This engaging work, written in a non-technical style, presents the relevance of the teachings of St. John of the Cross as a Way of Holiness for contemporary man. Making use of the principal symbols of the Carmelite Mystic: canticle, flame, dark night and mountain, the author engages in a dialogue with contemporary theology and spirituality, without undermining the contribution of Christian tradition and classical schools of thought in the interpretation of sanjuanist texts, in order to present a powerfully relevant and attractive spirituality for our times. It reveals a spirituality rooted in its Carmelite identity and open to the exigencies of the religious search of the present day.
Armed with a deep knowledge of St. John of the Cross and Carmelite Spirituality, and with admirable scholarship in the fields of Philosophy, Theology and Spirituality, the author engages the Carmelite Mystic and Doctor in a dialogue in order to reveal the simplicity and profundity of his teachings in a language that reveals the seriousness and urgency of his teachings at the same time their consistency in the wake of contemporary musings and studies on the relationship between the Absolute and Man. Parting from the aforementioned sanjuanist symbols, the author presents their directionality as a Way. Bereft of any pretension of exhaustiveness, this work is an exploration, an introduction whose aim is to clarify, to guide, to discover the richness and relevance of the spirituality hidden in the sanjuanist texts.
In five brief, though dense chapters, the author presents the beginnings or point of departure (Chapter 1), the main actor (Chapter 2), the goal (Chapter 3), the criteria and guide (Chapter 4) and the dynamic journey of the way to its completion (Chapter 5) thus revealing in a compact manner the highlights and principles of a classical spirituality who is open to dialogue and confrontation within the parameters of the contemporary search for the fulfillment of life in the light of the relationship with the Absolute or God, making use of categories and terms that all the more highlight the Christian and Carmelite heritage of St. John of the Cross himself, a Mystic and Master for the twenty-first century for all men in search for meaning.
I am very pleased to present this edition of the classic, “Methods of Prayer in the Directory of the Carmelite Reform of Touraine”, written by the former Prior General, Fr. Kilian Healy, in 1956. This work began life as a doctoral dissertation at the Gregorian University in Rome. It is a tribute to the book’s great influence that it has been republished almost fifty years later.
Throughout the long history of the Carmelite Order there have been many reforms, the most famous of which being that initiated by St. Teresa of Avila in the 16th century. Due to various political reasons, the Discalced Reform and the original Order went their separate ways. Next in importance is the Touraine Reform in the 17 th century, and it is this reform that spread to the whole Order and had a profound effect on its spirituality. Fr. Healy makes it clear that the spiritual writers of the Touraine Reform esteemed St. Teresa and her teaching on prayer greatly.
Joseph Chalmers O.Carm.
(Third Pinting: 2016)
Via Sforza Pallavicini, 10
00193 Roma - Italia
COD. FISC.: 80044650580
PART. IVA: 02117031001
IBAN: IT67 Z076 0103 2000 0001 4069 009
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