Friday, May 20, 2011

On Carmel and Spiritual Direction

Our Holy Father recently addressed members of the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum, saying:
Three quarters of a century have passed since that July 16, 1935, liturgical memorial of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel, in which the then International College of the Order of Discalced Carmelites in the city was promoted to the status of Theological Faculty. From the beginning it was oriented to deepening spiritual theology in the framework of the anthropological question. Over the course of the years, an Institute of Spirituality was established, which together with the Theological Faculty, makes up the academic group that has the name of Teresianum.

Taking a retrospective glance over the history of this institution, we want to praise the Lord for the wonders he has accomplished in and through it, in the many students that have attended it -- first of all, because to be part of such an academic community constitutes a unique ecclesial experience, strengthened by all the richness of a great spiritual family such as the Order of Discalced Carmelites. We think of the vast renewal movement began in the Church by the testimony of Sts. Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross. It aroused a rekindling of the ideals and fervor of contemplative life, which in the 16th century set afire, so to speak, Europe and the whole world....

As she has never failed to do, again today the Church continues to recommend the practice of spiritual direction, not only to all those who wish to follow the Lord up close, but to every Christian who wishes to live responsibly his baptism, that is, the new life in Christ. Everyone, in fact, and in a particular way all those who have received the divine call to a closer following, needs to be supported personally by a sure guide in doctrine and expert in the things of God. A guide can help defend oneself from facile subjectivist interpretations, making available his own supply of knowledge and experiences in following Jesus. [Spiritual direction] is a matter of establishing that same personal relationship that the Lord had with his disciples, that special bond with which he led them, following him, to embrace the will of the Father (cf. Luke 22:42), that is, to embrace the cross.

More HERE.

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