Item description for The Sacrament of the Present Moment by Jean-Pierre De Caussade...
Overview In this superb new translation of the celebrated spiritual classic of wisdom, hope, and inspiration, Jean-Pierre de Caussade offers guidance for daily living in communion with God. This exemplary devotional work summons readers to holiness, reveals ways to conquer self-love and pride, and points the way for experiencing each moment as a sacrament. The author shows how God speaks to us through every moment of every day. He encourages a joyous, affirming, selfless abandonment to God. By entering into such active contemplation and facing ourselves honestly and openly, the author assures us, we can achieve the comfort and fulfillment of a life suffused with grace. These timeless spiritual reflections probe the mystery of faith, illuminate the nature of authentic contemplation, and help us recognize and carry out God's purpose in our own lives. They stand as powerful testimony to de Caussade's conviction "that there is nothing easier, more ordinary, more available to all than saintliness."
Publishers Description In this superb new translation of the celebrated spiritual classic of wisdom, hope, and inspiration, Jean-Pierre de Caussade offers guidance for daily living in communion with God. This exemplary devotional work summons readers to holiness, reveals ways to conquer self-love and pride, and points the way for experiencing each moment as a sacrament.The author shows how God speaks to us through every moment of every day. He encourages a joyous, affirming, selfless abandonment to God. By entering into such active contemplation and facing ourselves honestly and openly, the author assures us, we can achieve the comfort and fulfillment of a life suffused with grace.These timeless spiritual reflections probe the mystery of faith, illuminate the nature of authentic contemplation, and help us recognize and carry out God's purpose in our own lives. They stand as powerful testimony to de Caussade's conviction "that there is nothing easier, more ordinary, more available to all than saintliness."
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.04" Width: 5.33" Height: 0.31" Weight: 0.25 lbs.
Release Date Dec 8, 2009
ISBN 0060618116 ISBN13 9780060618117 UPC 099455011006
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More About Jean-Pierre De Caussade
Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751) was a French Jesuit priest and writer known for his work Abandonment to Divine Providence (also translated as The Sacrament of the Present Moment) and his posthumously-published letters of instruction to the Nuns of the Visitation at Nancy, where he was spiritual director from 1733-1740, although he continued to write the sisters after leaving Nancy. While he is best known for his work with the sisters, he also spent years as preacher in southern and central France, as a college rector (at Perpignan and at Albi), and as the director of theological students at the Jesuit house in Toulouse. Caussade is remembered for, among other things, his belief that the present moment is a sacrament from God and that self-abandonment to it and its needs is a holy state - a belief which, at first glance, would appear to be heretical relative to Catholic dogma. In fact, because of this fear (especially with the Church's condemnation of the Quietist movement), Caussade's instructions to the sisters were kept unpublished until 1861, and even then they were edited (by fellow Jesuit Henri Ramiere) to protect them from charges of Quietism. A more authoritative version of these notes was published only in 1966. It is clear in his writings that he is aware of the Quietists and that he rejects their perspective. Writers such as Alan Watts have found in Caussade an Occidental, Christian-theological analogue to the Eastern religion of Mahayana Buddhism, particularly Zen Buddhism.
Jean-Pierre De Caussade has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Sacrament of the Present Moment?
Embrace the Present Moment as an Ever-flowing Source of Holiness Oct 27, 2006
Each moment is another opportunity to surrender your heart to God. The Holy Spirit is ever about and within us, and time is simply the unfolding of His grace. The Sacrament of the Present Moment.
As another Jesuit, Fr. G.M. Hopkins, once wrote: "The world is charged with the Grandeur of God: it shines out like shining from shook foil, it gathers to a greatness like the ooze of oil crushed.."
This book is a manifesto reminding us that it is God in whom we live & move and have our being. He is intimately with us always, unto all time. Peace, then. Cultivate awareness of His presence. You cannot be harmed. Neither death nor sin can separate us from the love of God. Only our eternal refusal to seek His mercy & embrace Him can do that.
It's my theologumena that hell is simply the inescapable flame of that Love which the damned desperately wish to flee.
Some might catch a whiff of quietism in this book. It's true that the Quietists were all the rage in France at the time, but it's unfair to tar Fr. Caussade with that brush. Because the essence of his teaching is cooperation with grace, infused action on behalf of Christ. Even if it is humble, even if you don't understand what the point of it is, even if it seems futile or inconsequential. If it is good, even the simplest things are sweet in the eyes of God.
For it is not the act that makes us holy, but His grace. The act is is simply our little gift to God, proof of our love for Him. Like a child doing something simple & inconsequential for her parent, anything we can do is likewise pleasing to Him. This, as I'm sure you know, is also the teaching of our Little Flower, Dear St. Therese, one of the most luminous saints of Carmel, and Doctor of the Church.
The key to holiness, which is to say happiness & peace, is to pay attention to Him and love Him. We will inevitably be moved to do what He would have us do, which usually is something quite simple. Like our chores, loving our enemies, caring for our neighbors, and adoring Him.
When you love someone, you seek to please him. Love & you will be saved.
There's another book from the same place & era (early 18th century France) that is very similar, which I love deeply as well: 'The Practice of the Presence of God' by Brother Lawrence, another French Carmelite. Both of these books are sublime. Only Frere Laurent is even simpler and more limpid than Fr. Caussade, if that is possible (Fr. Caussade, though saintly and so obviously influenced by Carmel and Holy Francis, was still a Jesuit after all..)
I always picture Brother Lawrence enraptured, laying cruciform before the oven on the floor of his kitchen, slain by the mystery of the baking bread.. (Taste and see the LORD is good..) It's an arbitrary image, but I feel it catches what he was like. Blessed Sweetness, everywhere found, in my heart dwell most profound!
Anyway, these books always make me tearfully glad. Just thinking about them, and the men who wrote them.. The God who let it all happen. We are so blessed to be alive. To be given such a faith. I pray for all of you who read this. Blessings. Read these books.
Chers Pere Caussade, Frere Laurent et Ste. Therese, priez pour nous!
Surrendering to the Will of God Oct 29, 2005
This is a classic of Christian literature about surrendering everything in our lives to the will of God. This is about as far from any type of a new age quick fix as you can get! While only a small percentage of Christians today might actually enjoy reading it, the writing is often inspired and eloquent. What this book encourages of all seekers is no easy task. To accept our lives and everything that transpires in them and in the world at large with grace and unwavering faith in God is something against which our false selves will often rebel. The general message of the book is to engage and suffer, if need be, everything we are called to do while remaining steadfast in our desire to do only His Will. The ego needs to quit complaining and griping and criticizing so that the will of God might be known through the auspices of faith. As I said, no easy task.
For those who might be interested, Cynthia Bourgeault devoted a chapter in her book, "Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening" to something called Welcoming Prayer. This is a "technique" that was developed by a woman seriously committed to Centering Prayer. The inspiration for Welcoming Prayer was, in large part, this woman's love of the classic "The Sacrament of the Present Moment."
Sacrament of the Present Moment Aug 24, 2005
Life changing. A simple, practical, daily way to become a saint. Truly a must read! A detailed explanation of God's love for us and the beauty of seeking His will. A book to reread and if followed, will bear fruit in all walks of life!
The simplicity of surrendering to God's Will May 19, 2005
This book, translated by Katie Muggeridge, and with an introduction by Richard J. Foster, is an easy read, and it advocates a practice that I found simple and natural, though not always easy. Christians from all traditions should be able to engage his message.
Richard Foster sums it up well in the introduction when he says, "Cutting through the maze of religious obligations that so often encrust the gospel, he declared, `There remains one single duty. It is to keep one's gaze fixed on the master one has chosen and to be constantly listening so as to understand and hear and immediately obey his will.' And again, `the only condition necessary for this state of self-surrender is the present moment in which the soul, light as a feather, fluid as water, innocent as a child, responds to every movement of grace like a floating balloon." (p. xiii-xiv)
This is what "The Sacrament of the Present Moment" is all about. Implied is a sense of reflection, holy listening, of being aware of God's will and guidance. As we are aware of this will, we then surrender ourselves to it. Hence, the earlier title, "Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence." We are engaging God in the process, and he is engaging us. In so doing, we live in faith, abide in His love, and become like Him.
The other aspect of de Caussade's message that I liked is that it can be applied by anyone, not just monastic. He sees God's providence in our duties, our trials, or joys. He also realizes that it goes beyond formulas - that God's will often leads us to the unexpected. This mitigates against the risk of turning the contemplative life and spiritual disciplines into another list of "do's and don'ts."
I found this book to be life-changing, and is rapidly becoming one of my all-time favorites.
Caussade's Mystical Libretto for a Symphony of the Soul... Jan 24, 2005
Originally entitled SELF-ABANDONMENT TO DIVINE PROVIDENCE, Jean Pierre Caussade's brief, eighteenth-century, mystical masterpiece consists of a series of enlightening lectures--on the pains and pleasures of surrenduring one's will to God--that were first presented as spiritual direction to the Visitation nuns of Nancy, France, before finally being organized into this charming treatise on saintliness.
Much like the earlier, prayerful guidance offered through the meditations of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, Father Caussade's study hails the virtue of 'utter self-surrender to the divine Center' as a requisite both to the authentic spiritual journey and true faith, but also as a prerequisite to conquering one's passions and to living a committed, religious life.
The work contains enough reasoning to stand on its own as a spiritual guide, but fulfills its purpose more splendidly as a theological supplement to those engaged in the actual practice of mystical prayer. In this capacity, it makes a faithful companion to Father Thomas Keating's book on the proper method of Christian contemplation called OPEN MIND OPEN HEART.
For those souls bold enough to embark upon 'the road less traveled' it serves as an existential map to the highways and byways of orison--pointing the surest direction to the Eternal City--while at the same time faithfully highlighting many important psychological and philosophical landmarks along the way.
Each chapter acts as its own spiritual beacon--illuminating vast portions of the divine path--allowing one to sail further along currents of stillness, into deeper oceans of interior-silence, faster! In this manner, it proves indispensable toward the ultimate goal of every mystic or would-be spiritual master: that of Divine Union.
Entertain no doubt about it, though. The straight and narrow way is by far the most arduous and, despite its great simplicity, oftentimes the most perilous. However, it is not without pain but from within those intense moments of purest suffering that we can part, if only but for a brief moment in time, the veil of tears--to gaze directly into the heart of the matter--and distill the fitful fragments of truth behind all of the sorrow. And acting from the knowledge gained thereby, coupled with love, we can shape the disparate pieces of life's seemingly desperate puzzle into meaningful horizons of wholeness, salvation, and hope for tomorrow. This is the soul at its best!
Ultimately, it is when we recollect ourselves to the Divine Mystery that we can fully reap the ripened-fruits of our faith. For, when the spirit consents to rest in God--to say and truly mean 'Thy Will be Done'--then something wonderful happens: Alas, the divine action, infused with Grace, does its part to impart THE SACRAMENT OF THE PRESENT MOMENT.
*This review is dedicated to the memory of Cynthia Oti, talk show host and financial advisor extraordinaire, KSFO radio, San Franciso. She perished aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 261.