Christian Spirituality in the Catholic Tradition by Jordan Aumann

By Jordan Aumann

Jordan Aumann, O.P. the well known writer supplies a whole review and heritage of Catholic spirituality from the Apostles to the current day.

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J. , pp. 254-296. 28. , loc. cit. 29. L. Bouyer, op. , pp. 352-353. 30. The complete text of De instituto christiano can be found in W. Jaeger, Opera ascetica, Vol. 8, Leiden, 1952. 31. Quoted by L. Bouyer, op. , pp. 360-361. 32. Ibid. 33. Cf. In Canticum Canticorum, PG 44, 889. 34. Cf. R. F. Harvanek, "St. Gregory of Nyssa," in New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 6, p. 795. 35. Cf. L. , p. 369. Macarius discussed the apparent conflict between work and prayer and he stressed the importance of community life.

This does not mean that the expansion of Christianity was peaceful and unimpeded; on the contrary, it encountered serious obstacles because of occasional doctrinal disputes from within and because of periodic persecutions by Roman authority. With the conversion of Constantine, Christianity was accepted as a legitimate religion and during the reign of Theodosius I (379-395) it became the official religion of the empire. Meanwhile, under Pope Damasus, who governed the Church from 366 to 384, the monastic movement spread quickly to Egypt, Syria and Asia Minor.

Thus, according to Fénelon: "The persecution made less solitaries than did the peace and triumph of the Church. "(2) CHRISTIAN VIRGINS AND ASCETICS In the earliest days of the Church the supreme witness to Christ was martyrdom, although even in those times there were ascetics and also men and women who vowed to live a celibate life. (3) As long as they were considered enemies of the State, it was relatively easy to avoid contact with pagan society and to practice their religion within the confines of the small Christian communities; and if they were arrested, they could hope for the coveted crown of martyrdom.

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