Cistercian Spirituality: An Ashram Perspective

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Liturgical Press, Apr 1, 2011 - Religion - 136 pages
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Cistercian Spirituality: An Ashram Perspective is a spiritual directory written by Fr. Francis Acharya for the monastic community that he founded at Kurisumala (Kerala, India). As the editor, Fr. Michael Casey, relates in the introduction:
This book is offered to a wider world in the hope that it will serve as a means of making and deepening contact with the spirit of the Cistercian tradition not so much as it is written but as it has been lived for over six decades by a deeply spiritual man. To those who know of Kurisumala Ashram or who have read the biography of Fr. Francis, it will provide a gateway to an understanding of the interior life of this remarkable monk. In particular, his description of the stages of the experience of prayer will certainly be helpful to many who, like him, are lifelong seekers of the unseen God."

Francis Acharya, OCSO, left the Belgian monastery of Scourmont in 1955, after twenty years as a Trappist, to live his monastic life in India. His experiences put him in contact with such other pioneering spirits as Henri Le Saux (Abishiktananda), Jules Monchanin (In Quest of the Absolute), and Bede Griffiths (Return to the Centre, The Golden String), and led to an uncommonly successful inculturation of Christian monasticism within Indian culture and spirituality at Kurisumala, where he served as Acharya, teacher, until his death in 2001. His biography, Kurisumala: Francis Mahieu Acharya, A Pioneer of Christian Monasticism in India, is also published by Cistercian Publications.

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Contents

The Root Vocation of Christian Dedicated Life
3
Benedictine Monasticism
15
The Great Renunciation
31
The Monastery School of the Lords Service
47
Bodily Asceticism
56
The Deification of the Christian
79
The Growth of the Life in Christ
93
Epilogue
100
The History of the Monks in Egypt
109
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Francis Acharya, OCSO, left the Belgian monastery of Scourmont in 1955, after twenty years as a Trappist, to live his monastic life in India. His experiences put him in contact with such other pioneering spirits as Henri Le Saux (Abishiktananda), Jules Monchanin (In Quest of the Absolute), and Bede Griffiths (Return to the Centre, The Golden String), and led to an uncommonly successful inculturation of Christian monasticism within Indian culture and spirituality at Kurisumala, where he served as Acharya, teacher, until his death in 2001. His biography, Kurisumala: Francis Mahieu Acharya, A Pioneer of Christian Monasticism in India, is also published by Cistercian Publications.

Michael Casey, OCSO, has been a monk of Tarrawarra Abbey (Australia) since 1960. After completing a degree in Scripture at Leuven, he received his doctorate from Melbourne College of Divinity for a study of desire for God in the writings of Bernard of Clairvaux. For the past decades he has been engaged in exploring different aspects of monastic spirituality, writing, and giving conferences throughout the English-speaking monastic world. His books include The Road to Eternal Life: Reflections on the Prologue of Benedict’s Rule (Liturgical Press, 2011), Strangers to the City (Paraclete Press, 2005), and A Guide to Living in the Truth (Liguori, 2001).

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