Berulle and the french school
Berulle and the French School: Selected Writings by Pierre De BerulleThe seventeenth century was the period of transition between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. It witnessed the rise of the great European powers, the beginnings of modern science and the myriad inventions that changed age-old ways of life. It saw Copernicus and Newton, Harvey and Galileo, Bacon and Descartes. During its course, the New World was settled and the Old reshaped.
Seventeenth-century France saw the application of the new spirit of exploration and analysis to matters of the soul. Pierre de Bérulle, John Eudes, Jean-Jacques Olier and Mother Madeleine de Saint-Joseph left an indelible mark on the history of Christian spirituality in the West. Much of our current understanding of spirituality had its beginnings with these authors.
In his penetrating and probing introduction, Professor William M. Thompson presents the French school as a creative response to the challenge of the modern age that dawned with the seventeenth century. He shows how these authors created a science of the saints that blended metaphysical speculations with flights of mystical love. Their fascination with the intersection between human and divine experience unlocked for them the true meaning of humanity and focused their attention on the mystery of the Incarnation as a sublime mystery of adoration and service.
This volume is a comprehensive introduction to the spirituality of seventeenth-century France, containing, among others, selections from Bérulles Discourse on the State and Grandeurs of Jesus, Madeleine de Saint-Josephs Spiritual Letters, Jean-Jacques Oliers Introduction to the Christian Life and Virtues, and John Eudess The Life and Kingdom of Jesus in Christian Souls.
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The French School of Spirituality
Seventeenth-century France saw the application of the new spirit of exploration and analysis to matters of the soul. Much of our current understanding of "spirituality" had its beginnings with these authors. In his penetrating and probing introduction, Professor William M. Thompson presents the French school as a creative response to the challenge of the modern age that dawned with the seventeenth century. He shows how these authors created a "science of the saints" that blended metaphysical speculations with flights of mystical love. Their fascination with the intersection between human and divine experience unlocked for them the true meaning of humanity and focused their attention on the mystery of the Incarnation as a sublime mystery of adoration and service.
Western Catholicism boasts of a number of special schools of spirituality named after founders or associated with rules of religious life. A few of the most notable are the Augustinian, the Benedictine, the Franciscan, the Dominican, the Ignatian and the Carmelite. In the Roman Catholic tradition a special school represents and articulates the common ways of the faith—repentance, prayer, meditation on scripture, devotion to the sacraments—but its expression of these foundations includes a distinctive typology of styles and emphases. Special schools thus contain the essentials of a gospel, a Christian and a church-oriented spirituality, but they enable people so attracted to them to personalize these basics in a special, even intense manner that at once awakens them to God in a new way and facilitates their ongoing formation. This book delineates the specific typology of the French School, revealing its place in the Catholic mainstream and disclosing its characteristic attitudes and applications.
The French School of Spirituality was the principal devotional influence within the Catholic Church from the midth century through the midth century not only in France but throughout the church in most of the world. A development of the Catholic Reformation like the Spanish mystics and the Society of Jesus , it focused the devotional life of the Catholic faithful on a personal experience of the person of Jesus and the quest for personal holiness. It was perhaps more concrete than the Iberian example and thus easier to teach, but it shared with the Spanish saints their focus on the Divine Person. This movement in Catholic spirituality had many important figures over the centuries, the first being its founder, Cardinal Pierre de Berulle — The spiritual and apostolic current of the French school of Spirituality holds a significant place in nearly all the histories of spirituality. Among the characteristics of the movement were: a deep mystical experience, a detailed and well-adapted method for instructing others, and a special concern for the dignity of priests, their holiness and formation. The French clergy of the 17th century were not, for the most part adequately trained, and they received little support from the bishops, many of whom did not even live in their dioceses.
In the early part of his career, Bérulle was confident of the of the French School of Spirituality, a powerful spiritual.
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John Baptist de La Salle was a man of his times. This work provides an introduction to the history and major themes of the 17th-century French School of Spirituality and its contemporary relevance. Brother Benilde was an effective teacher and administrator, a strict but fair disciplinarian, with a religious sense that was evident to everyone. This book provides a more complete story of his life and legacy. The book is available on www. Lasallian bibliography links are in the description below.
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