Friday 26 March 2010

In the School of the Holy Spirit - Jacques Philippe

In the School of the Holy Spirit
Jacques Philippe

Helena Scott (Translator)
Scepter Publishers
ISBN 9781594170539

This is the last of Father Jacques Philippe's books for me to read, that is current available in English. I truly love his spiritual writings and they have eclipsed Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen in my favourite spiritual writers' category. If he had a few more available in English he might even surpass C.S. Lewis. His works are a short treatise on different aspects of the spiritual life. This book focuses on learning to listen to the Holy Spirit's leadings, to learn to follow the Spirit's leadings ever more closely. I am going to include the table of contents to show you the depth of this subject that is covered in under 100 pages.

Part I Holiness Is The Work of the Holy Spirit
1. The Task Is Beyond Our Power
2. Only God Knows Each Person's Road
3. Faithfulness To Grace Draws Down Further Graces

Part II How Can We Foster Inspiration
1. Practice Praise and Thanksgiving
2. Desire and Ask For Them
3. Resolve To Refuse God nothing
4. Practice Filial and Trusting Obedience
5. Practice Abandonment
6. Practice Detachment
7. Practice Silence and Peace
8. Persevere Faithfully in Prayer
9. Examine the Movements of our Hearts
10. Open Our Hearts to a Spiritual Director

Part III
1. Progressively Acquire a "Spiritual Sense"
2. Criteria Confirming that an Inspiration Comes from God

I. A Prayer by Cardinal Mercer
II. Quotations from Fr. Louis Lallemant
III. Quotations from St. Francis de Sales
IV. Freedom and Submission

Much like all his other books, this book is easily accessible, almost any reader looking to grow in the spiritual life will be encouraged, challenged and supported by using this book as a tool to help them grow in their spiritual life. A few quotes to support that argument are:

"Almost nobody realizes it, but in my opinion it is just as important to help devout people become even holier - and faster - as it is to help sinners be converted. It benefits the Church just as much. The world will be saved by the prayers of the saints." p.10
"Holiness is not the realization of a given model of perfection that is identical for everyone. It is the emergence of an absolutely unique reality that God alone knows, and that he alone brings to fruition...Holiness is only revealed to us by degrees, as we journey on, and it is often something very different from what we imagine, so much so that the greatest obstacle on the path to holiness may be to cling too closely to the image we have of our own perfection." p.18

"Inspirations go in the same direction as our duties of state and do not divert us from them but, just the reverse, help us to fulfill them" p.48

"But it remains true that this criterion of consistence between divine inspiration and the demands of our state in life is an important one, and we could avoid many spiritual illusions simply by taking it into account." p.49
"An inspiration from God, if we follow it, will produce sound fruit: the fruits of peace, joy, charity, communion, and humility." p.49

"At more critical moments, when we have the impression that our life with our Lord is limping a little and needs reviving, it can be very good to go on retreat for a few days and pray more intensely for the light of the Holy Spirit." p.29

Those few examples will give you a taste of the wisdom that can be attained with the aid of this book

Other Books By Fr. Jacques Philippe
From Scepter:

Called to Life
Time For God
Interior Freedom
In the School of the Holy Spirit
The Way of Trust and Love - A Retreat Guided By St. Therese of Lisieux
Thirsting for Prayer
Real Mercy: Mary, Forgiveness, and Trust

Fire and Light: Learning to Receive the Gift of God
The Eight Doors of the Kingdom: Meditations on the Beatitudes
Nine Days to Rediscover the Joy of Prayer
Nine Days to Welcome Peace
Priestly Fatherhood

St Paul's Alba House:
Searching for and Maintaining Peace
Discerning Your Vocation: A Catholic Guide for Young Adults (Forward)

Pauline Books and Media:

Time For God

Time For God
I Choose to be Free: the Power of Faith Hope & Charity (a different edition of Interior Freedom)

Books Contributed To:

(These are all his books I have been able to find in English; if you know of any others or how to get them, let me know please.)

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