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Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life: A Practical Guide to Prayer for Active People [Paperback]

By Robert J. Spitzer (Author)
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Item description for Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life: A Practical Guide to Prayer for Active People by Robert J. Spitzer...

Saint Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, espoused the ideal of becoming "contemplatives in action." He was convinced that contemplation (the deep awareness and appropriation of the unconditional love of God) should affect our actions, and that our actions need to be brought back to contemplation. These five dimensions of the spiritual life: (1) the Holy Eucharist, (2) spontaneous prayer, (3) the Beatitudes, (4) partnership with the Holy Spirit, and (5) the contemplative life itself, generally do not develop simultaneously or even in parallel ways. Some develop very quickly, but do not achieve significant depth; while others develop quite slowly, but seem to be almost unending in the depth of wisdom, trust, hope, virtue, and love they engender. The best way of explaining this is to look at each of the pillars individually. Before doing this, however, it is indispensable for each of us to acknowledge (at least intellectually) the fundamental basis for Christian contemplation, namely, the unconditional Love of God. Jesus taught us to address God as Abba. If God really is Abba; if His love is like the father of the prodigal son; if Jesus' passion and Eucharist are confirmations of that unconditional Love; if God really did so love the world that He sent His only begotten Son into the world not to condemn us, but to save us and bring us to eternal life (Jn 3:16-19); if nothing really can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rm 8:31-39); and if God really has prepared us "to grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love, and experience this love which surpasses all understanding, so that we may attain to the fullness of God Himself" (Eph 3:18-20), then God's love is unconditional, and it is, therefore, the foundation for unconditional trust and unconditional hope. There can be nothing more important than contemplating, affirming, appropriating, and living in this Unconditional Love. This is the purpose of contemplation; indeed, the purpose of the spiritual life itself. "The publication of Father Spitzer's book is a happy coincidence, coming soon after Pope Benedict's Jesus of Nazareth. Both are strong statements of New Testament spirituality and provide an escape from the 'bleaching of Christ's image', caused by the exclusive use of the historical-critical method. Informed Catholic readers are summoned by this book to take the Christ of the Gospels intelligently and seriously."

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ignatius Press
Pages   171
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2008
Publisher   Ignatius Press
ISBN  1586172018  
ISBN13  9781586172015  

Availability  10 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 21, 2016 09:23.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Robert J. Spitzer

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Spitzer is Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York at Cortland.

Robert J. Spitzer was born in 1953.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Inspirational
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Prayer
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life: A Practical Guide to Prayer for Active People?

Great depth, wonderful humor  Mar 26, 2010
I have heard Father Spitzer speak at conferences. He is engaging, challenging, entertaining, and, deeply spiritual. This book reflects all of these traits---and more. I especially recommend it for Catholics who want guidance in how to grow in their relationship with God.
A wonderful introduction to Catholic spirituality  Oct 20, 2009
This book is a gem. In it, Father Spitzer gives his suggestions for a sound foundation in spirituality for Catholics. He is an enthusiastic spokesman for the Eucharist, prayer, the Beatitudes, the Holy Spirit, and contemplation, and he discusses each "pillar" with great examples from his own life. This is a great book for any Catholic looking to "jump start" or renew their spiritual life. The appendix on the Four Levels of Happiness is a great summary of this important part of his philosophy.
Compelling, Powerful book on Spirituality  May 14, 2009
This is the most compelling, powerful book on our Catholic religion I have ever read. The first chapter alone, on the Eucharist, sent me to attend mass daily, if possible. Fr. Spitzer has a way of stating strong messages without pushing or pressure. This first pillar, the Holy Mass gives us peace, transforms us and makes us one with the whole world. Then he gently leads us to the next four pillars, all equally moving. Thank you, Fr. Spitzer, for your gift of writing and sharing us your life.

Elnora Mercado
Denver, Colorado
Profound truths most simply stated  Jan 17, 2009
First let me state that I am not a Roman Catholic AND that this my favorite introduction to prayer because Father took a very difficult problem...which is how do we commune with God....and with great love and simple language instructs how we can throw ourselves at the feet of Christ our God. And in doing this, grow in Faith, Hope and Love from His Holy Spirit. He covers all the aspects of different types of prayer and contemplation in a way that is easy to understand and in a way that makes you inspired to pray more and more. I especially appreciated his treatment of delusion and the testing of spirits as to whether or not they are of God. Prayer is not without its pitfalls! If you are not part of the apostolic tradition you may suffer reading this book because of his emphasis on Christ our God in the Eucharist, but suffering is good! This is the foundation you want to build your life on. Just know that this book is a meal for all Christian seekers. In addition to being a great text on prayer, there is a companion video series that goes with this book that is excellent also, but not as thorough. Sometimes you can catch a rerun on television. Thank you Father for your devotion and for the humility of your heart in Christ. Inspired!

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