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The Inner Search

Item Number: 60763

Catalog Code: INNER-DIS

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Inner Search

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Sometimes real breakthroughs in your spiritual life only come about after searing self-examination.


Even in the 1950s, when books on Catholic prayer and spirituality could become bestsellers, the works of Dom Hubert van Zeller were exceptionally popular. A Carthusian monk (and good friend of Msgr. Ronald Knox), van Zeller had the rare gift of translating monastic spiritual wisdom developed over centuries into clear, practical advice for ordinary Catholics seeking to deepen their own prayer lives.

The Inner Search, one of his most enduring and readable books, takes as its point of the departure the Psalmist's exhortation to "Seek the face of the Lord always!" Indeed, writes van Zeller, "the whole of our effort of faith, excercised throughout life, amounts precisely to this" -- and when it is pursued properly and consistently, countless benefits, spiritual and otherwise, soon follow.


A handful of van Zeller's helpful teachings:


  • The single most powerful “vitalizing factor” in the spiritual life
  • Explained: “The saints are those in whom there is least obstacle to the life of Christ within the soul”
  • 5 things that foster the gift of spiritual “discernment”
  • 3 common excuses for neglecting the duty of corporal penance: do any of them sound familiar?
  • False ideas about God's will that impede our progress toward sanctity. How to recognize and correct them
  • The bad habit to which almost every excess in the spiritual life can be traced
  • 2 ways of looking at the world: one leads to perpetual frustration, the other to happiness
  • What it means to "discover God present in the soul” (an important step in spiritual progress)
  • Spiritual “over-eagerness”: what it is, how it can hamper the action of grace
  • 3 ways God “exactly fits” our spiritual sufferings to the specific needs and capacities of our souls. How each represents the purification of an interior faculty
  • Ascetism: a necessity of the spiritual life -- but how much?
  • Traps to be avoided in the ascetical life
  • The true function of asceticism, linking it as closely to prayer as to penance
  • The state of darkness through which every soul must pass to be brought to its closest possible relationship with God
  • “Self-realization”: an important spiritual concept whose true meaning has been buried under modern psychobabble
  • How the "responsive" soul takes its "shape" from God
  • The spiritual reason men become second-rate in their vocations
  • How to cultivate a "bi-focal" vision of reality, by which the temporal is understood in relation to the eternal
  • How the charity of the saint differs from the "synthetic" charity most of us practice
  • How do we know whether our hopes and dreams are ideals, and not escapes from reality?
  • Why sin is the enemy of earthly (not just heavenly) happiness
  • False (and all-too-common) understanding of love that debases. The right one that elevates
  • Importance difference explained: the virtue of religion vs. the love of God
  • How the effects of the Holy Eucharist are conditioned by the will and habits of the recipient
  • How sanctity expresses itself in penance. How devout souls can lose touch with the essence of penance
  • What we must understand about Mary, as a precondition for developing a relationship between her soul and our own
  • 2 conditions of true giving, the basis of true joy
  • All-too-common misperception of the Holy Ghost
  • Crucial concept, developed over 3 chapters: “Whatever advance is made by the soul is made in charity through the Holy Ghost”

Praise from the experts:

"A top ranking spiritual writer at his best."-- Ave Maria (1957)

"Refreshing ... brisk and altogether readable ... Reading The Inner Search, one feels that the Hound of Heaven pursuing man down the nights and down the years finds a sympathetic response in man's endeavor to seek out, by inner searching, the God who gave him life. ... The book should find a welcome place on the shelves of anyone striving for interior development. The novice need not be frightened at the prospect of a foreign method of prayer or a new approach to the kingdom of heaven. The seasoned Christian will find much to carry his thinking along lines that must needs lead Godward. Surely, this is a book for all who enjoy the inner search, the life of genuine prayer." -- The American Benedictine Review

"Dom Hubert, with gifted insight, as one experienced in the search, and as one possessed of the art of guiding others, explains in delightful metaphor and apt simile how the search is to be made. Encouragement follows enlightenment when he describes the way of darkness that leads to light, of grief that ends in joy, as the soul goes on its way, pursuing the search even to the threshold of contemplation. All who seek to serve the Lord constantly, the laity as well as religious, will be richly rewarded." -- Books on Trial, 1957

"Will prove rewarding to all concerned with the interior life, whether clerical or lay." -- Worship

"A successful attempt to revitalize basic truths ... Van Zeller's insight and imagination give new meaning to many traditional topics of the spiritual life. Through twenty-six chapters he emphasizes the twofold nature of this inner search, namely, God's search for the soul, and the soul, in turn, seeking for God in the manifold circumstances of life. ... the freshness of Van Zeller's viewpoint makes this book valuable reading for all Catholics." -- Theological Studies



Product Details

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8 1/2"  (21.5 cm) x 5 1/2"  (13.9 cm) x 0 3/4"  (1.90 cm)
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