VIII-2 - Chemins spirituels d'aujourd'hui (2003)

Revue des Facultés de Théologie et de Philosophie


Pierre Benoit - Edith Stein: Philosophy of the Spiritual Life

The spiritual itinerary of a person is rooted in personal action, that of the spirit. Edith Stein, who is known for her mystic experiences, also thought about the nature of spiritual life as a philosopher. She defined spiritual life as "a life rich in meaning". What kind of meaning? What is the structure of spiritual life? What is its objectivity? Here are three questions where anthropology meets metaphysics. While Heidegger invites us to an existential ontology devoid of transcendence, Edith Stein, his contemporary, reveals that the discovery of the meaning of life, that of its finitude and temporality, is authentically clarified in God, according to the very structure of the spirit. Stein thus proposes an ontology of spiritual life based on a metaphysics that relies unhesitatingly on Christian revelation. We shall follow her thought in particular through her most important work, Finite Being and Eternal Being.

Ingmar Granstedt - The spiritual itinerary of Etty Hillesum

The lightning spiritual development of Etty Hillesum led her in less than three years (1941-1943) from the state of a rather ordinary "modern" young woman to that of a great mystic in the face of the Shoah. This spiritual itinerary is outlined in four points: firstly, her entry into the most personal form of freedom thanks to a growing strengthening of her relationship with others (J. Spier, then God), within a triangular type of dual relation; secondly, the evolution of her praying through an "inner listening" of life on three levels; thirdly, her acceptance of unavoidable suffering, understood as a "passive activity", thanks to her untiring efforts to "have it out with everything"; and finally, the outstanding way in which she reveals God's presence to man in the extreme context of the Jewish genocide.

Jean-Jacques Pérennès - The itinerary of a dedicated life

The call of his youth to "give himself fully for something worthwhile" and to "come out of himself to meet others" has taken the form of a dual vocation for Pierre Claverie, as an "Algerian" and as a "Dominican". Put to the test by the Algerian war which made him come out of the colonial "bubble", he experienced those times of crisis and historical fracture as an opportunity to give a deeper place to God within oneself and to make His love present through being open to others, at whatever cost. Assassinated in 1996, Pierre Claverie has become a sign of the Body of Christ - the figure of Christ as the on that remains beside those who suffer and dies for us all - as well as a witness to the boundless love uniting the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Françoise Jacquin - Jules Monchanin and Henri Le Saux, adventurers of the Absolute

Half a century ago, two men gave themselves heart and soul to achieving a synthesis between Hinduism and Chris¬tianity. In their small ashram of Saccidananda, they undertook to experience their dual belonging as a Christian sannyasi. However, their contrasting educational background and personalities led them to embody this ideal through different routes. Father Jules Monchanin, growing increasingly sceptical about the hoped-for synthesis, internalized his approach, experiencing it as a kenotic journey. Benedictine monk Henri Le Saux probably better adhered to the approach of Hindu spiritual masters in search of awakening. His plunge "within", his "ascents" towards Himalayan summits among fervent crowds led him to envisage the meeting of Hinduism and Christianity as something to be found beyond. It remains that the experience and considerations of these two forerunners continue to shed light on the huge challenge raised by religious pluralism in the face of Christianity in the third millennium.

Simone Pacot - Inner healing - What is healing?

Many people have been asking themselves: what is meant by healing? Do we have to be healed at all costs, in the words of Bernard Ugeux? Jesus Christ did not come to only heal people. However, while not everyone was healed visibly, perceptibly, he offered them all the very deepest form of healing, that is salvation, which makes it possible through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, to discover God not only as Creator but also as Father, and unfold their status of sons and daughters of God. What answer should be given to this gift, this invitation? Discovering the essentially spiritual dimension of an itinerary that will take the various components of man into account - his psyche, his body, setting them in their proper place with no denial, the depths of his heart behind it all - is a path to conversion, the true way to Easter.

Yvon Le Mince - New quests for meaning: a danger to avoid or an adventure to live?

The nebulous aspect of the new spiritual quests hides a unified anthropology characterized by the importance of energy, levels of consciousness, experience, physical and subtle bodies, the relativization of the intellect, and a globality in which the invisible prevails over the visible. The divine is often impersonal and ignores the Trinity. Man is conceived as a vibratory unit, divine in nature. There is little room for relations of dialogue and a number of groups operate on a sectarian, manipulative, totalitarian basis. Faced with this vision of the world, there is a wide range of Christian responses, from condemnation to critical welcome. Can the Gospel be experienced within the framework of this anthropology, and if it can, to what extent?