ABSTRACT

Three ’windows’ to spiritual maturity

How can a faithful Christian avoid stagnating in their spiritual development? Moving Toward Spiritual Maturity: Psychological, Contemplative, and Moral Challenges in Christian Living explores effective ways in which Christian discipleship can grow in spiritual maturity. This thoughtful, integrative roadmap explains the journey through three interrelated perspectives, or ’windows,’ psychotherapeutic psychology, prayer and contemplation, and moral theology. The author uses numerous examples from everyday life to make the reflections interesting and practical. Unlike other books on Christian spirituality, this book is more challenging and sophisticated in its depth of thought.

Spiritual maturity is a process that begins when a person accepts Jesus Christ as Savior, and progresses ongoing through a Christian’s life. Moving Toward Spiritual Maturity discusses in detail the challenges one must face, including the sustained, in-depth, and faithful attention to psychological wholeness, conversion to the true self, and interpersonal and social responsibility. Effective strategies are given through example and personal story, making understanding of the principles easier. This reflection on Christian maturity helps readers to focus directly on the personal issues all must face when attuning to the Spirit of Christ.

Topics in Moving Toward Spiritual Maturity include:

  • reforming the wayward self
  • moral or guilt-based perfectionism
  • achievement or shame-based perfectionism
  • the two types of conversion
  • responsibility and accountability
  • agape and the loving of oneself
  • three virtues at the heart of the responsible life—integrity, courage, and compassion
  • virtues as habits
  • the relationship between personal fulfillment and the Christian vocation

Moving Toward Spiritual Maturity is a unique look at the path toward spiritual maturity, and is challenging, thoughtful reading for laypersons, ministers, priests, and theological students.

chapter |6 pages

Introduction

part |2 pages

PART I: SETTING THE SCENE

chapter 1|14 pages

Self-Fulfillment and Vocation

part |2 pages

PART II: TOWARD PSYCHOLOGICAL WHOLENESS

chapter 2|24 pages

Wholeness in the Community of the Self

chapter 3|18 pages

Wholeness, Not Perfection

chapter 4|14 pages

Cognitive Reframing and Perfectionism

part |2 pages

PART III: PRAYER, CONTEMPLATION, AND CONVERSION

chapter 5|18 pages

Spirituality in the Everyday World

chapter 7|14 pages

Conversion to Compassion

part |2 pages

PART IV: CONSCIENCE AND RESPONSIBILITY

chapter 8|12 pages

Conscience and “Contrast Experiences”

chapter 9|10 pages

The Agape Response 148

chapter 10|14 pages

The Virtues of Responsibility