First written in 1675 by Miguel de Molinos, The Spiritual Guide still carries advice and information relevant to the art of interior prayer today. In the seventeenth century it provoked sensational reactions, both of approval and controversy.
This is the present-day reader’s chance to discover a text, whose promotion of an ‘interior way to contemplation and the rich treasure of inner peace’ induced the praise of notable clerics within Europe, and simultaneously the Inquisition’s condemnation. What makes Molinos’ teaching so unusual is his appeal to the ordinary layperson and not simply to those in the cloister.
A very readable work of traditional mystical teaching, the book distinguishes between the ‘exterior’ method of worship taught by the church and the ‘interior’ method Molinos advocates. Molinos writes not only for those at the beginning of their journey towards mystical prayer, but also for those in the higher reaches of contemplation.
Trevor Boiling’s sympathetic and accurate translation includes an incisive introduction, which provides a historical background to the text, whose ideas brought Molinos inner peace, but also to his own death. ‘You must realise that your soul is the centre, dwelling place and kingdom of God. But for that mighty king to rest on this throne of your soul, you must endeavour to keep it unblemished, quiet, empty and calm.’ Extract from First Book, The Spiritual Guide.