The Ordinary Path to Holinessby R. Thomas Richard, Benedict J. Groeschel (Introduction)
How Do We Work Out Our Salvation? What are we to expect, and anticipate, on this journey through life? When our earthly sojourn has ended, what will we have to account for before God? If we know the goal of our life, is there a map to guide us around the obstacles and pitfalls we may encounter? Centuries of following Jesus - who is the Way, the Truth and the Life - have provided the Church with a number of tried-and-true routes to our ultimate goal. This work provides an overview of this traditional Catholic spirituality which has been tested and proven in the crucible of the lives of the saints. Our spiritual life develops and grows in a way not unlike our physical, emotional and intellectual lives. Certain stages are common to all. Our spiritual life develops in three stages: the beginning, or purgative stage; the proficient, or illuminative stage; and the perfect, or unitive stage. Understanding this traditional Catholic spirituality will give the reader powerful insights into his or her personal pilgrimage. It needs to be rediscoveredm respected and put into practice by members of the Church today.
- Alba House
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The Ordinary Path to Holiness is a book to be read slowly and thoughtfully, even as we eat a good meal unhurriedly. Every moment spent in pondering the way God has designed us to grow spiritually, however, is worth the time. Dr. Richard has taken the traditional three stages of spiritual growth as given in the writings of the saints and as seen in the Gospels and made the path clearer for those of us who are traveling the path to holiness today. Given the clear message of Vatican II that ALL are called to holiness, the lay Catholic will find this book a help in understanding how to begin or to progress on the path God intended for us ordinary persons. Not only Catholics but anyone interested in living a holy life can be helped. Perhaps, those who do not understand the Sacraments or the Mass will find in this book also a better understanding of the Catholic Faith.
There are many books that try to inspire readers toward a deeper life of prayer - but few that also help us understand actually the way we grow in prayer. There are very few of such books that are contemporary, and that are written for 'ordinary' lay people. This book is well worth a careful (prayerful) read! An excellent follow-up, that builds upon the traditional spirituality of this book, by the same author, is The Interior Liturgy of the Our Father.