Religious Life, The


Keys to the Religious Life? They're all itemized in this guide-along with the means to discern a vocation.

What it meant when religious orders were the lifeblood and backbone of the Church is ably explained by Fr. Bede Jarrett, O.P., in The Religious Life. With a historian’s thoroughness and a friar’s focus on the goal of religious life, he traces its development, describes the roles of the monk, the friar, and the nun, and explains what religious life is supposed to be. He even adds a sketch of the varying fortunes of religious life in England, which has had so much influence on how it developed in America.

Fr. Jarrett explains:

The object and motive of Christian monasticism
The vow of chastity: its ultimate purpose
How poverty, chastity, and obedience formed the foundation of religious life from the earliest period
St. Antony: what inspired him to forsake the ordinary ways of Catholic existence
Why the severe practices of early solitaries were later mitigated
Why St. Augustine’s religious brotherhood at Tagaste was the most humanly attractive of all monastic establishments
The universality of religious life in all religious faiths — and how Christians transformed it into something authentic and evangelical
Religious life in ancient Judaism
St. Columbanus: his new form of religious life that was essentially and vitally Irish
How contemplation contains both acts of intellect and acts of will
The military orders that led the Crusades: how the principles of medieval religious life were adapted only with difficulty to this new purpose
The fourth vow that was added to the original three by the Teutonic Knights
How the coming of friars as missionaries to the Holy Land destroyed the usefulness of the Military Religious
The Dominicans: why they at first filled the Pope with concern — and how these concerns were allayed . The influence that the Franciscans exerted over even political developments in medieval Europe
The Humiliati: why this new order was suppressed by Pope St. Pius V
Why the friars placed such tremendous insistence upon the vow of poverty
The Divine Office: its key role in communities of women religious
When and how active religious orders of women came into existence
The Carmelites: how they represent a reversion to an earlier form of religious life
How the Counter-Reformation affected the nature of religious life
The fresh type of religious that arose during the age of absolute monarchy: its success in winning back lost provinces to the Church
How religious life in England was virtually destroyed at the time of the Protestant Reformation, but lived to flower again another day
Why ascetic life is by its nature not selfish, but extraordinarily beneficial even to non- ascetics
Why it is utterly untrue that the religious life is meant to be an escape from the world
No better blueprint for the revival of religious life!