Ascent of Mount Carmel IX

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In which we revisit some old territory and forge into new

Ascent of Mount Carmel IX--Book II Chapter 6-8

Read pages 166-176

Chapter 6

1-4 How are the three faculties related to the theological virtues? What does each virtue do to each faculty?

6-8. What must we do to each of the faculties? Why?

Chapter 7
1-3 How does John use scripture metaphorically or in an analogy to explain the "narrow gate" and the "constricted way?" How is that important for us? What does it call on us to do?

4-5. What is the common misunderstanding even people of good will and good faith have of the passage from Mark (8:34-35)? What do spiritual people refuse to annhilate? Why might this be a problem?

What does a genuine spirit of prayer seek?

6. Where does all negation take place? Why is it necessary? Pick one of the verses St. John uses to support his arguments (Mt: 16: 25; Lk. 9:24; Jn 12:25; Mt 20:22) and take it with you for a short lectio. Write out the conclusion of your prayer--what are you called to do?

7. Where is the road of relief and sweetness? What happens to those who seek after things, either material or spiritual?

8.What is the one thing necessary in prayer life? To what does St. John liken failure to do this? What is accomplished if one does not do the one thing necessary?

9-11 How is the death necessary in the spirit like the Death of Christ Himself?

12-13 What topic will John next consider? What is his purpose?

Chapter 8

1. What is necessary to achieve union with God? Is it possible to use the intellect to obtain this?

2 St. John points out that the mean must be proportionate to the end. In one sense they must "resemble" the end that will result. Study his example of the fire and the log until this point is clear.

3. John uses this section to point out that there is no creature proportionate to God. Use what you learned above to affirm John's conclusion that it would not be possible for a creaturely means to end in an eternal God. What does John state is not possible based on creatures for the intellect?

4. What other things do not lend help to the intellect in obtaining Union with God?

5. What third category of things is not useful in obtaining Union with God? Why?

6. What is another way to think about contemplation? What must the intellect do to reach Union with God?

Consider the points St. John made in the passages we have read. Where do they lead in prayer? What must we do? How do we go about it? Think of one way you can take positive steps toward union with God. What above all else is necessary for this motion?

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is this gonna be on the test?


You weren't blogging during the earlier parts of this reflection. Should have restated. These are notes that I give out to my Carmelite community as we are studying The Ascent of Mount Carmel to help them over some of the rough spots. I share them here for those that might be helped by them--yes they do look scary--next time I'll remember to cushion the shock.





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 22, 2004 6:25 PM.

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