It's a tricky business, speculating on spirituality. It's best to lean on fellow journeymen for balance. Best to consider Fr. Sophrony's words (in St. Silouan the Athonite
): ''Humility is not learned in a triceathere are some who have grown old in the practice of spiritual endeavor yet still have not learned humility, and they cannot understand why things are not well with them.'' Marko Ivan Rupnik -- a Jesuit priest, theologian, visual artist, and professor -- does a lot of discerning concerning what the spiritual life is not. It is not a tranquilizer (the more well-being you get, the better it works). It is not psychological therapy. In accord with St. Seraphim of Sarov, Fr. Rupnik plainly states, ''The spiritual life is life in the Holy Spirit.'' Of particular depth and beauty is the good father's explication of the spiritual life as revealed in the icon of the Face of Christ called Acheiropoietos
(''not made with hands''). The spiritual life is unifying (centripetal) and expansive (centrifugal) at once, writes Fr. Rupnik, ''an ecstatic movement of going out of oneself to recognize the true center in the Other.'' He gives us a compendious treatment of a behemoth, and, quite frankly, dangerous subject, leaning extensively on the writings of the early Church Fathers as well as a bevy of French educated Russian theologians (Soloviev, Lossky, Bulgakov, Evdokimov and Berdiaev). At his best, Fr. Rupnik reminds us of our need for spiritual fatherhood -- that it orients us toward community and is, in fact, the force by which humanity and culture can be reborn. 109 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
The Ressourcement: Retrieval and Renewal in Catholic Thought series offers the best in twentieth-century Catholicism: theology and philosophy that draw on the riches of the Church's two-thousand-year tradition, literature and cultural studies that give renewed form to a classical Catholic sensibility.