Ascent of Mount Carmel X


The Ascent of Mount Carmel X--Book II, Chapters 9-12

Read pages177-189 in The Ascent of Mount Carmel

Chapter 9
1-5 Pick one of the "proofs" John has suggested for faith being the proximate and proportionate means for the intellect to approach divine union and read it carefully. Listen to what John says about it. Come ready to share what you have heard in prayer.

Chapter 10

2. In what ways can the intellect get ideas? How do these two differ?

3. Into what categories is supernatural knowledge divided? How do they differ?

4. What are the five types of spiritual knowledge? (Two major subdivisions, one with four means of revelation, the other with only one.)

Chapter 11

1. What does John say the first book of the Ascent of Mount Carmel is about? How is supernatural knowledge delivered to the exterior senses?

2. What important warning does John give about these apprehensions?

3. What is the main danger of cherishing and thinking about these apprehensions?

4. As these apprehensions become more exterior what happens to their utility for the soul?

5. What happens to the person who esteems these apprehensions? Read and note the last sentence of this section very carefully. It is one of the most important points St. John and St. Teresa have to make about supernatural visitations.

6. If we are to ignore them, why does God give visions and locutions? What happens to the person who receives them upon receiving them?

7. What are six possible negative effects of desiring further visions and locutions?

8. What is one danger of not rejecting these apprehensions?

9. What will happen to the person who deals with these apprehensions as St. John suggests?

10. John uses the image of the Beast of the Apocalypse with seven heads and ten horns. Look at the scripture reference and see how John uses it to describe what happens in the mansions.

11-13 These sections are a recap and a summary of what went before. What is St. John's continually repeated strong advice for us in the face of supernatural apprehensions?

Chapter 12

1. What apprehensions are imparted to the interior senses?

2. What must we do to the interior senses once we have become sufficiently advanced in the prayer life? (Please note that imaginative apprehensions are often useful in the early stages of prayer, so one must carefully gauge where one is (preferably with the help of a spiritual director) before one makes the decision to abandon these.)

3-4 What are imagination and phantasy? Why is it necessary at some point to abandon them?

5. How can these apprehensions get in the way of union with God?

6-8 What is the best advice for one looking to advance in the spiritual life? Why is this so important? What might happen if the advice is ignored? What might happen if the advice is employed too early in one's prayer life?

Please feel free to use these notes as a study guide or to lead others in reading The Ascent of Mount Carmel. I don't pretend that they are any more than one person's imperfect reflections on a great work, but they at least give a starting point for reflection. They just skim the surface, but, properly employed, I pray they might lead on to greater understanding.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on March 14, 2004 9:13 PM.

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Prayer Requests 3/15/04 is the next entry in this blog.

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