Christian Spirituality — God Wants To Take Us Beyond Academics To The Heart!

I ordered a book, Christian Spirituality–Post Reformation and Modern, from Amazon, thinking it would be a spiritual look at faith.  However, as I began to read it, I found it to be a philosophical and academic analysis of Christian spirituality — very dry.  (How can they make spirituality so boring?)  I plowed my way through the first chapter “Early Jesuit Spirituality” and then on into the next one, “Seventeenth-Century French Spirituality.”

The book has 542 pages, so I began to wonder how I was going to endure it.

Christian spirituality book

On page 53 (only 10% of the way through), I came to a subheading that read:  “Louis Lallemant,” who was a 17th Century Catholic monk.  They quoted Louis as saying: “The two elements of the spiritual life are the purification of the heart and the direction of the Holy Spirit.” (Notice Louis didn’t say “academic study.”)

I Googled Louis Lallemant and discovered a book he wrote, Spiritual Doctrine.  It is spiritually on fire!  As I began to read it online, I was blown away by Louis’ passionate love for Jesus Christ and by his honest sharing of how to grow closer to the living Jesus.  I spent 3 hours last night and 2 hours this morning, reading it and collecting dozens of quotes.  Here are a few of them:

“The more we renounce ourselves to unite ourselves to God, the more we cease to be miserable.”

“Few have sufficient courage to reach the point of grace and of glory which God has for them.”

“If we love the esteem an applause of the world, we are fools; we feed ourselves with wind.”

“Some think they do wonders because they preach powerful discourses, well composed, well prepared, and delivered with grace. They deceive themselves.”

“Follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit, His will, His instructions.  For if we make a good use of such light, God will favor us with more.”

“We shall be enlightened in proportion as we are faithful in cooperating with grace.”

“People weary themselves to death with laboring to compose fine sermons, and nevertheless scarcely any fruit results.”

“Most preachers have sufficient knowledge, but they do not have sufficient devotion or holiness.”

“There are but few who follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”

“We may compare those who are led by the gifts of the Spirit to a ship running full-sail before the wind.”

“The reason why we are so little illuminated by the Holy Spirit and so little guided by the motions of His gifts is that our soul is sensual and full of a multitude of earthly thoughts, desires, and affections; which extinguish within us the Spirit of God.”

“The frequent reading of Holy Scripture is a means of receiving the Holy Spirit and of being guided by His direction.”

“We are so full of illusions and so little on our guard against them, that we deceive ourselves continually.”

“A pure soul will learn more in one month by the infusion of grace, than others in several years  by the labor of study”

“We shall never attain to spiritual freedom, unless we correct the faults which God makes known to us.”

“Enter into the things of God by a submissive love rather than by the force of reasoning.”

“We should lead a supernatural life as members of Jesus Christ, animated by His Spirit.”

“We must quit this wretched slavery to our own interests, and serve our Lord purely for the love of Him.”

“The high notions we entertain of our own merit are nothing but error and falsehood; the desire we have to be esteemed, praised, and honored, is nothing but injustice.”

“Contemplation is a supernatural habit, by which God raises the soul to knowledge and illuminations.”

“There are three sorts of dangerous poisons which flow into the heart: 1) vain-glory; 2) sensuality; 3) anger and bitterness of spirit.”

“One who is truly humble must comport himself like a little child.  He must behave with simplicity like a child.”

“The root of humility is the knowledge of God; for it is impossible to know and feel our own vileness, except by reference to something great with which we may compare it.”

“God communicates truth in an instant, and by a simple view.”

“We must banish from our heart every other dominion than that of God.”

“Men commonly wish to join together the kingdom of grace and that of sin.  Hence it is that the ordinary state of man is full of disorders and greatly distracted.”

“To make God the heart’s undisputed possessor, it is necessary to drive out of it the tyrants who contest with Him.”

“We must apply ourselves vigorously to dislodge obsessive thoughts and to destroy them by contrary inclinations.”

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @
This entry was posted in amazon, heart religion, Jesuits, Louis Lallemant, Quotes, spiritual reading and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Christian Spirituality — God Wants To Take Us Beyond Academics To The Heart!

  1. Tobie says:

    Thanks for sharing, Steve. Found it online. He sounds a bit like Kempis.

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