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John Fehlen #262714 Vanguard University of Southern California Master of Arts in Leadership Studies CLSG606 Spiritual Formation Professor Roger Heuser April 22, 2008
I love to kayak. I discovered the sport about seven years ago and have come to enjoy it on an immensely deep and personal level. Kayaking has come to represent something larger and more profound in my life than I would have ever guessed it could have when I began. It started because I needed a hobby. I was burnt out and tired in ministry. My devotions were sporadic and dull. My marriage was struggling and my heart was shrinking. I desperately needed a restoration of my soul. Little did I realize that, while floating along, I would rediscover a big God in the hull of a small boat. As a point of both meditation and orientation, consider the following words from Kim Heacox’s coming-of-middle-age memoir, Blue minarets of ice tipped away at precarious angles. Others stood as fractured fins and flying buttresses two hundred feet tall, certain to fall any day. Any minute. A light rain washed the ice and rock, the kayak and me. Delicate streams dripped off my hat into Reid Inlet where each droplet beaded diamond-like before joining the great whole of the siltladen sea. Birds called in dialects of kittiwake and tern. A harbor seal watched me with obsidian eyes, only its head above the water, its whiskered face a cipher of mistrust. Icebergs surrounded me, this one a castle, that one a swan, each a corridor into the magic we know as children but lose as adults. Each capable of rolling over at any time, like innocence. My knees were braced against the inside of the kayak. My gear was packed in plastic garbage bags stuffed into compartments forward and aft. Not much room to maneuver. My feet operated pedals connected to thin cables that controlled the rudder. Push on the left pedal and the kayak went left; push on the right and it went right. Sit still and it obeyed the higher calling of wind and tides. I glided forward, thinking that a kayaker’s passage through Glacier Bay is more like that of light through water, a
refraction, a silent process of changing – and being changed – with each pull of the paddle and chant of the rain, each soft landing of snowflake on ice field. You hear the idioms of ice, the crystals cracking, the glacier groaning. You brace for the icefall that doesn’t come because the glacier has more patience than you. You think about geologic time, the depth of a epoch, the tiny tenure of a single human life.”1 Heacox and others have served as an inspiration for me and have fueled my desire to kayak the Inside Passage (from Olympia, Washington to Glacier Bay, Alaska). This is a massive undertaking, one that may take my lifetime to complete, in small portions. For now, many of my kayak trips are near my home, in the waters of the Puget Sound in Northwest Washington State. Picture, if you will, a tiny dime in an olympic-sized swimming pool, and you will have a comparison to that of a kayaker on the Puget Sound. It is humbling and often overwhelming, and yet, one is awed by the magnitude and grandeur of the God of the Universe who dwarfs the waters of the earth. Big God…small boat. Creator…creation. Him…me. I approach the study of spiritual formation with this glorious backdrop in place. It is very awe-inspiring to consider that our big God would desire to lovingly form himself within small me. The mystery is not only found in the ‘Why?’ but also in the ‘How?’. Why? Simply put: I am his beloved. God loves me. He wants to form himself within me. Henri Nouwen’s thoughts on the matter are compelling: “The spiritual life is a life in which you gradually learn to listen to a voice…that says, ‘You are the beloved and on you my favor rests.’ Jesus heard that voice. He heard that voice when He came out of the Jordan River. I want you to hear that voice, too. It is a very important voice that says, "You are my beloved son; you are my beloved daughter. I
Kim Heacox, The Only Kayak (Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2005), 3.
love you with an everlasting love. I have molded you together in the depths of the earth. I have knitted you in your mother's womb. I've written your name in the palm of my hand and I hold you safe in the shade of my embrace. I hold you. You belong to Me and I belong to you. You are safe where I am. Don't be afraid. Trust that you are the beloved. That is who you truly are.”2 In the context of a beautiful backdrop of voluminous water, blue sky, amazing creatures, and the bright sun, I am convinced that God loves me. I am the crown jewel of his creation. He made me (and the rest of mankind) and declared it was good then rested. In me, his beloved, he displayed unconditional love as is observed by Nouwen, “Jesus shows us that true love, the love that comes from God, makes no distinction between friends and foes, between people who are for us and people who are against us, people who do us a favor and people who do us ill. God makes no such distinction. He loves all human beings, good or bad, with the same unconditional love.”3 How? This, however, is not as simple as the ‘Why.’ Spiritual formation is a mystery that has been written about and deliberated for centuries. What emerges are a number of key voices, many of which are saying similar things yet with unique bents and nuances. These voices continue to serve as guides as I paddle along in the big waters. These voices draw attention to the contour of the shore, the rhythm of the waves, the give and take of the tides, and the subtleties of the surroundings that so often go unnoticed. These voices challenge me when I need to paddle harder into the wind, when I need to coast with the natural currents, when I need to lean into the swelling wave, and when to rest and replenish my strength. These voices have gotten up close to
Henri J.M. Nouwen, “The Life of the Beloved” sermon transcript, http://www.csec.org/csec/sermon/nouwen_3502.htm. 3 Henri J.M. Nouwen, Letters to Marc About Jesus (San Francisco: HarperCollins Publishers, 1987), 59.
the breakers of the shore and navigated the rocks. They have gone out farther than I have dared to go, serving as an inspiration to me when I fear the unknown. This essay, musings of sorts, will attempt to capture the ebb and flow of a small kayaker on big waters and draw parallels to the spiritual formation accomplished by a big God, through the person of Jesus Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit. Research support will come from fellow paddlers such as John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Gregory of Nyssa, Thomas Green, Robert Webber, and M. Robert Mulholland Jr. Throughout the centuries they, and so many others, have navigated similar waters and have been kind in sharing their discoveries. I will add to their understanding of spiritual formation with my own ‘shoreline’ discoveries from kayaking. What will emerge are four stages in the journey of spiritual formation based upon my discoveries of a Big God from a Small Boat. Defining Spiritual Formation Throughout history, spiritual formation has adopted a number of images in order to make sense and bring clarity to the progression of growth in Christ. Various images that have found a place in Christian tradition are: the struggle, the desert, the ascent, and the way, to name a few. Each image brings with it a level of understanding to the initial entrance into Christian fellowship and to the subsequent pathways of discipleship. The focus of this research, however, will be upon one of the most powerful images in the Christian life: the journey. It is my assertion that the journey is the destination – that all of life in Christ is a process of spiritual formation – including the discoveries made in a small watercraft. There is no one singular event that constitutes faith, but rather an ongoing pilgrimage towards the likeness of Christ. Janet Hagberg and Robert Guelich believe “The spiritual journey is deceptively simple and at the same time highly complex. Describing this paradox of
spirituality is difficult, and can really only be ‘lived into’. This is why the journey is so profound. And that is why it is critical. It is life itself.”4 The journey is our life. The whole of our existence becomes the pathway for the journey to unfold. Nothing is exempt. All is integrated into the fiber of who we are and are becoming in Christ, and the longer a person lives the more nuance, progress and broadening of experience one will discover – which is why I have chosen the imagery of a kayaking journey to express spiritual formation. Humorously, Kim Heacox says, “You paddle a canoe; you wear a kayak.”5 A kayak, being of such small stature, is a part of your life; an extension of your bodily frame – and so is the journey towards spiritual formation. Our spiritual mothers and fathers have much to say regarding spiritual formation. Origen of Alexandria (c. 185-254) believes the “spiritual journey was conceived as a recovery of the likeness of God in the soul in a movement upwards from the material realm towards greater light.”6 In contrast to Origen, Gregory of Nyssa believes the journey is one towards darkness rather than light. John of the Cross, in his classic work, Ascent of Mount Carmel, employs the imagery of the spiritual journey as a climb up a mountain. His Dark Night of the Soul narrates a journey of the soul from her bodily home to her union with God. This journey, from the writings of John of the Cross, is centered in a detachment from the world and in a reaching for the light of perfect union with the Creator. Many of the early church Fathers understood Christian life to be a pilgrimage. Such is the case with St. Clement (Bishop of Rome c. 90-99 AD) in Letter from St. Clement in which he writes: “Greetings from ‘the Church of God which dwells as a pilgrim in Rome to the Church of God in pilgrimage at Corinth’, and the second-century Letter to Diognetus which declared: Janet O. Hagberg and Robert A. Guelich, The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith (Wisconsin: Sheffield Publishing Company, 1995), 21. 5 Heacox, The Only Kayak, 3. 6 Philip Sheldrake, A Brief History of Spirituality (Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2007), 27.
“[Christians] live each in his native land but as though they were not really at home there [lit. as sojourners]. They share in all duties as citizens and suffer all hardships as strangers…they dwell on earth but they are citizens of heaven.”7 St. Benedict refers to the journey “in terms of a ladder…a ladder of our ascending actions.”8 Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) in her classic, The Interior Castle, “vividly describes the spiritual journey in terms of progression through the different rooms or mansions of the ‘castle’ of the soul.”9 Each of these metaphors forms a tapestry into the rich understanding of spiritual formation. It is a tapestry that has many more layers, definitions, nuances, and dimensions than allowed space in this research, both from a historical and modern perspective. The story continues to add chapters. The song grows with more and more verses. The journey continues because it is the destination. Stages in the Journey of Spiritual Formation If the journey is indeed the destination then one must wrestle with the notion that there are stages to the journey. In reference to St. Benedict, can there truly be rungs to the ladder of ascent? Is there a goal to the journey, and if there is, then what are the stages along the way in order to achieve this goal? These questions have been the source of much consternation to many spiritual thinkers throughout history. Indeed there are many phases, stages, transitions, and stopping points along the journey. The convergence, although ambiguous, is to become more like Jesus. M. Robert Mulholland Jr. in his work entitled The Deeper Journey, expounds upon this foundational truth by saying: “It is being in a relationship of loving union with God that manifests itself in Christ-like living in the Craig G. Barthomew and Fred Hughes, Explorations in a Christian Theology of Pilgrimage. (Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2004), 95. 8 Sheldrake, A Brief History of Spirituality, 36. 9 Ibid., 139.
world. It is to this life of deep, loving union with God that the mothers and fathers of our spiritual tradition call us.”10 The concept of union is one used historically to understand spiritual formation as a journey. Another concept is that of perfection. Philip Sheldrake references these “two rather static concepts…to express the ‘where to?’ of the journey, but ultimately the end in view is a more mysterious and dynamic fullness of life in God.”11 In the history of the church many have attempted to delineate this mysterious journey in terms of stages. Soren Kierkegaard mused on the ‘stages on life’s way’. Evelyn Underhill described phases or stages of faith. Even John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress broadens the theme of stages in the Christian journey of faith. Of course, one must acknowledge the phases in human development: birth, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle age, older adulthood, and senior adult status. Each of these stages builds upon the previous stage developmentally. Likewise, spiritual formation cannot be limited to only one event. It must be thought of in terms of stages of faith in which the Christian believer transitions progressively towards union with God through Christ. Mulholland Jr. agrees in Invitation to a Journey, “The Christian journey towards wholeness in the image of Christ for the sake of others progresses by means of spiritual disciplines. Just as a journey from one place to another requires varied sets of disciplines for successful completion (walking, driving, flying, navigation skills and the like), so the Christian journey has its own set of disciplines which enable the pilgrim to progress through the stages of the spiritual path towards wholeness in Christ.”12 One such example of stages in the journey, and there are many, is from Janet Hagberg and Robert Guelich in The Critical Journey: Stage One, Recognition of God; Stage Two, Life of M. Robert Mulholland Jr. The Deeper Journey: The Spirituality of Discovering Your True Self (Illinois: IVP Books, 2006), 16. 11 Sheldrake, A Brief History of Spirituality, 35. 12 M. Robert Mulholland Jr., Invitation to a Journey (Illinois: InterVarsity, 1993), 76.
Discipleship; Stage Three, Productive Life; Stage Four, Journey Inward; Stage Five, Journey Outward; and Stage Six, Life of Love.13 These fluid stages are subtle and often mystifying and yet essential to faith maturation. Stages of spiritual formation provide a map of sorts for the journey ahead and there is no one way to categorize spiritual formation. Likewise there is no one way to navigate a swell, paddle a series of ever-changing tidal deltas, or cross an open body of water. There are too many factors: tides, wind, boat traffic, temperatures, and currents. Life and spirituality is like this – fluid. Thus, fluid, will serve as a primary descriptor when considering four stages in the journey of spiritual formation as seen through the motif of Discovering a Big God in a Small Boat. Launching (Salvation) Every journey must start at the beginning. The appropriate beginning for the Christian faith is that of salvation. This is the launch point for spiritual formation. Mulholland Jr. calls this stage awakening and insists that it is “a two-sided experience…an encounter with the living God…also an encounter with our true self.”14 This certainly is not intended to negate the valid journey prior to salvation in which individuals are seeking and testing the claims of Christ. This becomes a ‘test-drive’ of sorts for the pre-believer. I have tested a number of kayaks prior to purchasing the three boats that I have owned over the years. The process of discovery is important and yet for our purposes the stages of spiritual formation will begin at the launch – salvation. What is worthy of consideration regarding an individual’s launch into salvation is the depth of the waters found at most launch sites. Often a boat will be put into waters that are very shallow and gradually deepen upon
Hagberg and Guelich, The Critical Journey, 17. Mulholland Jr., Invitation to a Journey, 80.
launch. The low waters of a launch site afford paddlers the opportunity to acclimate and then ‘put out’ into deeper waters, as he or she feels comfortable. Such is the case with salvation. Robert E. Webber confirms this analogy, “In some cases this reorientation of direction [repentance] may have a dramatic origin. In other cases…a person’s new identity may come from a gradual, almost imperceptible process of awareness of their spiritual identity. But for both, whether immediate or gradual, there is a dramatic ritual that marks our embrace of Jesus.”15 The dramatic ritual that Webber alludes to is what I am calling a ‘launch’ – the starting point of salvation, awakening a person into the journey of spiritual formation. Paddling (Serving) After a launch the kayaker then begins to paddle. One online kayaking tutorial explains the process as such: “Power in paddling does not come from the arms. It comes from trunk (torso) rotation matched with leg drive (or leg pressure), with the arms little more than linkage between the power source and the paddle. Control of the kayak does not come from brute force. It comes from the right stroke being applied in the right direction at the right time - it’s all done with coordination and balance.”16 Notice the key concepts, ‘not from brute force’, ‘right direction’, and ‘coordination and balance.’ The art of paddling may seem like little more than moving water in one way in order to go the opposite way, and yet there is so much more involved. If a zealous paddler over-reaches or pulls too hard with the upper-body than one can easily capsize. Balance and proper application are essential to paddling effectively.
Robbert E. Webber, The Divine Embrace: Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life (Michigan: BakerBooks, 2006), 151. 16 New South Wales Canoeing Online, http://www.nswcanoe.org.au/?MenuID=Training/591/0,Getting+Started/87/0,Techniques/55/0& Page=2264
The second stage of spiritual formation is paddling, which is a way of describing the period of the journey in which a believer deals with his or her unlikeness to Christ. In other words, the real work of serving begins, whereby the flesh of our human nature is brought into consistency with the nature of Christ. Mulholland Jr. refers to this stage as “purgation: the process of bringing our behavior, our attitudes, our desires into increasing harmony with our growing perception of what the Christlike life is all about.”17 I contend that the life of Christ on earth was all about serving. He consistently and sacrificially served mankind, even unto death. Robert H. Miller, in his landmark work Kayaking the Inside Passage declares that the “number of strokes required to paddle the Inside Passage [is] 1,536,000.”18 Whether or not this is accurate remains to be discovered first-hand, but suffice it to say, it is a lot! Kayaking is hard work and there is a great deal of paddling required to get just about anywhere. Being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others, as delineated by Mulholland Jr., is work as well. Work is not necessary for salvation because that comes only by grace through faith and not of anything of our own strength. And yet, once a person has launched into salvation the journey involves ‘work[ing] out your salvation with fear and trembling’ (Philippians 2:12). Pastor Nate of the fictitious Upper Room Church in Patrick Oden’s conversational theology book It’s A Dance is found musing upon servanthood in this way: “Because I’m a pastor I already spend my life in ministry. But for me this is also a place of power and authority…my will is important and people listen to it. That’s a problem for me, and it can be a problem for the community. So…I realized that I had to get into a place where I could really be a servant. Not a so-called servant leader in a position where everyone does what I say and I choose
Mulholland Jr., Invitation to a Journey, 82. Robert H. Miller, Kayaking the Inside Passage (Woodstock, Vermont: The Countryman Press: 2005), 11.
what to do for them. Instead I have to let go that which is so natural for me, for the sake of my soul.”19 Oden’s understanding of Christian spirituality emphasizes the notion that the journey of spiritual formation is fluid – a movement – or a dance with the Holy Spirit. This notion reinforces the imagery of a paddler, lightly moving water in the right direction at the right time, in a graceful partnership with the waters, all done in the pursuit of discovering a Big God from the hull of a Small Boat. Bracing (Suffering) A common technique used to keep a kayak from capsizing is called bracing. Bracing involves the extension of the face of the paddle on the water surface in order to create a plain of stability to naturally brace the boat from capsizing. There are a number of variations of the bracing technique, each with a specific application to be utilized during specific conditions. The goal for bracing is to maintain the upright position on the water during extreme conditions. The journey towards spiritual formation can be extreme as well and can often involve sharing in the sufferings of Jesus. One must ‘brace themselves’ for tough times as Christians. Mulholland Jr. calls this stage illumination. He is quick to admit, “The stage of illumination is not some idyllic life free from problems.”20 Mulholland draws from Benedict J. Groeshel’s book Spiritual Passages: “The illuminative way is not a cloudless summer day. It is a spring morning after a bad storm. Even though everything is washed clean, and the sky is filled with clouds and sunlight, there are many fallen trees and an occasional live wire blocking the road.”21 This imagery finds its source in Christ’s passion and suffering and in the motifs of a ‘dry well’ (Thomas Green) or ‘dark night’ (John of the Cross). Teresa of Avila has written of a desolating Patrick Oden, It’s A Dance: Moving with the Holy Spirit (Newberg, Oregon: Barclay Press, 2007), 163. 20 Mulholland Jr., Invitation to a Journey, 97. 21 Benedict J. Groeschel, Spiritual Passages (New York: Crossroad, 1984), 117-335.
dryness whereby a Christian follows the crucified Lord by picking up his or her cross. Father Thomas Green asserts that “the cross of desolation is not just a whim of God, it is the only way we can truly learn to love.”22 There comes a time in the journey of spiritual formation in which the Christian paddler must call upon spiritual resources in order to keep from going overboard. These times are not meant to be the norm nor the pattern of Christian existence, but they are indeed a part of the journey. Talk to a kayaker that has never gotten fully wet (or had the distinct threat of capsizing), and I will show you a kayaker that has not fully experienced the sport. A wealth of experience is gained through suffering – the kind of experience that cannot be gained by only reading of other people’s experiences. It must be found first-hand. It is this truth that Henri Nouwen communicates, “[Jesus] tells his disciples yet again, and very plainly, that a person who wants to lead a spiritual life cannot do so without the prospect of suffering and death. Living spiritually is made possible only through a direct, uncushioned confrontation with the reality of death.”23 In fairness, actual, physical death is not a common occurrence in the sport of kayaking (as well as in modern Western Christianity), but it is a state of mind for the Christian believer to consider the cost, and to save his life by loosing it (Luke 9:24). Brace for it. Prepare for struggles. They are a significant part of spiritual formation. Floating (Spirit-Union) The final stage in spiritual formation that I have discovered from the hull of a small boat is called floating. This term has been borrowed from Father Thomas Green who most certainly drew from the wells of Teresa of Avila or John of the Cross in coining this concept. To float is to
Thomas H. Green, S.J., When the Well Runs Dry: Prayer Beyond the Beginnings (Notre Dame, Indiana: Ave Maria Press: 1998), 91. 23 Henri Nouwen, Letters to Marc about Jesus, 29-30.
fully depend upon the Lord, to be at home in doing nothing, and to allow our souls to live in the present moment of peaceful attentiveness to God. Mulholland Jr. would call this stage union. He describes it as “complete oneness with God in which we find ourselves caught up in rapturous joy, adoration, praise, and a deep peace that passes all understanding. This is a gift of God’s grace – not the result of our efforts.”24 Floating is the point in our spiritual journey in which we follow the model of Jesus when he said: “By himself the Son can do nothing; he can only do what he sees the Father doing: and whatever the Father does, the Son does too” (John 5:19). Paddling aggressively and bracing against the swells seems to diminish, and what remains is a life of floating that lasts for all eternity. Floating allows for the natural ebb and flow of the open waters. The natural current gives speed and direction on the journey. When kayaking, times of floating give room for introspection, gazing, and daydreaming. It is not hard to realize that there are forces greater than the strength of the paddler and the aerodynamics of the watercraft – there is wind, producing waves, producing motion and propulsion. Floating is the entry into the unknown. Green describes something so wonderful and alluring in the following phrase: “Floaters in the sea of God never swim again – nor do they have any desire to. The wonders of floating fill their every desire.”25 One can almost hear the deep impartation of grace and joy as Green delivers those words. I can picture the glowing, knowing smile upon his face. He speaks of the sweet spot found in relationship to Abba Father.
Mulholland Jr., Invitation to a Journey, 97. Green, When the Well Runs Dry, 160.
Like all great symbols, water is rich with symbolic possibilities. Green believes we can “never exhaust all that it can reveal to us, and the friends of God continually find new meaning in it.”26 Launching, Paddling, Bracing and Floating – each metaphors for the journey of spiritual formation. One cannot help but be struck by the conscience flow and strategic balance found in the imagery of a small boat in big waters, discovering an even bigger God. Kim Heacox interestingly points out: “The word itself is a palindrome: kayak. It reads the same forward as backward, just as the boat is balanced fore and aft…a kayak is special. It’s something you wear.”27 Such should be our spirituality.
Photo taken after a 3-hour battle pulling my kayak through deep mudflats of the Puget Sound. I misread the tide! Notice that there is no water behind me – that is all silty, knee-deep mud. Life, as well as spirituality, is always full of challenges.
Ibid., 38. Heacox, The Only Kayak, 7.
Bibliography Barthomew, Craig G., and Fred Hughes. Explorations in a Christian Theology of Pilgrimage. Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2004. Cunningham, Lawrence S., and Keith J. Egan. Christian Spirituality: Themes from the Tradition. New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1996. Downey, Michael. Understanding Christian Spirituality. New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1997. Green, Thomas H. When the Well Runs Dry: Prayer Beyond the Beginnings. Indiana: Ave Maria Press, 1998. Hagberg, Janet O., and Robert A. Guelich. The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith. Wisconsin: Sheffield Publishing Company, 1995. Heacox, Kim. The Only Kayak. Connecticut: The Lyons Press, 2005. Ignatius. The Text of The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, fourth edition. The Newman Bookshop of Westminster, MD, 1943. Leonard, Bill. Becoming Christian: Dimensions of Spiritual Formation. Kentucky: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1990. McCabe, Herbert and Brian Davies. God, Christ and Us. New York: Continuum, 2003. McGrath, Alister E. Christian Spirituality. Blackwell Publishers Inc., 1999. Miller, Robert H. Kayaking the Inside Passage. Woodstock, Vermont: The Countryman Press, 2005. Mulholland, M. Robert. Invitation to a Journey. Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1993. Mulholland, M. Robert. The Deeper Journey: The Spirituality of Discovering Your True Self. Illinois: IVP Books, 2006. Mursell, Gordan. The Story of Christian Spirituality: Two Thousand Years, From East to West. Fortress Press, 2001. Nouwen, Henri J.M. Letters to Marc About Jesus: Living a Spiritual Life in a Material World. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1987. Oden, Patrick. It’s A Dance: Moving with the Holy Spirit. Newberg, Oregon: Barclay Press, 2007.
Palmer, Parker J. A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey towards an Undivided Life. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004. Pfatteicher, Philip H. Liturgical Spirituality. Trinity Press International, 1997. Scaperlanda, Maria Ruiz. The Journey: A Guide for the Modern Pilgrim. Illinois: Loyola Press, 2004. Sheldrake, Philip. A Brief History of Spirituality. Blackwell Publishing Inc., 2007. Teresa of Avila. Interior Castle. Doubleday, 1961, Walters, Kerry S. Soul Wilderness: A Desert Spirituality. New Jersey: Paulist Press, 2001. Webber, Robert E. The Divine Embrace: Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2006.
Stages of Spiritual Formation
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