History of Christian Spirituality (Paperback)
Engagingly written, this comprehensive book shows a global vision of the history of Christian spirituality focusing on three fundamental aspects: popular piety, religious life and the most important authors. This work tries to expose how the relationship between the human being and God has evolved over time, circumscribing itself fundamentally in the sphere of the Catholic Church. This historical overview is very interesting and revealing, as it helps us understand the spirituality we currently live and gives us keys to improve it and guide it correctly for the future. It is also very illuminating to know the reasons why spirituality has evolved in one way and not another. Why, for example, religious life was born, or what circumstances concurred in the development of Marian devotion, or why Pope Francis is so valued. Obviously, the Holy Spirit does not act on a whim or by chance. The changes provoked are providential and have a reason. And if he has acted like this in the past, can we deduce how he will do it in the future? But in history wrong paths have also been taken and serious mistakes have been made. That is so because God has given us people free will. We are not mere puppets, but people responsible for our lives and, therefore, capable of making good and bad decisions. It is well known that remembering the past helps us not to trip over the same stones again. Have we learned anything from our mistakes? In addition, this book tries to be a spiritual help for those who seek to mature interiorly, as it collects the wisdom provided by the most significant authors and spiritual currents. The monks of the desert, the art of icons, the Franciscan charism, Rhineland mysticism, the Carmelite reform, Ignatian spirituality or the experience of the new ecclesial Movements: they all have something important to offer us, because they are the fruit of Providence and bear the seed of God. Likewise, meditating on the history of spirituality is an inexhaustible source of hope, since we discover that, despite the many calamities and crises that the Church has suffered, God has always enlightened people and communities to be a reference and a guide for others. Indeed, contemplating how the Spirit of God has accompanied the Church in the past helps us to discover it in the present, and encourages us to think hopefully about the future. I hope you find this book as exciting to read as it has been to me. And above all, I hope that it will help you, the reader to contemplate God in human history, as well as in your own daily life.