A compelling exploration of the biblical foundations, contemplative practices, and spiritual path of Jesus himself—from the bestselling author of The Case for Jesus
“What happens when a biblical theologian explores classic spirituality? This book. Pitre’s students have asked, Why have we never heard this before? The reader wonders the same.”—Dr. David Fagerberg, author of Liturgical Mysticism
The path of following Jesus is an ancient and storied spiritual tradition. Yet many believers are not familiar with the three major forms of prayer and the three stages of spiritual growth that exist to bring them closer to God.
In his most personal book yet, Brant Pitre, PhD, draws on the riches of the Bible, the words of Jesus, and the writings of mystics across the centuries to shed light on the mystery—and wonder—of the spiritual life.
Starting with the age-old belief that the path of prayer is not only informative but transformative, Dr. Pitre explores
• the scriptural roots of the major forms of prayer: vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplation • the purgative, illuminative, and unitive stages of spiritual growth • the spiritual exercises of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving • the Jewish roots of the Lord’s Prayer • Lectio Divina: how to pray with the Bible • seven vices and their seven opposing virtues • the battle of prayer: how to deal with difficulty and distractions • the “dark night of the soul” in the Scriptures
Full of sacred truths, contemplative insights, and practical steps, Introduction to the Spiritual Life is a biblical road map of the spiritual landscape that enables us to follow Jesus as our primary guide.
About the Author
Brant Pitre, PhD, is Distinguished Research Professor of Scripture at the Augustine Institute. He earned his PhD in theology from the University of Notre Dame, where he specialized in the study of the New Testament and ancient Judaism. He is the author of the bestselling books The Case for Jesus, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary, and Jesus the Bridegroom. Dr. Pitre has also produced dozens of video and audio Bible studies in which he explores the scriptural roots of Christianity. He lives in Louisiana with his wife, Elizabeth, and their five children.
“Dr. Brant Pitre offers his readers a ‘biblical road map of the spiritual life’ [from the introduction] in his trademark approach, exploring the Jewish roots of Jesus’ teaching on the spiritual life and wedding to this the classic writings of the saints. His style is accessible to readers and his content likewise approachable for all. Both the topics covered and the constant reference to Scripture render this book fresh and inviting. Read it, and you will find your spiritual life renewed.”—Fr. Timothy Gallagher, author of The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living
“Pitre offers deep and inspiring insights into the realities of the spirituality of Christian discipleship. Anyone, lay or ordained, seeking to live Christian spirituality more fully will profit from a prayerful reading of this book.”—Alfred C. Hughes, Archbishop Emeritus of New Orleans
“A broadly accessible, highly practical invitation to life with Christ modeled by the spiritual giants of Church history and rooted in Scripture, this book calls the Church to a deeper communion with God, punctuated by habits of prayer, meditation on Scripture, contemplation, fasting, and almsgiving, to ultimately bear the fruit of humility, mercy, and diligence. . . . Deeply transformative, convicting, and compelling.”—CatherineWright, associate professor of biblical and theological studies at Bethel University and author of Spiritual Practices of Jesus
“With clear and convincing explanations, this comprehensive guide roots the Christian spiritual life in Scripture. Pitre’s lucid writing teaches, inspires, and motivates us to pursue our call to holiness, with Jesus as our primary guide.”—Sr. Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP, author of The Prodigal You Love and Memento Mori
“Pitre’s little theological gem shines through his clear, accessible writing and wonderful depth of insight. This young scholar is already one of the great teachers of Scripture in our time.”—Bernhard Blankenhorn, professor aggregatus, University of Fribourg, Switzerland