Item description for The Virtues of an Authentic Life: A Celebration of Spiritual Maturity by Bernard Haring...
Overview In these short and personal essays, Bernard Haring--a prominent theologian and international retreat master, discusses the components of moral competence. Haring identifies and clarifies more than forty virtues, among which are the expected (charity, humility, chastity, generosity) and the unexpected (holy impatience, vigilance, frugality, reciprocity, and humor). Haring maintains, however, that each individual virtue works together to form a total domain that creates the central principle behind personal authenticity and goodness. A key theme is Haring's regrets about the Church's glorification of passive obedience which, he believes, plays right into the hands of dictatoral authority.
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Studio: Liguori Publications
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.3" Width: 5.24" Height: 0.75" Weight: 0.66 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2000
Publisher Liguori Publications
ISBN 0764801201 ISBN13 9780764801204
Reviews - What do customers think about The Virtues of an Authentic Life: A Celebration of Spiritual Maturity?
A Diatribe in Self-Congratulatory Whining Apr 21, 2006
I purchased this book because I have an interest in the Christian virtues and I liked the way this book was organized, starting with the theological virtues and then expounding on the moral and intellectual virtues. That's where the love affair ends. The book was hard-reading, and not because of the topic or the language, but because of the manner of Haring's thinking. It's the type of book that makes a reasonable person angry with each turn of the page because of the typically bad ideas.
In each chapter, Haring likes to twist the idea of virtue and infect it with his own modernist language. So, we're treated to "redeemed love", "grown-up obedience", etc. - ideas that reasonable people would well agree. But then he makes no secret of the fact that he has problems with authority, organized religion, obedience, tradition, etc. and that if we are to be spiritually mature and spiritually free, we should have the same attitude. Each paragraph begs for a "yes, but ..." response because Haring presents only half a picture, making his arguments confusing and unbalanced. But this is typically where many in his generation of priests prefer the argument, undefined. The following is typical, after depicting us as a culture of submissives (huh?), Haring states the following...
"We live in a time of radical change. The course of history has quickened ans never before. Stubborn clinging to human traditions and dogmatic formulations have caused parts of the Church to become spiritually sterile and reactionary. History is rapidly leaving these parts of the Church behind in the dust."
Uh, no. The Church is moving into a new spirit of orthodoxy that holds fast to her timeless wisdom and tradition while incorporating those things that are true, good, and beautiful in modern culture.
One wonders why Haring stops short of many controversial topics, probably because it would give the game away. All the same, for Haring, spiritual maturity is independence without the confines of religion and authentic means self-fulfilling. He avoids saying so directly but the insincerety is unmistakeable throughout, sometimes by what he fails to say or where he fails to elaborate. In the end, Haring walks the edge of positivism and selfism, but coats it with Christian language. There's a lot of finger pointing of the "the world would be so much better..." sort. He's probably the least qualified to speak about what is authentic or spiritually mature, except in his own mind. He should really revisit what more qualified individuals have said on the virtues.
A very thoughtful exposition of the Christian virtues Feb 28, 1999
Bernard Haring, thorougly dusts off each of the so-called "Christian" virtues, giving them a new life, so to speak. Moral development is explained as a natural process and part of human personality development. Emphasis is on wholeness and development of solid moral and ethical character - even though this character be obtained after much personal struggle. Integrity, intellectual effort and experiential faith is seen as the path to true Christian moral development, rather than blind obedience to a system of religious authority and instruction. I often thought while reading this work, that if religion and morals had been explained to me this way, a great many of my own misunderstandings might have been avoided.