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The Psychology of the Saints


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An essential work by the Catholic Philosopher Henri Joly (1839-1925) Are saints born holy? If not, what makes them so? Can we be like them? Are there common patterns to the interior progress Saints always make—patterns from which the rest of us can learn, to possibly become saints ourselves? Yes, answers Henri Joly—and in this famous work, the learned 20th-century Catholic writer...reveals what the soul of the saint possesses in common with us, and how these common attributes develop and thrive...explains exactly how commonplace psychological traits are closely connected with a saint's extraordinary power to pray, meditate, and avoid much temptation.

Key topics and insights, based upon Joly's study of the lives and writings of the Saints:

  • Three words that sum up the "whole secret of the life of sanctity"
  • The saints at prayer: their methods, disciplines and intentions Dangers of self-scrutiny
  • What is a saint? True and false definitions Two "classes" of saints, evident through Church history
  • Various phases in the spiritual development of the saints
  • The "new personality" created by sanctity. How it combines whatever was best of the original personality with new elements
  • Overlooked: virtues that most of saints had in common Diversities of character among the saints: how far these extend, and how they show themselves in great things and small
  • How far does the natural character of the saints influence and determine their work?
  • Flaws of the saints: "easy temperance and absence of desires and passions are not necessarily among the natural virtues that sanctity builds upon"
  • The role of the imagination in developing sanctity. How the saint cultivates and makes use of it
  • Abuses of the imagination. How the saints guard against them
  • The "purification of the senses": why it is necessary; how the saints accomplish ...






Dimensions 7.75 × 5.125 × .6 in
Weight 11 oz


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The Psychology of the Saints