Spirituality in light of Benedict of Aniane, Hildemar, John of Fecamp, who are all virtually unheard of today. Also examined are the Carthusians, the Camaldolese and the Cistercians,

6. Medieval piety is covered in great detail and there are many great spiritual writers that have been  forgotten such as St Norbert and the Premonstratensians and the Canons of St Victor. The well known St Dominic, Aquinas, the Franciscans, and St Bonaventure are also discussed.

7. The chapter on Dionsian spirituality was very interesting covering Eckhart, the Beghards, the Beguinnes, the mystics of Helfta (Mechtilde of Magdeburg, Mechtilde of Hackeborn, St Gertrude the Great), Tauler and Suso are also of interest.

8. The English mystics such as Walter Hilton, and Julian of Norwich are covered.

9. Devotio Moderna covers writers such as John Busch, John Gerson, Gerard Groote, Thomas a Kempis and two of my favorites, St Catherine of Siena and Denis the Carthusian.

10. Post-Tridentine Spirituality is filled with unknown writers, John Wessel Gransfort, John Mombaer, St. Laurance Justinian as well as some more well known such as St. Thomas More, Erasmus, Ignaitus of Loyola, Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross

11. The golden age of Spain is also covered and you get know about Alonso of Madrid, Francis de Osuna, Bernardine of Laredo, St Peter of Alcantara, Louis of Grenada, John of Avila, Alphonsus Rodriguez and Alvarez de Paz.

12. The Italian mystics are not left out, John Baptist la Crema, Laurence Scupoli, Magdalene of Pazzi, Catherine de Ricci and St Philp Neri and the great Francis de Sales are covered.

13.  The book also has a fact packed chapter on modern spirituality and the French school of spirituality. I learned about many unknowns such as Peter de Berulle who pioneered the concept of slavery to Jesus and Mary well before St Louis de Montfort came along to invigorate it once again.
Other influential unknowns such as Charles Condren and Jean-Jacques Olier are discussed.

14. The errors of Jansenism and Quietism are discussed in detail as well as the orthodox writers like Louis Lallemant, John Cheron, John Grou, the great St Alphonsus Liguouri and John Baptist Scaramelli are also of interest.

15. We get a breif overview of the German mystics John Sailor, John Jospeh Gorres, and Anna Catherine Emmerich.

16. The modern English writers David Augustine Baker and Richard Challoner are covered in brief.

17. The book ends with some of the great modern spiritual figures, St Therese of Liseux, and Elizabeth of the Trinity, while also briefly covering others such as Maritain, Dom Guerganger and Garrigou Lagrange.

Overall the book is a pleasure to read and you get the basic spiritual tenets of each of these interesting figures. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing where the many spiritual practices we know of today originated from, and how there came to be different emphasis on spiritual practices depending on the time it was needed in the Church. I warn you however, if you are book hoarder like myself you may be ordering more books for your library!