Classical Spirituality

The Internet Monk published a piece a few days ago which is worth thinking about:

So….imagine that a Baptist (or other evangelical)- like my dear wife used to be, for example- were to decide that he or she wanted to deepen their spiritual life; to grow spiritually and in spiritual disciplines; to seek out spiritual direction and pursue spiritual formation.

Where would they go within their own evangelical, Protestant tradition to find resources, guidance or direction?

OK. I can hear the Catholics and Orthodox giggling already. Cut it out.

Before I leave the open thread to you readers, let me say that this is a REAL PROBLEM.

No one knows how many Protestants and Evangelicals develop a hunger for holiness and spiritual growth, then discover that what awaits them in their own tradition is paltry, often shallow and frequently almost completely unaware of what that hunger needs to be satisfied.

Is it any wonder that it is at the point of seeking out spiritual growth and formation that so many evangelicals are first introduced to the riches of the Catholic tradition, and soon conclude that the greatest resources for the spiritual journey are on the other side of great denominational divide?

When I moved back into the Anglican Church after three years with the Vineyard and New Frontiers (which, especially NF, I didn’t regret for a moment), it was because something about the link to a wider catholicity in the Church of England that spoke to me of a depth to one’s relationship with Jesus that some Protestants never explored. As I grew in the ministry of wholeness, I realised that the key insights in this area, and in general in the field of classical spirituality, were mainly Roman Catholic authors. St John of the Cross, Ignatius and their ilk were the people who had real insight into purgation and rising in Christ.

What do other people here think? For those who are "non-conformists", does the thought of engaging with Roman Catholic writers fill you with dread or charge you with excitement? What about those with a more "catholic" perspective – what were your key moments in developing spirituality?

By the way, this thread is officially subtitled the "Peter is NOT obsessed with Jeffrey John" Thread. Just so you know.

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