20. To assert that in prayer it is necessary to help oneself by discourse and by reflections, when God does not speak to the soul, is ignorance. God never speaks; his way of speaking is operation, and he always operates in the soul when this soul does not impede him by its discourses, reflections, and operations.
This would be an enlightenment idea, basically denying that God can communicate directly through prayer or a mystical experience. God uses many ways, in the Catholic tradition, to speak to us, including direct, private revelations, as well as the great Revelation of Christ Himself, through the Scriptures and the Eucharist.
It is odd that Quietism, which seems so anti-intellectual, is also anti-human spirit.
21. In prayer it is necessary to remain in obscure and universal faith, with quiet and forgetfulness of any particular and distinct thought of the attributes of God and the Trinity, and thus to remain in the presence of God for adoring and loving him and serving him, but without producing acts, because God has no pleasure in these.
This section is very New Age and sounds like something from the 80s. Of course, all the great mystics and spiritual writers instruct us to start with meditation, of the Life of Christ and the attributes of God, moving from meditation to contemplation. This type of prayer described above is not Christo-centric, but Hindu.
22. This knowledge through faith is not an act produced by a creature, but it is a knowledge given by God to the creature, which the creature neither recognizes that he has, and neither later knows that he had it; and the same is said of love.
Again, we know when we are given both infused knowledge and knowledge gained either by experience, or study. We also have Knowledge as one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.To deny that we have any responsibility for gaining some levels of knowledge again makes the Christian a baby, not a rational creature capable of using free will to approach God and accept grace.
23. The mystics with St. Bernard in the Scala Claustralium (The Ladder of the Recluses) distinguished four steps: reading, meditation, prayer, and infused contemplation. He who always remains in the first, never passes over to the second. He who always persists in the second, never arrives at the third, which is our acquired contemplation, in which one must persist throughout all life, provided that God does not draw the soul (without the soul expecting it) to infused contemplation; and if this ceases, the soul should turn back to the third step and remain in that, without returning again to the second or first.
These steps have been misunderstood by the Quietists, who again, deny the involvement of our wills intellects and hearts in the processes of meditative and contemplative prayer. These steps are clearly defined by St. John of the Cross, and St. Teresa of Avila, who explain that humans are brought back and forth into various steps of prayer and final union with God. Partly, this last point is influenced by an over-emphasis on scruples, I think.
24. Whatever thoughts occur in prayer, even impure, or against God, the saints, faith, and the sacraments, if they are not voluntarily nourished, nor voluntarily expelled, but tolerated with indifference and resignation, do not impede the prayer of faith; indeed they make it more perfect, because the soul then remains more resigned to the divine will.
All impurities of thought and heart are to be rooted out by Confession and penances. Temptations are to be resisted. One cannot move on to perfection with any sin; and indifference is an open door for the evil one. We are not to be resigned to impurities or distractions. St. Ignatius of Loyola is good on these points, as are the above mystics. Again, the lack of responsibility for dealing with impurity and distractions seems to be taken away from the rational person. Bad.
The next set of points really show a keen departure from Catholic Truth.
25. Even if one becomes sleepy and falls asleep, nevertheless there is prayer and actual contemplation, because prayer and resignation, resignation and prayer are the same, and while resignation endures, prayer also endures.
I have heard, recently, ladies tell me that they pray while sleeping. I do not think so. Also, I hate to disappoint some charismatics, but your angels do not keep on praying your prayers while you sleep. They may pray, but to expect an angel to finish your rosary is just plain superstition. What is crazy here is again the denial of the will and intellectual involvement in prayer. We pray, with our intellects, our wills, our hearts, our souls.
26. The three ways: the purgative, illuminative, and unitive, are the greatest absurdity ever spoken about in mystical (theology), since there is only one way, namely, the interior way.
Well, how many saints must we quote to answer this tripe? Cf Garrigou-Lagrange, etc.
27. He who desires and embraces sensible devotion does not desire nor seek God, but himself; and anyone who walks by the interior way, in holy places as well as on feast days, acts badly when he desires it and tries to possess it.
Again, this an appeal to Protestantism, which denies the need for devotions, such as the rosary, pilgrimages, novenas, even Adoration of the Eucharist. Need I say more on this obviously wrong point?
28. Weariness for spiritual matters is good, if indeed by it one's own love is purified.
No matter how one defines weariness, either in a physical way, or spiritual acedia, this is a bad thing. The great mystics, including St. Bernard of Clairvaux, warn us of this evil state of apathy and even depression. Love is not purified in torpor, but in battle and vigilance.
29. As long as the interior soul disdains discourses about God, disdains the virtues, and remains cold, feeling no fervor in himself, it is a good sign.
I call this spiritual death and denial of grace, if not mortal sin. Oh dear....we are now in a denial of love.
30. Everything sensible which we experience in the spiritual life, is abominable, base, and unclean.
OK, now we see the philosophical background of Molinos, which is dualism and the denial of the physical humanity of man and woman. Out of all the points, this one causes the apathy of so many Catholics who fall into this heresy. If the physical life is bad, why learn, why pay attention to politics, why vote, why get married, why have children and so on. This type of hatred of the real and the physical also leads to a denial of the Incarnation of Christ, the logical extension of this heresy-the denial of the God-Man, Christ. In fact, the basis of this heresy is the denial of the Incarnation of Christ and the redemption of all mankind.
I see that many younger Catholics cannot make the spiritual or intellectual bridge between the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity and their own lives, which leads even to a denial of the efficacy of the sacraments, especially Baptism. Grace and study, God's mercy and work.....
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