The Goal of the Spiritual Life

The Purgative Way: Part II

Part II of a Lecture Series Given by Fr. Ermatinger

St John of the Cross engraving, Alessandri
Drawing of the Ascent of Mt. Carmel, St. John of the Cross (Click Image for Full Size)
English Translation of Above (Click Image for Full Size)

Outline of Talk

  • Introduction – Recap of Last Time: 0:00-0:57
    • First and Second Mansions of St. Teresa of Avila
  • Today: St. John of the Cross Corresponding to the 1st and 2nd Mansions: 0:57-1:08
  • Biography of St. John of the Cross: 1:08-6:03
  • Spiritual Map of Mt. Carmel: 6:03-7:26
  • St. John’s Poetry and Books: 9:30-12:32
  • Inordinate Attachment to Earthy and/or Heavenly Goods: 12:32-17:03
    • Why the Dark Night?: 13:20-15:30
      • Necessary Deprivation of Senses
      • Unseen Road and Unseen Obstacles
      • Lead More by Faith Than What Is Known Directly
    • The goal is hidden; God is hidden: 15:30-16:26
    • Rarely Uses the Word Sin – Instead, Appetites Inclinations, Desires: 16:26-17:03
  • Middle Path of Nada Nada Nada is Accompanied by Several Types of Dark Nights: 17:03-21:28
    • 1st Night Purgation: 17:30-18:30
      • Disordered Attachments Leave No Peace: 18:30-19:46
      • First Night is the Lot of Beginners: 19:46-20:22
        • Second Night is for the Proficient: 20:22-21:28
        • Corresponds to the First Mansion of St. Teressa
  • Summit of Mount Carmel: 21:28-23:21
    • The Law of God / The Will of God
  • The More We seek of Early Goods or Heavenly Goods the Less we Have of Them: 23:21-29:24
    • Not a Path Just for Heroic Ascetics: 24:03-25:12
    • Detachment in all things: 25:12-28:45
    • Not a Lack of Things but a Freeing From Things: 28:45-29:24
  • Examples of Attachments that Impede Progress: 29:24-38:00
      • Attachments weaken and blind to being able to discern things properly
    • Attachment to Natural Appetites: 31:50-36:32
      • Natural, Semi-Voluntary, Obsessive Desires with Regard to Food: 32:30-36:32
    • Attacking the Symptoms via the Darkness of Faith Results in Freedom: 36:32-38:00
  • Beginning the Ascent: 38:00-50:27
      • Practice of the Beginning is to Meditate
    • Delight in Spiritual Things Appropriate at this Stage: 40:03-42:06
    • Prayer and Mortification Support Each Other: 42:06-43:17
    • Aside: Secretary of the UN: 43:17-44:44
    • John Not to Be Misunderstood as a Janesist/ Puritan: 44:44-46:30
    • Whatever You Do, Do to the Glory of God: 46:30-49:17
      • Trinitarian Center Demands Detachment from Created Things: 48:10-49:17
    • Suggestions for Meditation: 49:17-50:27
      • Gospels
      • Song of Songs
      • Truths of the Faith
      • God’s Presence
  • A Stilled House, Everything in its Right Place: 50:27-52:35
  • Next Time: 52:35-52:52


Icon of St. John Resting His Head Upon Christ’s Breast

— Fr. Ermatinger

The Goal of The Spiritual Life, Part I: The Purgative Way Part I — Click Here

The Goal of The Spiritual Life, Part II: The Purgative Way Part II — Click Here

The Goal of The Spiritual Life, Part III: Memory and Virtue — Click Here

The Goal of The Spiritual Life, Part IV: Meaning and Efficacy of Penance — Click Here

The Goal of The Spiritual Life, Part V: Introduction to Mystical Marriage — Click Here

The Goal of The Spiritual Life, Part VI: Passive Night of the Senses — Click Here

The Goal of The Spiritual Life, Part VII: 3rd and 4th Mansions: Beginnigs of Contemplation — Click Here