French school of spirituality

French School Of Spirituality

French school of spirituality

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The French School of Spirituality was the principal devotional influence within the Catholic Church from the mid 17th Century through the mid 20th Century not only in France but throughout the church in most of the world. A development of the Catholic Reformation like the Spanish mystics and the Society of Jesus, it focused the devotional life of the Catholic faithful on a personal experience of the person of Jesus and the quest for personal holiness. It was perhaps more concrete than the Iberian example and thus easier to teach, but it shared with the Spanish saints their focus on the Divine Person. This movement in Catholic spirituality had many important figures over the centuries, the first being its founder, Cardinal Pierre de Berulle (1575–1629).

Disciples of Berulle

One of Berulle's disciples, Jean-Jacques Olier went on to found the Sulpician Order to run seminaries and train future priests in France, Canada and the United States, thus spreading the French school's influence to North America where it would dominate for the next three centuries. Olier's particular strain of the French school's thinking at its most pessimistic is captured in this quote:

:"It is necessary for the soul to be in fear and distrust of self; it must testify to this distrust by avoiding occasions and encounters in which it may satisfy the heart by love and delight in some creature. It should make its pleasure and joy depend on sacrificing to Jesus all joy and pleasure which it...... ...
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