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The Spiritual Combat and a Treatise on Peace of Soul
by Dom Lorenzo Scupoli
by Dom Lorenzo Scupoli
Salvation and spiritual perfection should not be sought haphazardly; a strategy is needed to win the battle for our souls. The Spiritual Combat, first published in 1589, provides timeless guidance in spiritual discipline. St Francis de Sales (1576-1622) read from it himself every day and recommended it to everyone under his direction. Vigorous, realistic, and full of keen insight into human nature, The Spiritual Combat consists of short chapters based on the maxim that in the spiritual life one must either "fight or die". Fr. Scupoli shows the Christian how to combat his passions and vices, especially impurity and sloth, in order to arrive at victory. This is the original TAN edition now with updated typesetting, fresh new cover, new size and quality binding, and the same trusted content.
About the Author:
Dom Lorenzo Scupoli was born in Otranto, Italy in 1530 and died in Naples in 1610. Nothing is known about his early life. At about the age of 40, he entered the Theatines and made his novitiate under St Andrew Avellino. He was ordained in 1577. It is said that he met St Francis de Sales in Padua between 1589 and 1591 and gave him a copy of The Spiritual Combat. For some reason that has never been revealed, he was laicized in 1585 and lived in retirement in Theatine houses until his death. Some sources say that his name was cleared at the end of his life, though he offered no defense of himself. The first edition of The Spiritual Combat bearing Scupoli's name was published in the year of his death in 1610.
Item No: TC1115 (Grouped)
Publisher: Saint Benedict Press, LLC
Imprint: TAN Books
Publication Year: 2010
Dimensions: 5.5" X 8.5" X 0.75"
Excerpts from this Book:
“It almost always happens that interior sentiments of pride precede the commission of grievous sins. Peter was not aware of his own weakness. He preferred himself before others; he trusted in himself as though he were incapable of sinning, boasting that no temptation would separate him from Jesus. He would not even believe the assurance of his Divine Master, that he would deny him thrice. Deceived by this vain confidence in his own strength, he neglects to pray, and to have recourse to God; and God, in His justice, permits him to fall, in the punishment of his pride. There is nothing more dangerous than to confide in our own strength and trust in feelings of fervor. We are full of malice and capable of committing enormous crimes unless God supports us."
"In contemplating a beautiful work of creation consider that, in itself, it is nothing. Let your thoughts soar to the great Hand that produced it; place all your delight in Him saying: "O my God! Sole Object of my desires! Universal Source of all good things! How delightful it is to consider that the perfections of creatures are but a faint image of Thy glory!" When you behold the verdant trees or plants and the beauty of flowers, remember that they possess life only through the will of that Divine Wisdom that, unseen by all, gives life to all things. Say to Him: "O Living God! O Sovereign Life! Thou delight
my soul! From Thee, in Thee and through Thee all things on earth live and flourish!" The sight of animals should lift your mind and heart to the Author of sensibility and motion. Say with respect and love: "Great God, Unmoved Mover of all things, how I rejoice when I consider the eternity of Thy existence, incapable of the slightest change!" When the beauty of mankind impresses you, you should immediately distinguish what is apparent to the eye from what is seen only by the mind. You must remember that all corporeal beauty flows from an invisible principle, the uncreated beauty of God. You must discern in this an almost imperceptible drop issuing from an endless source, an immense ocean from which numberless perfections continually flow. How my soul is ravished when I consider that Eternal Beauty, the Source of every beautiful thing!"
— Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, p.68
"When we make a good resolution, we merely consider the beauty and excellence of virtue, which attracts even the
minds, but we never consider the difficulties of attaining it. Consequently, cowardly souls are dismayed at the first sign of trouble and they hurriedly abandon their project. For this reason, it would be better for you to consider the difficulties which occur in acquiring virtue, rather than the virtues themselves, and to prepare yourself accordingly. You may rest assured that the greater courage you show in conquering yourself or defeating your enemies, the sooner will your difficulties diminish, and they will gradually vanish."
— Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, p. 94
"This is the difference between a journey on earth, and that which leads to Heaven. For in the former, not only may we stop without fear of going backward, but rest is necessary that we may sustain our strength to the journey’s end; however, in the latter journey which leads to perfection, our growth in strength is proportionate to our advance, inasmuch as the inferior appetites which throw all possible obstacles in our path to Heaven, grow gradually weaker while our good inclinations acquire new strength. Thus as we advance in piety, our early difficulties fade into the background, and a certain delight, with which God sweetens the bitterness of this life, increases in our souls. Going cheerfully on from virtue to virtue, we finally reach the summit of the mountain."
— Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, pp. 117-18
"What are we to say of the charity and compassion of the Blessed Virgin, who for nine months bore, and still carries in her heart, the only Son of God, the uncreated charity which knows no bounds? If, as often as we approach a fire, we are affected by its heat, have we, not a reason to believe that whoever approaches the heart of the Mother of Mercies, ever burning with her most ardent charity, must be profoundly affected in proportion to the frequency of his petitions, the humility, and confidence in his heart?"
— Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, p.151
"No creature ever loved Jesus Christ more ardently, nor showed
submission to His will, than Mary, His mother. If then, this Savior, immolated for us sinners, gave His mother to us, an advocate and intercessor for all time, she cannot but comply with His request, and will not refuse us her assistance. Let us, then, not hesitate to implore her pity; let us have recourse to her with great confidence in all our necessities, as she is an inexhaustible source of blessing, bestowing her favors in proportion to the confidence placed in her."
— Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, p. 152
"Moreover, beseech daily the eternal Father, His divine Son, and the Blessed Virgin, that you may be particularly under the protection of St. Joseph, the worthy spouse of the most chaste of virgins. Then addressing yourself to this loving protector, ask with great humility to be received into his care. For innumerable are the instances of assistance afforded to those who have called upon St. Joseph in their spiritual or temporal necessities. Particularly has he aided them when they stood in need of light from heaven, and direction in their prayers. And if God shows so much regard for the other saints who have loved and served Him here below, how much consideration and deference will He not show for the person He so honored as to pay him filial homage and obedience?"
— Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, p. 154
"Consider not only that God your benefactor is present but also that He acts continuously in all His creatures. And for whom is this continual action, this work of God in nature? For you. Thus, He lights you by the light of day; He nourishes you with the productions of the earth; in a word, He serves you by each one of the creatures that you use; so that it is true to say that at every moment the bounty, the wisdom and the power of God are at your service and are exercised in the world for your wants or pleasures. This conduct of God toward man should be the model of your conduct toward God. You see that the presence of God in His creatures is never idle; it acts incessantly, it preserves, it governs. Beware, then, of stopping at a sterile contemplation of God present in yourself. Add action to contemplation; to the sight of the Divine presence add the faithful accomplishment of the Divine will."
— St. Ignatius, p. 182