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This book is addressed to those who are making a start in the spiritual life, and especially lay people, whose situation is the center of the author's attention at all times. The various facets of the spiritual life are interpreted as manifestations of the life of loves of God and man, and such topics as sin, temptation, solitude, prayer, the Mass and sacraments, and the practice of virtues, are set forth in terms of their relationship to this life of love. The purpose of the spiritual life, and of this exposition of its practice, is given as that of opening the soul to the grace of God, and of showing some of the practical consequences of the love of God in a life seeking peace. In developing this theme, the author uses concepts and modes of thought familiar in traditional ascetic treatises. It may be questioned, however, whether the outcome is as near the experience of the layman as the author intends it to be. Much of the discussion remains in the realm of generality. There is too little to indicate that the treatment presented is sufficiently aware of the complexities of the life of the layman in today's world, and too much to suggest that a type of spirituality developed primarily within the framework of the religious life can be transferred directly to the life of men and women in the world. Lack of awareness of the contributions of such understandings of human nature as are offered by contemporary psychology is an unfortunate limitation, particularly in the light of the recognition of these insights appearing elsewhere in Catholic spiritual discussions.

Pub Date: March 17th, 1967
Publisher: Doubleday