This is the second in a long series I am going to do here on the Doctors of the Church. Highlighting their spirituality will cover both categories of the seeking of perfection and the lives of the saints. Enjoy.
Last year, the Pope made St. John of Avila a doctor of the Church. Many people do not know him. His feast day, which I celebrated in Ireland, is on December 14th.
Here is a snippet from the Mass where the Pope made this declaration along with St. Hildegard of Bingen.
At this point, let us pause for a moment to appreciate the two saints who today have been added to the elect number of Doctors of the Church. Saint John of Avila lived in the sixteenth century. A profound expert on the sacred Scriptures, he was gifted with an ardent missionary spirit. He knew how to penetrate in a uniquely profound way the mysteries of the redemption worked by Christ for humanity. A man of God, he united constant prayer to apostolic action. He dedicated himself to preaching and to the more frequent practice of the sacraments, concentrating his commitment on improving the formation of candidates for the priesthood, of religious and of lay people, with a view to a fruitful reform of the Church.
Saint Hildegard of Bingen, an important female figure of the twelfth century, offered her precious contribution to the growth of the Church of her time, employing the gifts received from God and showing herself to be a woman of brilliant intelligence, deep sensitivity and recognized spiritual authority. The Lord granted her a prophetic spirit and fervent capacity to discern the signs of the times. Hildegard nurtured an evident love of creation, and was learned in medicine, poetry and music. Above all, she maintained a great and faithful love for Christ and his Church.
St. John was going to be a missionary, but was asked to stay and help restore Catholicism in Andalusia. He is important to me as he wrote on Christian perfection, which is a theme of this blog.
His sermons and writings influenced SS. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Francis Borgia and others.
I would like to have a copy of"Audi Fili", a perfect book for Lent, English translation, 1620) and "Spiritual Letters"English translation, 1631, London and Stanbrook Abbey, 1904, if someone has those laying about.....and not using them. I think of all the books in the libraries of monasteries being ignored, simply because those coming in are so few, or that they need the basics of the Catechism, the milk and not the meat, yet. Here is a selection from an online book found here. To be continued.................