The DQS challenge was:
Traditional Catholic spirituality speaks of three stages of holiness through which a Christian must pass on his way to perfection. Name the three stages of holiness, and give a brief explanation or characteristic of each one.
And the answer is:
First Stage ("spiritual courtship"): The purgative stage. This is also known as the way of the beginner. A soul has left mortal sin behind and is now in a state of grace and on the path to holiness. However, the temptation to slip back into mortal sin is present (at least in the beginning of this stage), and the soul is still preoccupied with "self" over God. The vast majority of Christians live and die in the purgative stage.
Second Stage ("spiritual betrothal"): The illuminative stage. Also known as the way of the proficient. At this stage, fear and anxiety start to recede, and peace and joy take their place. Prayer life changes from active to more passive (i.e., in the purgative stage, we do most of the work of prayer; in the illuminative stage, God starts to do most of the work, and we receive). Many souls glimpse or enter the illuminative stage, but then fall back to the first stage.
Third Stage: ("spiritual marriage"): The unitive stage. This is the way of the perfect. This is what the saints achieved on earth -- unity with Christ and a share in the Heart of the Trinity. What happens to the soul in this final stage is breathtaking, and it is characterized by infused contemplation. The Dark Nights happen at certain points in this stage. (By the way, the Dark Nights are greatly misunderstood, and I hope to write on that soon). Most of us won't get to the unitive stage until Heaven!
I could really go wild with descriptions of the stages and how our prayer, our reception of the sacraments, our Scripture reading, etc., change as we progress through the stages. But stay tuned... I am going to do another post on this soon. I had forgotten how mind-blowing and life-changing this was for me when I first learned it! I need to revisit it in my own life, and I will take you all along for the ride.
Now, on to the coveted BUBBLE AWARDS!!!!
The Saying that TCIE is Awesome Award goes to Mrs. Blondies!! (I always do what TCIE says.)
The What an Impertinent Question Award goes to Beth!! (But I will answer you this way: The extended family had four hotel rooms for five days each, so that's a lot of soap! Unfortunately, I am running low and didn't take nearly as much as I should've.)
The Nice Try, You Almost Got the Grand Prize But You Were Not So Much Brief as Incomplete as You Only Answered Half the Question Award goes to Complicated Life!!
The If You Are Dwelling in Stage Negative One, Get Thee to a Confessional! Award goes to Wheelbarrow Rider!!
Meanwhile, I think it's no secret who has won the Grand Prize this time around.....
THIS CROSS I EMBRACE!!!! She has had a rough year, to say the least, but I think her luck is turning around! Get a load of this:
Enjoy your green shower, TCIE!!!!
And to all those who didn't win an award this time, don't lose heart! There is always next time. :)
Thanks for playing this spirituality edition of DQS!!!