Study of The Ascent of Mount Carmel XII

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If this is useful for you or your Carmelite group feel free to use it or to adpat it to better fit your own community or way of study. If you need them, I have word files for all of the parts that I should be most happy to e-mail at your request.

Study Guide for The Ascent of Mount Carmel XII

Read Chapters 16-17, pages 199-210 in the ICS Collected Works

Chapter 16

The imaginative apprehensions represented supernaturally to the phantasy are incapable of serving as a proximate means of union with God

What does St. John of the Cross mean when he says this? (For a quick review, please see II.12.4-6, pages 186-188.

(2) What are “imaginative visions?” Where do they come from? What is their purpose?

(3) Who can use these visions? To what purpose?

(4) Why would Satan take particular advantage of this way of coming to the soul? (Read carefully the last two sentences of the section.)

(5) What is the purpose in knowing the difference between good vision and bad ones?

(6) Why should one refrain from entertaining or thinking about imaginative visions?

(7) What is the difference between these visions and God’s way of working within the soul?

(8-9) Sections 8-9 deal with what the Holy Spirit reveals through Deuteronomy and Numbers. What are these revelations and how are they related to each other?

(10) Why is it unnecessary to desire visions and corporeal communications with God in order for them to have their effect within the soul? What is the advantage of NOT desiring them?

(11) Why is advantageous to divest oneself of the “stain-like figures” of imagination?

(12) On what should the eyes of the soul be fixed? What does one gain from this orientation?

(14) What is the chief danger of the unenlightened consideration that we ought to accept these visions and imaginations?

(15) What is our most effective dark candle in the darkness? How do we best follow it?

Chapter 17

God's procedure and purpose in communicating spiritual goods by means of the senses.

(1) Read the footnote associated with this section very carefully. Note what the editors say is the importance of this chapter. Break this down into key points to follow through the rest of the chapter.

(2-3) What are the three fundamental principles important to answering the questions posed in the first section? What is the importance of these?

(4) Why does God give a person visions, forms and images?

(5) “In the measure that souls approach spirit in their dealings with God, they divest and empty themselves of the ways of the sense, of discursive and imaginative meditation.” What does Saint John of the Cross have to say of the separation of the spiritual and the physical? What might it indicate? Why is this so?

(6) What is one of the chief characteristics of the perfect spirit?

(7) Why must a person not turn away from discursive meditation before the proper time? What are two reasons for not desiring visions or other supernatural communications? Of what does St. John of the Cross say, “ Such an effort is profitless, a waste of time, a hindrance to the soul, an occasion of many imperfections as well as of spiritual stagnancy. . .”?

(8) Note well: “It is regrettable that a soul, having as it were an infinite capacity, should be fed, because of its limited spirituality and sensory incapacity, with morsels for the senses.” Why should this be so?

(9) What must be the sole focus of the eyes of the Soul? Why?

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 23, 2004 6:58 AM.

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