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Introduction to the Devout Life Paperback – April 9, 2002
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The book is divided into five major parts:
1. "Instructions and Exercises Needed to Lead the Soul from Its First Desire for the Devout Life Until Brought to a Full Resolution to Embrace It"
2. "Various Instructions for Elevating the Soul to God by Prayer and the Sacraments"
3. "Instructions on the Practice of Virtue"
4. "Necessary Counsels Against the Most Frequent Temptations"
5. "Exercises and Instructions for Renewing the Soul and Confirming It In Devotion"
Though the subheadings constitute an exhaustive and sometimes exhausting 119 chapters, down to the finest details of rules for widows and virgins, the overall effect is an intense and intentional focus on the innerworkings of the thoughts and desires of all of life. He is clearly indebted to Francis, Bernard, Augustine, and Gregory of Nazianzen.
The first part guides the readers through a series of (ten) meditations that motivate us to purify ourselves from sin and resolve to be wholly committed to a virtuous life. It is a study in self-purgation.
Secondly, de Sales walks us through meditations, retreats, and sacraments that bring us into the presence of God. We are reminded that this must be done with joy if it is to have meaning at all (p. 99).
Thirdly, we are coached on the virtues of humility and patience and chastity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very helpful practical guide for lay spirituality. Evidently written for a young married woman, it is applicable to individual piety without much change. Read morePublished 5 days ago by avidreader
Four hundred years ago a Catholic Bishop wrote to the laity, male and female, encouraging spiritual growth in devotion. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sheila Vieira
A really good guide to Christian life. Over 400 years old and viable today. An easy read that says a lot.Published 3 months ago by Michael Pittman
I was glad that this was "required" reading for my book club. I enjoyed the bood, even though I would not have chosen it had it not been suggested reading.Published 6 months ago by Deborah A Schmidt
This very deep, complete yet understandable guide to being a good Christian stands the test of time and speaks to readers in our day. Read morePublished 7 months ago by wingingit
This is an excellent guide for for your prayer life. The book arrived in excellent condition.Published 9 months ago by Bernadette Dutke
The first spiritual book actually written for lay people - and it is still as powerful as it was three and a half centuries ago.Published 11 months ago by M. Duesterhaus