This is your Question Book for the home-study course on the Masters of the Spiritual Life. Its purpose is three-fold:

  • to provide a focus for seeing what is specially important in each of the authors you are studying.

  • to enable you to acquire a deeper understanding of the spiritual doctrine of each author.

  • to test your grasp of this doctrine by answering the questions and having them checked by your mentor.

What most needs to be stressed is that the main reason for these questions is not inquisitive: to find out how well you can give the answers. The main reason is instructive: to teach you how to acquire spiritual wisdom.

As you read each question, reflect on its meaning. Do not guess the answers. Prayerfully ask Our Lord to help you see what is really behind the question. Ask yourself, why you should answer in a certain way. Think carefully before you respond. Go back if necessary to the original text in the Treasury of Catholic Wisdom and then give what you decide is the best answer. In spite of appearances, the questions are not simple, nor are the answers obvious. You'll benefit from this course on the Masters of the Spiritual Life according to the amount of prayerful thinking you do before answering each query in the book.

After the first lesson, you may send your answers to Inter Mirifica one or two lessons at a time. When your corrected answers are returned, you will have an opportunity to ask a certain number of questions of your own about the matter you have been studying.

You are encouraged to recite daily the following prayer, "For Wisdom and Knowledge," by St. Thomas Aquinas:

Lord, give me wisdom, the companion of Your throne, that it may ever be with me and labor with me, so that I may know what is acceptable to You, Lord, God. Who is there that can know Your meaning unless You give wisdom and send Your Holy Spirit from on high?

Mary, Mother of fair love and fear and knowledge and holy hope, through your faithful intercession many, though otherwise of modest talent, have made marvelous progress in learning and holiness. I choose you as the guardian and patron of my studies. By your heart full of maternal love, and above all by that Eternal Wisdom which condescended to take our flesh from you and beyond all the saints made you shine with heavenly light, I humbly ask you to obtain for me through your intercession, the grace of the Holy Spirit. May it enable me to grasp with my mind, retain in my memory, and express by my words and my life, all that shall give honor to you and your Son, and be blessedly conducive to my eternal salvation. Amen.

Merciful God, grant me, I beg of You, ardently to desire, prudently to study, truly to understand, and perfectly to fulfill those things that are pleasing to You, for the praise and glory of Your name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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