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The Three Ages of the Interior Life

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The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Guest on Sun May 29, 2011 8:25 pm

Has anyone here read Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange's The Three Ages of the Interior Life? (available online)

I am currently working my way through the first volume, and wishing there was a competent priest near me to discuss its contents.

So, if you've read it... did you read it with a spiritual director or on your own? When you read it had you already read St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross; and St. Francis de Sales, or did you read them later (or at all)?

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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:33 pm

Does no one on this forum read?! No

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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:02 pm

I read it. It was ok. I know one person that kind of went off the deep end with it. I mean Lagrange supports some liberal theories like "implicit desire". I kind of like "The Way" by Escriva. Although I TOTALLY think he was off base to say an hour of study=an hour of prayer. Like any spiritual reading one needs to pray and use common sense (Holy Spirit?) I know those who have gone way off using St. John of the Cross too.

Spiritual direction as a theory also has need of some examination. Some people treat their spiritual director as "God" speaking to them. Well we see the condition of some souls lead by liberal clergy so that "dogma" doesn't work. I would suggest to get in contact with a friend who is orthodox (preferably a "Feeneyite" LOL) who you can bounce things off of. A simple conversation can often expose wrong thinking. The thing is some people don't want to be responsible for their actions and use spiritual direction to dump the responsibility on the the director.

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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Allie on Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:32 pm

I am actually hoping to begin reading this soon. I am finishing the short little book "The 3 Conversions in the Spiritual Life" by Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange and have enjoyed it and been edified by it. I am hopeful that (God-Willing) I will have the time and attention to read the Three Ages sooner rather than later. I ordered it a while ago on Amazon and am still waiting on it, but I expect it to arrive soon.

Perhaps we could bounce some questions/thoughts etc off of each other here from time to time while reading. (Although I won't be offended if this is not what you have in mind..lol)

What have you thought of it so far??

In any event, may God bless you!
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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  tornpage on Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:14 pm

Marian,

Sorry to say I haven't read Father GL's big classic. Otherwise, I'd be involved.

I mean Lagrange supports some liberal theories like "implicit desire".

Duckbill, I think you meant "implicit faith." If "implicit desire" puts one in the deep end, through me a rope.

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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Guest on Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:39 pm

duckbill wrote:I know one person that kind of went off the deep end with it.
What do you mean by that?

duckbill wrote:I know those who have gone way off using St. John of the Cross too.
Do you mean those liberal wackos who haven't even actually read St. John of the Cross?

duckbill wrote:Spiritual direction as a theory also has need of some examination. Some people treat their spiritual director as "God" speaking to them. Well we see the condition of some souls lead by liberal clergy so that "dogma" doesn't work. I would suggest to get in contact with a friend who is orthodox (preferably a "Feeneyite" LOL) who you can bounce things off of. A simple conversation can often expose wrong thinking. The thing is some people don't want to be responsible for their actions and use spiritual direction to dump the responsibility on the the director.
While it's true that people can misuse spiritual direction-- it's not a bad thing, so long as one is constantly absorbed in seeking the holy Will of God in all things (and not seeking to please their director, or be esteemed by men, etc.), and as long as one is confident their director is a holy man* (*for all practical points and purposes it seems, to me, that anyone other than a priest should not be an official spiritual director... priests can offer sacraments (read: Confession), laypersons cannot. End of story). Being spoon fed by one's director and thus blindly embracing heresy or some other harmful thing is characteristic of an immature directee, and not necessarily of the dangers of having a spiritual director. If a person doesn't examine their director and his commands, then they are foolish and only asking for trouble.

Conversing with a knowledgeable, orthodox, and trusted friend is good, and I don't intend to demean it by asking about spiritual direction-- which, a true friend can authentically offer spiritual direction from time to time... but, ultimately one's confessor (the ideal spiritual director) should know the intimate nitty gritty of one's spiritual life from an objective standpoint and be able to offer concrete direction on improving and moving forward.




Allie wrote:Perhaps we could bounce some questions/thoughts etc off of each other here from time to time while reading. (Although I won't be offended if this is not what you have in mind..lol)
That works for me.

Allie wrote:What have you thought of it so far??
I am still getting into it-- a quick skim, and now have been digesting the first several chapters. I have taken it with me to Adoration a few times to read a little bit, and then ask Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament to help me grow in virtue and grace; but sometimes I want to make it more of a study and break out all the footnotes, etc.-- so I can't quite decide what to do with it.

... Thanks, and may Our Lord bless you as well, Allie!

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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Guest on Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:55 am

If I could find a priest that believes you need to believe in Jesus to be saved I would ask him to be my spiritual director. So far I know if two such priests- Fr. Issac Relyea and Fr. Brian Harrison. There is Brother Andre too, but he is not a priest. Until I find such a priest I will just be confessing my sins and consulting traditional Catholic books and consulting lay people who actually hold the true faith in its entirety about the rest. We are living in a crisis that is probably just as bad as the Arian heresy.

I know what Duckbill is saying, a lot of the abuse that went on in groups like the Legionaries is enabled by an abuse of the principles in works such as The Three Ages or St. John of the Cross. For example, superiors could be really mistreating a person to the point of abuse, but they will point out that St. John of the Cross was imprisoned by his fellow religious brothers and taken out daily to be beaten with the discipline by them, and therefore the person should just suffer in silence. These principles can and have been abused. Example, I know of a religious group that would actually require it's members to beg for money so that they can have health insurance, the order will not cover the insurance itself.

I went to confession to a priest of a new group recently (they have good confession times) and he asked me my first and last name in confession. Then he invited me to come to a "recollection" that they were holding. My rights under Canon Law tell me I don't need to tell this priest my name at all, but taking the principle of "blind obedience" at its face value I was disobedient for not wanting to tell him.

St. John of the Cross's spirituality can tend to stoicism I have found while Dominican spirituality is a bit more "human". Sometimes the problems with people "going off the deep end" with these spiritual works can only really be explained if you have been burnt before through involvement (at whatever level) of the various "new communities" in the Church. When these groups don't hold Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus or hardly any of the traditional teachings of the Church yet they hold the most radical doctrines and practices found in these spiritual theology works, it makes for an ODD mix. Once bitten twice shy.

There is a sermon on Audio Sancto by an FSSP priest that is really good. He talks about the damage that priests do when they go around telling every young man they meet that he has a vocation to the priesthood (when they don't even know him) and thereby put a guilt trip on him to where he thinks he is being disobedient to God if he does not enter seminary because this priest of God told him it is God's will therefore it must be true.

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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Allie on Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:17 am

ML,

I just received it in the mail this weekend. It is kind of funny because the person who had it before had page numbers and different scripture verses written on one of the first pages- and then they had written someone's full name with a page number and under it "lack of good will"...so I'm not sure if the prior owner was using the book to figure out the interior life of others or their own...lol.

Anyways, I am going to try and get reading. Reading it in adoration is a good idea. Also, I see what you mean about at times having the inclination to "study" the book with all of the footnotes, etc.

May God bless you and guide you in reading!
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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Roguejim on Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:11 am

Allie wrote:[font=Verdana]ML,

Reading it in adoration is a good idea.

Not to judge anyone's use of chapel time, I take somewhat of a dim view of reading in an Eucharistic "adoration" chapel in place of praying, or adoring. Some folks will claim that they are "prayerfully reading", but I see reading, and praying, as almost mutually exclusive. I'm not saying one should never read in an adoration chapel, but it easily morphs into a crutch, "killing an hour" reading, instead of focusing oneself on the actual purpose of being there in the first place. For most people, including me, prayer is work. Reading is easy. St. Peter Julian Eymard has stated that the Lord wants to hear your own thoughts, and not the thoughts of someone's book you are reading. You can read other places. Build your relationship with the Lord while you are there.
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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Allie on Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:35 am

Roguejim wrote:
Allie wrote:[font=Verdana]ML,

Reading it in adoration is a good idea.

Not to judge anyone's use of chapel time, I take somewhat of a dim view of reading in an Eucharistic "adoration" chapel in place of praying, or adoring. Some folks will claim that they are "prayerfully reading", but I see reading, and praying, as almost mutually exclusive. I'm not saying one should never read in an adoration chapel, but it easily morphs into a crutch, "killing an hour" reading, instead of focusing oneself on the actual purpose of being there in the first place. For most people, including me, prayer is work. Reading is easy. St. Peter Julian Eymard has stated that the Lord wants to hear your own thoughts, and not the thoughts of someone's book you are reading. You can read other places. Build your relationship with the Lord while you are there.

No judgement taken, Jim. I actually appreciate your concern because I can see where it could hinder what the Lord may want from a person while there in adoration... however, if a person has no intention of "killing an hour" but instead is reading a particular book/prayer with the intention of the Lord teaching, speaking, guiding, aiding the understanding of the material...then I personally would not see the harm here. Maybe His Will is that you read for a bit and He will assist you, maybe He wants you to shut the book and just look at Him and listen or pray for others and ourselves, then by all means shut the book and remember who is boss and that this hour is the Lord's!

God bless you, Jim. I hope you are well.

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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:43 pm

The Cure of Ars said that when you pray you speak to God, when you read spiritual books you listen to God. So I would say that Allie is just having a conversation, But I do understand your point Jim. It was like DB's point on Escriva saying study is equal to prayer, hmmm.... he is the saint but I doubt it. flower

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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:09 pm

It depends on the quality of study and/or reading, I think. There are many ways to read a book. Some are conducive to Adoration, others are not.

When I was a student at a college which shall remain nameless, I would pray my Rosary in the small chapel in the basement of my dormitory and there was a girl who was consistently there doing her homework at the same time. It used to drive me nuts that she was in there, sitting on the floor (trying to be inconspicuous, I think) plugging equations into her calculator and seemingly ignoring Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I hope she was praying Our Lord would make her a math genius or something...

But anyway, reading a spiritual book and pondering its contents can be good/helpful during Adoration. So long as the book is just a help to praying, and not a replacement. Reading just to read something or kill time should be avoided, I agree. But a few pages to help direct one's intentions and thoughts isn't replacing your own thoughts with someone else's. It's just a guide/kickstart.

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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Lourdes on Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:02 pm

Someday I hope to get my hands on this book because I would love to read it. Our financial plight is rather bleak these days, so book buying is not an option. I live in a remote area and am not near a Catholic library. And I don't think anyone in my liberal parish has this particular book on their library shelf.

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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Allie on Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:21 pm

Lourdes,

I know what you mean about financial situation. I was "lucky" to find it online used for $25 including shipping- but even then it was not cheap and probably more than I should have spent. I don't know how long it will take me to get through it, but I could send you mine when I am finished with it.

Otherwise, I know that Marian posted a link to reading it online above..although I know for me my head starts to hurt when I stare at this screen too long.

So I will let you know when I am finished and you can PM me your info if you would like me to send it to you.

God bless you, Lourdes. And please hang in there, I will pray for your intentions.
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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Lourdes on Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:39 pm

Allie wrote:Lourdes,

I know what you mean about financial situation. I was "lucky" to find it online used for $25 including shipping- but even then it was not cheap and probably more than I should have spent. I don't know how long it will take me to get through it, but I could send you mine when I am finished with it.

Otherwise, I know that Marian posted a link to reading it online above..although I know for me my head starts to hurt when I stare at this screen too long.

So I will let you know when I am finished and you can PM me your info if you would like me to send it to you.

God bless you, Lourdes. And please hang in there, I will pray for your intentions.
Allie

Oh Allie, thank you. Please do pray for me, pray hard please. The only thing I want to be is a loyal daughter of Holy Mother Church.

And thank you for your offer about the book. Don't you like to keep books? That is very generous of you to offer to do that, but I do understand if you would rather keep it. Me - I'm a book hog. I love to read!! I, like you, have a very hard time reading and comprehending anything of any great length on the internet. I could never read a book on-line. I've tried, but between the glare and, as you say, the screen length, well...it is just too much for me.

God bless you for your thoughtfulness and your kindness!

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Re: The Three Ages of the Interior Life

Post  Allie on Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:40 am

Lourdes,

I do love books (my husband gets a little annoyed by all my books- lol). However, this is just such a good book that I want you to be able to read it since you have that desire. It will take me a while but I will PM you when I have finished.

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