Finding Confidence in Times of Trial (John of Avila)
Meet the Newest Doctor of the Catholic Church
Indecision was not in his heart. Surrounded by clerical corruption and unprecedented consumerism, St. John of Avila (1500-1569) led the authentic effort to reform the Church and Christian society during one of its darkest hours.
When faced with spiritually bankrupt seminaries and lax universities, St. John simply founded new ones. When vast regions of his homeland lapsed into spiritual indifference, he spent a decade storming the cities and villages to reignite the Faith. He fearlessly denounced decadent leaders and withstood the subsequent interrogations of the Inquisition with perfect charity, winning over skeptics and melting the hearts of sinners.
For St. Francis de Sales, he was "the learned and saintly preacher." St. Francis Borgia called him "the Great Master" and St. Teresa of Avila named him "the Master of things spiritual."
Pope Benedict XVI recently declared that he would name St. John of Avila the 34th "Doctor of the Universal Church."
And yet, most Catholics have never heard of him.
To help Catholics come to know the newest Doctor of the Church, Sophia Institute Press is releasing a collection of St. John's finest letters. Each letter has been carefully translated and is now available so you can come to know the man Pope John Paul II held up as a model for clerical reform.
Among the many lessons you will learn from this new Doctor of the Church:
- The life-giving habits of an authentic Christian life, which are found not through false "conversions" and "visions," but in the slow and steady steps on the path of holiness.
- How suffering is frequently the means God chooses to reveal His mercy and His design for our lives.
- True beauty: for a Christian it will shine out in poverty, chastity, and fidelity, not in the luxuries and comforts of this world.
- The easy graces of the liturgical year: one of the surest ways to develop in sanctity, and how Christians should ready themselves for the gifts which the Holy Spirit will send.
- The dangers of personal resolutions: These are often built upon pride and mistaken notions, but God sends us every day trials to transform us into His spiritual champions.
- How a Christian should prepare himself for Holy Mass, how to approach the Blessed Sacrament, and what real participation in the Sacrifice means.
- That weakness, persecution, and infidelity are often found within the institutional Church, and what we can do to combat it or at least suffer it faithfully.
"St. John of Avila is an ever timely model. He teaches us that there is a culture of the spirit from which flow the serenity and far-sightedness required to face the most complicated personal situations." - Pope John Paul II
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