MANUAL FOR INTERIOR . SOULS, by Jean Nicholas Grou, U.,. newly edited and introduced by Donal O'Sullivan, S.J. (Burns Oates, 15s.).
"LIR. GROL1 in his " Manual for
Interior Souls," which was originally given as a series of conferences for religious, insists on the importance of a Director.
In the France of the 18th century there is no doubt that devout persons were able to obtain such help, but in these days there are many difficulties and people who cannot find a Director may well turn to books and in particular to this very manual, where Fr. Grou may himself assume the part of a spiritual guide.
To some he may seem over-stern; he talks of abysses of spiritual suffering hard to comprehend-in fact one feels one would need " leisure " to undergo such depths; they are incompatible with the demands of one's daily occupations -but in all these discourses there is much help and guidance.
St. Therese of Lisieux never mentions Fr. Grou as one of the writers who had influenced her, yet there are numerous passages, both in her letters and in her exposition of her " Little Way," which seem direct quotations of his leaching.
To Fr. Grou there are two realities-the Reality of God and the Nothingness of the Creature. All he says is a reiteration of these two facts. The human ego must die before God can be obtained.
" He who has well embraced these two ideas can understand the spiritual life, in all its extent. for the sole end of the spiritual life is to give to God and the creature their just due; all to God, all without reserve : nothing to the creature, absolutely nothing." T. F.