Deacon Tracy Jamison, OCDS, PhD, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Athenaeum of Ohio, presented a talk last night on the spiritual life to the Student Theological Forum of the Athenaeum, a recently formed group of (primarily) lay students and alumni of the graduate school. His concentration: the Blessed Virgin Mary and the stages of prayer by which one advances to perfection like her. Here below is the outline of Dr. Jamison’s talk. Be edified!
The Blessed Virgin Mary in the Christian Life of Faith and Prayer
Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church 568-570
• There are three basic expressions of the Christian life of prayer: (1) vocal prayer, (2) meditation, and (3) contemplative prayer.
• Common to all three is the recollection of the heart toward God in faith, which is the essence of prayer.
• This recollection is either an act of the will or a supernatural gift received from God.
• Faith is either natural and based in reason, or supernatural and based in grace.
• Meditation (also called “mental prayer”) is a spiritual reflection that begins in divine revelation (Scripture or Tradition). This is the path that leads to contemplative prayer.
• Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire in order to deepen our faith, convert our heart, and fortify our will to follow Christ.
• The practice of meditation is the initial step toward the full union of knowledge and love with our Lord.
• Each meditation should culminate in an informal loving conversation with our Lord, aloud or silently, in response to his love for us.
The Degrees of Divine Virtue (Union with God through Faith, Hope, and Love) in St Teresa’s Mansions
A. Ascetical Mansions (Acquired Recollection: Active, Habitual Union with God)
1. Vocal Prayer (State of Grace with a Need for Self-Knowledge and Humility)
2. Mental Prayer (Hearing and Heeding the Call to Cognitive and Affective Meditation)
3. Prayer of Simplicity (Habitual Union of Will, Intellect, and Memory with God)
B. Mystical Mansions (Infused Recollection: Passive, Continual Union with God)
4. Prayer of Quiet, Prayer of Faith (The Dark Night of the Senses)
5. Prayer of Union, Spiritual Meeting, Illumination (Passive Union of the Will with God)
6. Spiritual Betrothal, Death and Burial, Apostolic Mission (The Dark Night of the Spirit)
7. Spiritual Marriage, Resurrection (Passive Union of Will, Intellect, and Memory with God)
Continue reading The Blessed Virgin Mary in the Christian Life of Faith and Prayer