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We found this lost classic among the cherished works that French Catholics risked everything to save when the Church was under attack — in the frenzied days of the French Revolution and its aftermath.
Written by Fr. Jean Nicolas Grou, The Spiritual Life might seem on the face of it an odd choice for the embattled Catholics of France to preserve. After all, it only gives a few small hints here and there of the great crisis that was engulfing France.
Yet preserve it they did.
A closer look at its contents reveals why: it’s a tough, uncompromising handbook to help you deal with all the obligations and problems of the spiritual life. As such, it teaches you what you need to know and to do when the comforts and supports of life have been swept away.
Indeed, Fr. Grou reminds you right at the beginning that salvation is only won at a great price. He wrote this book for those who are willing to pay that price themselves. His focus is firmly on Christ, whom he maintains should be the model for your own spiritual life — not just in theory, but in the hard fact of sacrifice and love so great as to pierce your heart.
Our times are not so far removed from the Godless irrationality that swept across France in Fr. Grou’s day. That’s why, in our own tumultuous age, The Spiritual Life is so desperately needed. It’s the one guide that offers you real help to navigate the treacherous spiritual waters of today’s world, and through it all, to keep the Faith.
To understand yourself and God and the relationship between you and God is a question everybody is seeking to answer. This is one of the best books I have read that uses reason and blunt honesty to bring you to a deeper understanding of the question and the answer.
If you are seeking to better understand the why, the what, the how of salvation this is a must read,it can only enhance your knowledge and understanding of the spiritual life.
I first read this book about two years ago and since then it has been on my prayer stand. I read one section per evening as my meditation. It takes about three months to get through the whole book and I've been through it now about six times. My life is changing because of this book. I'm more accepting of God's Holy Will for me. I no longer cling to the goods of this world. I no longer feel anxious when things are not going my way. I trust that God has my best interest at heart and what he has in mind is better than my plans. I no longer just accept my crosses, I lean into them and rejoice that I get to participate in some small way in my redemption and that of the whole world. This, along with daily prayer, daily Mass, daily examination of conscience, weekly fasting, monthly confession/spiritual direction are having a positive impact on my life. God is so good!
Reflections on the Christian Life
How to Read the Bible
Finding Confidence in Times of Trial
Set: Art of Praying & The Spiritual Life
Pocket Retreat for Catholics
Finding God’s Will for You
Am I Living a Spiritual Life?