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Thomas Humphries

on 21 April 2018

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Transcript of Spirituality


St. John Cassian
By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.
God became man that man might become god.
Liturgy of the Hours
The Roman Missal
The Liturgy of St. Basil the Great
The Maronite Liturgy: Qurbono
Desert Fathers
John Cassian
St. Benedict
St. Gregory the Great
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Thomas Merton
Pseudo Dionysius the Areopagite
St. Bonaventure
St. John of the Cross
Benedict's Family
Journies to Light and Darkness
St. Benedict
St. Gregory the Great
St. Bernard
St. Antony
St. Bonaventure
Tanner's Annunciation
Initiation into a mystery
Experiential knowledge of God
Love-wrought knowledge of God
Union with God
Way of progressing in holiness
Definitions: Mysticism and Spirituality
Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
Gregory's Mass, by Albrecht
Ps-Dionysius the Areopagite
beyond all
Deny - apophatic theology
Affirm - kataphatic theology
Praise & Worship; highest contemplation
Deny the Denial
"deep" apophaticism
Mystical Theology
Celestial Hierarchy
Ecclesial Hierarchy
"dwelling place of God"
"The more [the soul] climbs, the more language falters."
-MT 3 (1033c); trans. 139.
abiding, unchanging, intellectual, immaterial
Hierarch (Bishop)
Catechumens & Being Purified
Sacred Contemplation to the full extent possible
regular contemplation and Communion in Sacraments
Formation and good works from Scripture
Non-Rational Souls
Irrational Animals
Cause & Source
Goal & Object of Desire
Saint Ann Melkite Catholic Church, Woodland Park, NJ
most popular preacher and figure of 11th century society
considered a "founder" of Cistercian monasticism, a reform of Benedictine monasticism
Bernard was sent from Citeaux to found a monastery at Claire Vallee (Clairvaux) in 1115. The movement grew vigorously.
He preached sermons on the Song of Songs, and wrote treatises like "On Loving God," "the Steps of Humility and Pride," and "On Grace and Free Will."
Desire is a fundamental aspect of Bernard's theology. It has a Christological component – following Gregory the Great, Bernard notes that imago Dei is an ontological potential in man that has a self-emptying nature. Thus, man, as he is created, is made for a type of self-donation or kenosis that follows Christ on the Cross.
The "journey" motiff motivated by our longing is another fundamental element of Bernard's theology. Desire creates the tension of being a pilgrim at once possessing God in order to Love and be Loved by him, and being distant from God by having an ever deepening capacity to Love and be Loved.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
“God is the cause of loving God.” -(On Loving God, various places (trans. CS))

“My love is less than is your due, yet not less than I am able, for even if I cannot love you as much as I should, still I cannot love you more than I can.” -(On Loving God, 16 (trans. CS))

Renouncing all together the affections of others,
she alone and entire reclines in love,
she who has herself responded to love in returning love.
Now, when she pours herself out totally into love,
How can this compare, this flow and the perennial fountain?
Not completely equal in fertility they flow
- Lover and Love, soul and Word, bride and bridegroom, Creator and creature –
a fountain not greater than the thirsting.
What therefore? Does she hold back because of this, and
will she entirely leave the nuptial vow,
the desire of sighing, the ardor of loving, the faithful trust of anticipating,
because she does not wish to run as an equal with a giant, to contend with a sweet tune,
with a gentle lamb, with a radiant lily, with a clear sun, with his charity which is charity?
No. For even as a creature loves less because she is less,
when she loves with her entirety,
nothing is lacking where the entirety is.
Therefore, as it was said, she was married with true love;
Even though she is not able to love and to be loved equally,
in the consensus of the two she will stand whole, perfect, and married.
Lest one doubt that the soul is loved by the Word first and more-
all the more she is stood in front of and conquered by the lover.
Joy, who merits to stand before such a sweet blessing!
Joy, with which such a soft complexion is given to be experienced!
This is none other than the holy and chaste love,
love of gentleness and sweetness,
love of such great serenity and sincerity,
a love mutual, intimate, and real,
which is not in one flesh, but the two join completely in one spirit,
the two become now not two, but one, as the Pauline saying,
“Who adheres to God, is one spirit.” (I Cor 6:17)
-(Sermon on the Song of Songs, 83:6, (Opera, p 302; trans. T. Humphries))
4 Degrees of Loving God
First Degree:
Man loves himself for his own sake (VIII.23)
Second Degree:
Man loves God for his own benefit (IX.26)
Holy love is the only subject treated in this Song. We must remember that love reveals itself, not by words or phrases, but by action and experience. It is Love which speaks here, and if anyone wishes to understand it, let him first love. Otherwise it would be folly to read this song of love, because it is absolutely impossible for a cold heart to grasp the meaning of language so inflamed.
- (Sermon 70:1)
Third Degree:
Man loves God for God’s sake (IX.26)
Fourth Degree:
Man loves God beyond himself (X.27)
St. Bonaventure (1221-1274)

Prologue 4: Therefore, I first of all invite the reader to groans of prayer through Christ crucified, through whose blood we are purged from the stain of our sins. Do not think that reading is sufficient without unction, speculation without devotion, investigation without admiration, circumspection without exultation, industry without piety, knowledge without charity, intelligence without humility, study without divine grace, the mirror without the inspiration of divine wisdom. To those who are already disposed by divine grace – to the humble and pious; to those who are devout and sorrowful for their sins; to those anointed with the oil of gladness; to those who are lovers of divine wisdom and are inflamed with desire for it; and to those who wish to give themselves to glorifying, admiring, and even savoring God, I propose the following reflections. At the same time I warn them that to have the mirror of the external world placed before them is of little significance unless the mirror of the mind is cleansed and polished. Therefore, O child of God, awaken yourself first to the remorseful sting of conscience before you raise your eyes to those rays of wisdom that are reflected in its mirrors. Otherwise it might happen that the very act of looking on these rays might cause you to fall into an even more treacherous pit of darkness
per vestigia eius [Dei] in universo
per suam imaginem naturalibus potentiis insignitam
per eius nomen primarium quod est esse
in vestigiis suis in hoc sensibili mundo
in sua imgine donis gratuitis reformata
in eius nomine quod est bonum
de excessu mentali et mystico
Seraph from Monreal Cathedral
Annunciation of birth of John the Baptist to Zachariah,
14th cent Glossa detail
Glossa Ordinaria from 1484 by Forlivo and Britannicus
St. John of the Cross (1542-1591)
To reach satisfaction in all
desire satisfaction in nothing.
To come to the knowledge of all
desire the knowledge of nothing.
To come to possess all desire the possession of nothing.
To arrive at being all
desire to be nothing.
The way of the Imperfect Spirit
To come to enjoy what you have not
you must go by a way in which you enjoy not.
To come to the knowledge you have not
you must go by a way in which you know not.
To come to the possession you have not
you must go by a way in which you possess not.
To come to be what you are not
you must go by a whay in which you are not.
The path of Mount Carmel the Perfect Spirit
When you delay in something
you cease to rush toward the all.
To go from the all to the all
you must deny yourself of all in all.
And when you come to the possession of the all
you must possess it without wanting anything.
The way of the Imperfect Spirit
In this nakedness the spirit
finds its quietude and rest, for in
coveting nothing, nothing tires it
by pulling it up, and nothing oppresses it
by pushing it down, because it is in
the center of its humanity.
possessions joy knowledge consolation rest
Now that I least desire them, I have them all without desire.
nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing
and even on the Mount nothing
Goods of Heaven
glory joy knowledge consolation rest
Now that I no longer desire them, I have them all without desire.
The more I desired to possess them, the less I had
The more I desired to seek them, the less I had
Neither this
nor this
nor this
nor this
nor this
nor this
Neither this
nor this
nor this
nor this
Here there is no longer any way
because for the just man there is no law;
he is a law unto himself
I brought you into the land of Carmel to eat its fruit and its good things. (Jer 2:7)
Only the honor and glory of God dwells on this mount.
"Upper Soul"
"Lower Soul"
5 physical senses
The Will
The Intellect
Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
Institutes of the Cenobium and the 8 Principal Vices
Conferences (Collationes) 1-10, 11-17, 18-24
On the Incarnation Against Nestorius
Oh God, come to my assistance.
- Lord, make haste to help me.
Evagrius Ponticus
Liturgy and Sacraments
Liturgy is what connects us to God, filling the space between the fingers in Michelangelo's creation scene. --Fr. R. Taft

Liturgy is "that system of prayers and rites traditionally canonized by the Church as her own prayer and worship." - L. Bouyer

Worship that puts God first and orders all of human life according to His revelation. -J. Ratzinger (Benedict XVI)

The liturgy is nothing more nor less than the exercise of this priestly function [of Christ]. - Pius XII, Med. Dei.

A sacrament is an efficacious sign.
The Liturgy of the Hours




Time - Restoration - Service
Definitions: Liturgy and Sacraments
The Rites of Christian Initiation



The relationship between Sinai, the Passover, the Last Supper, and the Mass

Seeing with more than one eye
Mass, Divine Liturgy, & Eucharist
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