Stages of Catholic life?


#1

I heard on EWTN a quote (I believe by Archbishop Fulton Sheen) about the different stages of Catholic life, something like childhood when we follow the Church because of some fervor, adolescence when we attempt to use only reason and rationality to define our faith, and finally mature faith. Sorry if I butchered the quote or attributed it to someone incorrectly. Does anyone know the exact quote, who said it, and where its from? Thanks in advance for any help.


#2

THE THREE WAYS OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE

by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange

The three periods of the spiritual life.

… it is not surprising to find that the development of the interior life has often been compared to the three periods or stages of physical life: childhood, youth, and manhood. St. Thomas himself has indicated this analogy: and it is an analogy which is worth pursuing, particular attention being paid to the transition from one period to the other. …

….The child has as yet no discernment, it is unable to organize in a rational manner; it follows the lead of the imagination and the impulses of sense. And even when its reason begins to awaken it still remains to a great extent dependent upon the senses. …

The period of puberty, which is the end of childhood, about the age of fourteen, is characterized by a transformation which is not only organic but also psychological, intellectual and moral. The youth is no longer content to follow his imagination, as the child was; he begins 10 reflect on the things of human life, on the need to prepare himself for some career or occupation in the future. He has no longer the child’s attitude towards family, social and religious matters; his moral personality begins to take shape, and he acquires the sense of honour and of good repute. Or else, on the contrary, if he passes unsuccessfully through this difficult period, he deteriorates and follows evil courses. The law of nature so ordains that the transition from childhood to youth must follow a normal development; otherwise the subject will assume a positive bias to evil, or else he will remain a half-wit, perhaps even a complete idiot, for the rest of his life. ‘He who makes no progress loses ground.’ …

Let us pursue the analogy further. If the physical and moral crisis of puberty is a difficult transition, the same is to be said of another crisis, which we may call the crisis of the first freedom, and which occurs at the stage where the youth enters manhood, about the age of twenty. The young man, having now reached his complete physical development, has to begin to take his place in social life. It will soon be time for him to marry and to become an educator in his turn, unless he has received from God a higher vocation still. Many fail to surmount this crisis of the first freedom, and, like the prodigal son, depart from their father’s house and confuse liberty with licence. Here again the law ordains that the transition must be made normally; otherwise the young man either takes the wrong road, or else his development is arrested and he becomes one of those of whom it is said: ‘He will be a child for the whole of his life.’ The true adult is not merely a young man grown a little older. He has a new mentality; he is preoccupied with wider questions, questions to which the youth does not yet advert. He understands the younger generation, but the younger generation does not understand him; conversation between them on certain subjects, except of a very superficial kind, is impossible. There is a somewhat similar relation, in the spiritual life, between the proficient and the perfect. He who is perfect understands the earlier stages through which he has himself already passed; but he cannot expect to be understood by those who are still passing through them. …


#3

My stages in Catholic life:

  1. Raised Catholic in Catholic schools to 12th grade.
  2. Off to college I go. Catholic without any shield to protect me from the Protestant onslaught of lies and anti-Catholic deception. Left totally unprepared for Protestant propaganda by the Catholic educational system. (If you can call it educational)
  3. Into the Protestant sects I go. Following whatever whim or fancey I feel like believing that day.
  4. 26 years go by and on one Sunday morning two Baptist preachers preach conflicting things between themseves and the Scripture. All three disagree with the others. I choose to follow the Bible and not some Baptist preachers opinion that day.
  5. The scales come off my eyes and I search for the one true Church - if any. I commit to follow Jesus regardless of where He leads me.
  6. No Protestant church seems to be historically correct. They all change their teachings like the wind changes - sometimes even faster.
  7. I find Jesus in the very LAST place I expect to find Him - the Catholic Church.
  8. The Holy Spirit drags me back across the Tiber kicking, screaming and crying. Home to Rome!
  9. I can get no closer to God on earth then in the Catholic Church - PRAISE GOD!
  10. Now I follow and obey Jesus and not Protestant “ME”-ology where I was the pope.

I guess that’s 10 steps?


#4

Thanks a lot for the information and perspectives from both of you. Just what I was looking for.


#5

There have been some very good studies of these. In my class we just reviewed Westerhoff’s Styles of Faith Development, and Fowler’s Theory of Faith Development. I don’t have the name of Westerhoff’s book (you may be able to find it on Google), but James W. Fowler’s is “The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning” (1981)


#6

Roche42:

St. Theresa of Avila wrote the Interior Castle…7 levels are delineated. Great read too.

I would comment in complete agreement with our pope that we all need a mature faith, and that only happens by vigilance on our constant conversion…I think the saints have shown many ways of deepening our response to God.

On a more practical level, we should all consider a Plan of Life…daily habits that we consiously work on in getting closer to Christ…here’s some:

Daily Mass
Morning Offering
Prayer before and after meals
Frequent Confession
Daily Examination of Conscience
Daily Rosary
The Angelus
Aspirations/Ejaculations
Mortifications/Sacrifices
Good deeds

Hope this helps a bit.

in XT.


#7

[quote=Malachi4U]My stages in Catholic life:

  1. Raised Catholic in Catholic schools to 12th grade.
  2. Off to college I go. Catholic without any shield to protect me from the Protestant onslaught of lies and anti-Catholic deception. Left totally unprepared for Protestant propaganda by the Catholic educational system. (If you can call it educational)
  3. Into the Protestant sects I go. Following whatever whim or fancey I feel like believing that day.
  4. 26 years go by and on one Sunday morning two Baptist preachers preach conflicting things between themseves and the Scripture. All three disagree with the others. I choose to follow the Bible and not some Baptist preachers opinion that day.
  5. The scales come off my eyes and I search for the one true Church - if any. I commit to follow Jesus regardless of where He leads me.
  6. No Protestant church seems to be historically correct. They all change their teachings like the wind changes - sometimes even faster.
  7. I find Jesus in the very LAST place I expect to find Him - the Catholic Church.
  8. The Holy Spirit drags me back across the Tiber kicking, screaming and crying. Home to Rome!
  9. I can get no closer to God on earth then in the Catholic Church - PRAISE GOD!
  10. Now I follow and obey Jesus and not Protestant “ME”-ology where I was the pope.

I guess that’s 10 steps?
[/quote]

Thank you sooooo much for that!
It sounds alot like me and I think I’m at #8 right now.
I have been reading Walter Hilton’s Scale of Perfection and the scales are falling.
May God be Praised! :slight_smile:
Al


#8

[quote=awalt]There have been some very good studies of these. In my class we just reviewed Westerhoff’s Styles of Faith Development, and Fowler’s Theory of Faith Development. I don’t have the name of Westerhoff’s book (you may be able to find it on Google), but James W. Fowler’s is “The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning” (1981)
[/quote]

Also, look at Fowler’s Stages of Faith".

Peace,
Linda


#9

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