Garrigou-Langrange, Aquinas and St John of the Cross
#1
Just found this, from Mass of Ages,  August 2006:

"It is perhaps in this field of mystical, or spiritual, theology that Garrigou's most original work was done. As early as 1917, a special professorship in 'ascetical and mystical theology' had been created for him at the Angelicum, the first of its kind anywhere in the world. His great achievement was to synthesise the highly abstract writings of St Thomas Aquinas with the 'experiential' writings of St John of the Cross, showing how they are in perfect harmony with each other. The one describes the spiritual life from the point of view, so to speak, of God, analysing the manifold graces that He gives to the soul to bring it into union with Himself; the other describes the same process from the point of view of man, showing the 'attitudes' that a faithful soul should adopt at various stages of the spiritual journey. It must have been particularly pleasing for Fr Garrigou when St John of the Cross, whose orthodoxy had once been doubted by some writers, was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI.
[Image: garrigou2.jpeg]
The other great theme of Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange's spiritual theology was the universality of God's call to the mystical life. He argued convincingly that while the more dramatic mystical phenomena such as visions and locutions are obviously reserved to a few, all the baptised are invited not just to a life of virtue, but to a life of close union with God in prayer. This union is in the most proper sense of the word mystical, since it is founded on the gifts of the Holy Ghost and on our sharing in God's own life by sanctifying grace. He went so far as to say that the transforming union as described by such saints as St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila was simply the full flowering of the grace of baptism. At the same time, Fr Garrigou's writings contain useful warnings against abusing this doctrine, for he often points out that any so-called mysticism not based on the practice of the virtues and on meditation on Christ and His Passion is an illusion."

Does anyone here know enough about Garrigou-Lagrange to comment on this commentary?

It's very interesting for me personally, and I'd genuinely appreciate any Fisheaters' wisdom/ learning/ argument/ opinion/ two-cents about it.
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#2
I read only a few books of Garrigou-Langrange, but my opinion is that he just wrote too much, consequently not deep enough. I may be wrong.

As for the contemplative prayer I started it at age 5. It is very useful under strict spiritual advise of a stable spiritual director, but it could be extremely dangerous if one is on his/her own. The practices open a door for the supernatural, and the Adversary is always ready to break in.

In normal circumstances it is better to stay with the oral prayer and intellectual meditation over approved texts

laszlo

Benno Wrote:Just found this, from Mass of Ages,  August 2006:

"It is perhaps in this field of mystical, or spiritual, theology that Garrigou's most original work was done. As early as 1917, a special professorship in 'ascetical and mystical theology' had been created for him at the Angelicum, the first of its kind anywhere in the world. His great achievement was to synthesise the highly abstract writings of St Thomas Aquinas with the 'experiential' writings of St John of the Cross, showing how they are in perfect harmony with each other. The one describes the spiritual life from the point of view, so to speak, of God, analysing the manifold graces that He gives to the soul to bring it into union with Himself; the other describes the same process from the point of view of man, showing the 'attitudes' that a faithful soul should adopt at various stages of the spiritual journey. It must have been particularly pleasing for Fr Garrigou when St John of the Cross, whose orthodoxy had once been doubted by some writers, was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI.
[Image: garrigou2.jpeg]
The other great theme of Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange's spiritual theology was the universality of God's call to the mystical life. He argued convincingly that while the more dramatic mystical phenomena such as visions and locutions are obviously reserved to a few, all the baptised are invited not just to a life of virtue, but to a life of close union with God in prayer. This union is in the most proper sense of the word mystical, since it is founded on the gifts of the Holy Ghost and on our sharing in God's own life by sanctifying grace. He went so far as to say that the transforming union as described by such saints as St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila was simply the full flowering of the grace of baptism. At the same time, Fr Garrigou's writings contain useful warnings against abusing this doctrine, for he often points out that any so-called mysticism not based on the practice of the virtues and on meditation on Christ and His Passion is an illusion."

Does anyone here know enough about Garrigou-Lagrange to comment on this commentary?

It's very interesting for me personally, and I'd genuinely appreciate any Fisheaters' wisdom/ learning/ argument/ opinion/ two-cents about it.
Reply
#3
Garrigou-Lagrange is beloved by most of the priests and seminarians with the FSSP, so if you value their opinion, the works of Garrigou-Lagrange are extremely valuable.  Some of his books are required reading at OLGS (or at least used to be).
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