Sacred study is the prayerful and attentive reading of a work with the initial goal of understanding it, the intermediate goal of reflectively appropriating it, and the final goal of making its teaching concrete in a life devoted to God. Sacred study is study because it puts questions to the text, as an apprentice questions the master, so as to come to grips with the deeper meanings. With these aims we will study St. Francis de Sales’s Introduction to the Devout Life this winter quarter. In this classic work of spirituality the reader is presented with “counsels” and “practices” to aid him in deepening his hunger for God while overcoming the obstacles that impede his progress in moral integrity and spiritual wisdom.
The Sacred Study Circle will meet weekly, covering a minimal amount of text each week. Fr. Paul Mankowski, S.J., scholar-in-residence at the Lumen Christi Institute, will guide participants in a reflective discussion of the text. Each session will meet at Gavin House, 1220 East 58th Street on Mondays from 4-5PM. While participants are encouraged to attend every session, this is not required. Copies of the book will be provided. We will be using the 400th Anniversary Edition, Eremitical Press, 2009.
January 14: Counsels concerning the soul’s first aspiration to the devout life.
(Pt.1, Ch.6-22, pp.26-51)
January 21: Counsels concerning the soul’s firm resolution to pursue the devout life.
(Pt.2, Ch.1-9, pp.55-66)
January 28: Counsels concerning the practice of virtue.
(Pt.3., Ch.1-5, pp.91-106,119-126)
February 4: Counsels concerning poverty of spirit amid riches.
(Pt.3, Ch.14-16, 37-38, pp.127-133, 175-178)
February 11: Counsels concerning true and false friendship. (Pt.3, Ch.17-22, pp.133-146)
February 18: Counsels concerning commonly experienced temptations.
(Pt.4, Ch.1-10, 13-14, pp.191-204, 209-219)
February 25: Counsels concerning renewal of the soul in devotion.
(Pt.5, Ch.1-6, 18, pp.223-230, 240-241)
Sacred study is intended for university students and faculty. Please contact Mark Franzen at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.