Br. Thomas, a Benedictine monk, wrote an article on fundamental principles of the spiritual life: Seven Principles of the Spiritual Life
As he notes there, it’s not possible to be exhaustive in this, or in other practical matters. Nevertheless it’s intriguing how he formulates so much so compactly. The principles are as follows:
To keep God in mind at all times.
To trust in God as much as possible.
To do all things for the love of God.
Not to trust in oneself.
Not to seek oneself.
To do all things with joy.
To be as energetic as possible.
They are explained in more detail in the article, with quotes from St. Therese of Lisieux, who was the inspiration for much of the thought.
I did not vote because I would need to comment on any choice I made. I decided, therefore, simply to comment. When I looked at the 7 principles, I hoped that since they were greatly inspired by St. Therese there might be more context for the list. It is really important, I believe, to have an understanding of the “whole” if one is to understand the “parts”.
On another thread concerning Carmelite Spirituality, I recommended a book which I found extremely helpful: The Ordinary Path to Holiness by R. Thomas Richard, published by Alba House. He explains the whole journey of the spiritual life according to the great saints of our Catholic Tradition of Spirituality.
If you or others are interested, the author has a good website, renewthechurch.com on which you can read a summary of his book.
Within that summary there is a link to the three** stages** of the spiritual life which can be very helpful to beginners, as well as those further advanced.
This author is a lay man who writes with a clarity and depth that can be appreciated by clergy, religious and lay persons who are serious in seeking God. It is especially welcome in this contemporary society where the laity are called even more strongly to answer the universal call to holiness.
Another much larger (and older) work in two volumes by Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, OP is The Three Ages of the Interior Life. These two volumes also give the “whole” journey as well as the “parts” and quote from great saints like St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila and others. A smaller book of Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange is The Three Ways of the Interior Life which outlines the main principles of growth in the spiritual life in a briefer way than the larger work, and can be helpful too.
All are called to holiness, and by God’s Grace, we need to answer that call not only for our own sake but for the world which is in such terrible darkness. May we be His Light.