Saturday, March 21, 2015

Review: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

We are seeking here to determine the normal way of sanctity or of a
 perfection such that one could enter heaven immediately after death.
Such is the stated purpose of this book, a classic first published in 1948.  Just how God leads the soul in divine love and how the soul may exercise itself in the discipline of love is the subject matter of great works on the spiritual life, and it is also the subject matter of this book --- so says the Foreward written by the great Cardinal Stritch of Chicago.  I remember him well from my youth; he was a very holy man.
As soon as a man seeks truth and goodness … little by little instead of seeking himself in everything … man seeks God in everything.  This is done through a growth in a man’s interior life, his life in God.  This book describes the three classically-defined stages of spiritual growth:  the purgative (the active purification of the senses, the passions, and the will), the illuminative (the way of infused contemplation), and the unitive way of the perfect (intimate union with God).  It refers to theological writings of Sts. Teresa, John of the Cross and many, many others, and explains their deep spiritual thoughts in ways a common – yet serious – seeker can understand.
The Reverand Reginald Garrigou Lagrange delves deeply into what defines spiritual progress, and how it can be perceived.  He explains various types of prayer, the workings of grace and virtue (and vice) and the sacraments, the role of a spiritual director, and the whole purpose of prayer:  if you want to be invited to live with God eternally, you better get to know Him now.
This is a wonderful book for those serious about advancing in the spiritual life, those wanting to find meaning and true joy in their life, and wanting to do the will of God for them.  The subtitle to this book is “Prelude of Eternal Life.”  If you look forward to that life, this book can bring you great progress to getting there, to being where He made you to be.
The interior life is in a soul that is in the state of grace, (living) a
life of humility, … with the peace given by the progressive subordination
of our feelings and wishes to the love of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment