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Spiritual Combat Revisited

de Jonathan Robinson

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Fr. Robinson has done a great service in revitalizing Lorenzo Scupoli's classic, Spiritual Combat, so that contemporary Catholics can rediscover this rich work that has served many generations of Catholics. This book is about the life of prayer and personal reform and renewal. It fits squarely into the tradition of the "great masters" of the spiritual life, and to the line of great modern writers on spirituality. It is a work of particular relevance that confronts modern culture with the tough-minded, deeply authentic challenge of spiritual combat. Robinson has retained Scupoli's appeal to the Catholic reader through a conversational style, short chapters, familiar examples from everyday life, and the pastoral bent which has marked his own outstanding career. Covering the basic difficulties of daily prayer and of obstacles to living the virtues, Scupoli and Robinson test the mettle of real Catholics by calling us to live an interior life for and with God.… (més)
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Father Robinson deftly fleshes out the maxims of the original "Spiritual Combat" published in 1589 by Italian priest Father Lorenzo Scupoli. Scupoli's book was a favourite of Blessed John Henry Newman, and Robinson weaves quotes from Newman, as well as the Spanish Carmelites and others into his revisiting of Scupoli's work. I'm curious how many fans of "virtue ethics" would find this book interesting. To me it is entirely congruent with that theory. No doubt the traditional modes and means of Catholic piety sometimes became ends in themselves, rather than means to holiness and virtue, but Robinson clearly demonstrates that works like Scupoli's still rest in the heart of our tradition.
  johnredmond | Mar 19, 2011 |
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Fr. Robinson has done a great service in revitalizing Lorenzo Scupoli's classic, Spiritual Combat, so that contemporary Catholics can rediscover this rich work that has served many generations of Catholics. This book is about the life of prayer and personal reform and renewal. It fits squarely into the tradition of the "great masters" of the spiritual life, and to the line of great modern writers on spirituality. It is a work of particular relevance that confronts modern culture with the tough-minded, deeply authentic challenge of spiritual combat. Robinson has retained Scupoli's appeal to the Catholic reader through a conversational style, short chapters, familiar examples from everyday life, and the pastoral bent which has marked his own outstanding career. Covering the basic difficulties of daily prayer and of obstacles to living the virtues, Scupoli and Robinson test the mettle of real Catholics by calling us to live an interior life for and with God.

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