Christian Self-Mastery. (Book Review).
Basil W. Maturin, Christian Self-Mastery, Sophia Institute Press, PO Box 5284, Manchester, NH, 03108, 2001, 224 pp. $15.95
This book is indispensable to anyone seeking the knowledge that matters most: self-knowledge. Basil Maturin was a clergyman in the Church of England Church of England: see England, Church of. before converting to Catholicism at age 51. He perished along with many others in 1915 when the Germans sank the Lusitania. His body washed ashore without a life jacket. Maisie Ward wrote that it's believed he refused one because there were not enough to go around.
Through the use of scripture and metaphor, Maturin helps the reader discover what true self-knowledge is--it's not the same as self-analysis--how to combat the evil within, control our thoughts, discipline the body, and achieve harmony at the core of our spiritual life. He succeeds superbly in his purpose and will leave you wondering where this book has been all your life.
The spiritual life, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Maturin, begins from one or the other of two points of departure: knowledge of self or knowledge of God. Two apostles epitomize these two methods, St. Paul St. Paul
as a missionary he fearlessly confronts the “perils of waters, of robbers, in the city, in the wilderness.” [N.T.: II Cor. 11:26]
See : Bravery and St. John. From the latter, we learn of the love of God. From St. Paul we gain insight into the mysteries of our human nature. The book focuses on what St. Paul has to teach us.
According to him, our interior life is governed by four laws: the law of our members, the law of sin, the law of the mind and the law of the spirit of life. The law of our members prepares us for the dominion of sin, and the law of the mind prepares us for the law of the spirit of life, which is, in fact, not a law, but a Person who acts according to law.
Another conflict stirring deep within the soul of every one of us is the bitter divorce between knowledge and love. Originally intended to inform each other, so that "our love would be reasonable and our reason glow with love," they now vie for dominance, and the result is insincerity in·sin·cere
Not sincere; hypocritical.
insin·cerely adv. and untruth.
Two other opposites contend within us for hegemony: independence and dependence, or duty to self and our duty to others. These also must be restored to the balance that existed between them before the Fall.
Finally, joy and sorrow, love and hate, and memory and imagination--each of these latter ones demanding autonomy--add to the conflicting currents in the soul.
With all these opposing forces Those forces used in an enemy role during NATO exercises. See also force(s). raging inside us, we need a strategy, if we're to make any progress in the spiritual life. Here, too, Maturin does not disappoint us. Knowledge of the laws that govern our lives is merely the beginning. Without a knowledge of the remedies and how to apply them, our inside knowledge of ourselves remains useless.
The first thing to recognize is that all our faculties are good. There is no "faculty, power or substance" within us that needs to be destroyed. We need not crush our powers, but discover their true use. St. Augustine's intellect was the same power before as well as after his conversion. What changed? His intellect became the servant of truth, not error. The peevish pee·vish
a. Querulous or discontented.
2. Contrary; fractious.
[Middle English pevish, possibly from Latin anger of a vain woman and the righteous indignation Righteous indignation is an emotion one feels when one becomes angry over perceived mistreatment, insult, or malice.
In some Christian doctrines, righteous indignation is considered the only form of anger which is not sinful. of the saint differ only in this: the latter is using an essential element of human nature as God intended, the former is not.
With this simple truth so vividly illustrated, the author goes on to describe the principles of controlling our thoughts and our body, the proper use of mortification MORTIFICATION, Scotch law. This term is nearly synonymous with mortmain. (it's a means to an end, not an end in itself), and how to preserve the golden mean between extremes.
In addition to the author's analysis of St. Paul's
tr.v. ex·pelled, ex·pel·ling, ex·pels
1. To force or drive out: expel an invader.
2. the air from a glass in order to fill it with water. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently , simply let good thoughts displace bad ones.
This book will reward your reading and rereading of it. Its insight into and compassion for the human condition will encourage and inspire you in the acquisition of self-knowledge.