The Biblical Worldview of the Saints
The Biblical Worldview of the Saints: The Key to Spiritual Growth
The Avila Institute provides a great opportunity to be transformed by the biblical worldview of the saints. Ranging from personal enrichment to graduate-level, the Avila Institute has courses for students of all levels and educational background. The deadline to apply for the Spring Quarter of the Graduate Program is February 15th.
At the Avila Foundation, we love the saints. For those who want to grow deeper in their faith, there are no better sources than the saints. They found their nourishment in Sacred Scripture where they encountered God and immersed themselves in His word. The Catechism of the Catholic Church emphasizes the importance of Holy Scripture in cultivating a relationship with our Divine Creator:
“In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, ‘but as what it really is, the word of God.’ ‘In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.’”
–Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 104
When you read the writings of the saints, particularly the Doctors of the Church, you realize how deep their knowledge of Sacred Scripture is. Everything they write comes from a deep understanding of Scripture and its application to the spiritual life. Ralph Martin, in his book The Fulfillment of All Desire, discusses what he calls the biblical worldview of the saints:
“It’s possible to focus on the particular teachings of these Doctors of the Church and not yet notice the powerful vision of reality—the biblical worldview—that forms the framework of their teaching. Yet it’s almost impossible to understand the sense of a particular teaching unless one understands the larger framework, which is nothing less than the fundamental structure of reality—past, present, and future—that is unfolded to us in biblical revelation.”
-Ralph Martin, The Fulfillment of All Desire.
A biblical worldview is essential to growth in the spiritual life. While there are plenty of writers on the spiritual life, the saints are the best people to study because they are deeply rooted in this biblical world-view and their writings have been examined through the lens of the Church. By reading their writings, we can come to understand the big picture of the Gospel as well as the verses that apply to the different circumstances of everyday life. The saints understood that the study of theology must be accompanied by a rich prayer life, where we get to converse with God our Father. A theologian who doesn’t pray has little credibility, because he or she never comes to a place of encounter with the God. In the midst of a world where technology creates a sort of information overload, the saints remain a trusted source of wisdom rooted in prayer and the word of God.
At the Avila Institute, students can learn how to understand Scripture as the saints did in a way that transforms their hearts and sanctifies them. With the help of the Avila Institute, you can learn to put Scripture at the heart of all you think, say, and do. Students testify time and time again that the Avila Institute doesn’t just form them intellectually; it transforms their relationship with Jesus Christ.
This spring, we are getting ready for a new quarter of the Graduate Program in Spiritual Theology at the Avila Institute. We are offering three courses at the Graduate Level:
- Bible and Revelation on Prayer taught by Dr. Joseph Hollcraft (Wednesdays from 9:00-11:00 PM Eastern Time: February 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, April 5, 19, 26). Starting with an overview of the revelation of prayer from Genesis to Revelation as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, this course studies the use of the Bible in the Public Worship of the Church. The Liturgy is the source and summit of the Christian life while the Bible is the soul of theology. Exploring the relationship the Bible and the Liturgy opens up a vision of prayer filled with Patristic insight and the wisdom of the early Church.
- Wisdom of the Saints from St. Athanasius to St. Bernard of Clairvaux taught by Dr. Therese Recinella (Mondays 8:00-10:00 PM Eastern: March 13, 20, 27, April 3, 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15). This course will examine in a specific way the biblical worldview of the saints. The course focuses on four saints of the early Church that contributed greatly to the mystical wisdom of the Church: Athanasius, Augustine, Benedict, and Bernard. During the first thousand years of the life of the Church, these saints developed an awareness of quaerere Deum, lectio divina, conversatio morum, and habitare secum that informed much of the spiritual literature that followed.
- Mystery of Mary and Her Role in the Spiritual Life taught by Dr. Anthony Lilles (Tuesdays 7:30-9:30 PM EST: March 7, 14, 21, 28, April 4, 18, 29, May 2, 9). This course will include a biblical survey of Mary’s role beginning in Genesis and as further revealed in each scriptural revelation of her role. Upon this biblical foundation we will then explore extra-biblical tradition in the thought of Sts. Louis De Montfort, Maximilian Kolbe, and John Paul II.
We hope you consider applying for the Graduate Program in Spiritual Theology at the Avila Institute. We are committed to helping you grow in your relationship with Christ through immersion in the biblical worldview and the mystical tradition of the saints. To read more and figure out which program is for you, visit our website. Be sure to apply by February 15th to join us for the Spring Quarter. Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Photographs of Dr. Joseph Hollcraft and Dr. Anthony Lilles, used with permission.
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