Inspiration from Dechánet

Point Park Fountain, Pittsburgh
Point Park Fountain, Pittsburgh

Benedictine monk Jean-Marie Dechánet on the integration of the mind, body, and spirit:

Nowadays, to be sure, we are more “comprehensive.” In particular, we pay more attention to the body. It may even be that we go too far. On the other hand, are there not too many intellectuals about who, without knowing it, have put a muzzle on their hearts, and whose “spiritual life” misses those deep intuitions that are of the world of the spirit?

All these people–the “brains,” the spiritualists, as well as those who are embarrassed or engrossed by the body–may be taught Yoga (I saw “may,” because they have to give themselves to it) that they cannot become truly themselves unless they accept their nature as men and aim at establishing balance between the parts of man in is; this nature of ours which is at one and the same time an animal body (corpus-anima), thinking soul (animus-mens) and spirit (spiritus-cor). It is a harmony among these “three” that is sought in each of us by the grace of redemption. Christ came in the first placeso that this “creature of God” within us, concealed under a human complex, bruised and torn by original sin, should flower and open out in its full beauty and wealth of talent. Any ascetic discipline that works towards this works, in fact, hand in hand with grace, and that is why I have roundly stated that a Yoga that calms the senses, pacifies the soul, and frees certain intuitive or affective powers in us can be of inestimable service to the West. It can make people into true Christians, dynamic and open, by helping them to be men. 

From the Preface to Christian Yoga (14-15)

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