Appeared in Summer 1990, Vol. XVI, No. 2

Several years ago, I had the joy of teaching the sisters from all over the world at the Regina Mundi Institute in Rome, a course on the history of spirituality. as any instructor knows, when we teach, we seem to learn more than the students. It appeared to me as the course was draw- ing to a close that some basic principles were emerging, which were not very flattering to theologians or persons aspiring to live a deep spiritual life.

If secular history teaches us anything, it teaches us that people and their leaders repeat the similar blunders throughout the centuries with or without a knowledge of history. Sacred history produces a more interesting knowledge of mistakes for believers which have greater consequences than the bad decisions of secular history. By reading both primary and secondary sources, I was able to fathom some, but certainly not all, of those principles which are violated and ignored down through the ages of the church.

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