Dominican Spirituality

One of the most rewarding spheres of thought that I have encountered in my search for great books is the Dominican tradition of spiritual writing. It has led to the discovery of Jordan Aumann, translator of the great works by Luis de Granada and Juan G. Arintero, Aumann’s own writings on Dominican spirituality, the Memoir of Mother Francis Raphael, The Imitation of Christ, The Spiritual Combat, the works of St. Francis de Sales, and the New Jerusalem editions of the Old and New Testaments.

I have especially been moved by Jordan Aumann’s translations of Luis de Granada’s 3-volume Summa of the Christian Life and Juan G. Arintero’s 2-volume The Mystical Evolution. The latter is by far the wisest book I have ever opened, and readers in English are lucky to have it.

This cornucopia of books has provided much (but still clearly not enough) consolation regarding the perfection of man, the summon bonum, or the highest good that man ultimately aspires to. All of these books are astonishing in the ease with which they present the wisdom of their spirituality, which is disconcerting because books that I also find very consoling like the Bhagavad-Gita and Lin Yutang’s The Importance of Living are equally at ease, but in many matters of great importance they are at odds with each other.

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