As we saw in the previous post, in order to reach Holiness one needs “spiritual formation”. Spiritual formation encompasses three areas:
1- Learning doctrine/science (Courses, Workshops),
2- Putting into practice the teaching, i.e. having the experience of it, and
3- Receiving discernment from an experienced person (one to one tuition + spiritual direction).
These three areas are distinct but interconnected; therefore they should be combined.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
The one that “may be overpowered” is spiritual “experience” standing on its own (without discernment and doctrine).
The “two can defend themselves” are “experience” and “discernment”.
The three strands are: “experience”, “discernment” and full “doctrine”.
Note: Why “full doctrine”? Because half science, or being half knowledgeable damages more than it can help. St Teresa of Avila repeatedly warns about this and says that the help she received from priests/monks who were half learned harmed her substantially.
The School of Mary offers everybody “teaching” and “discernment”: Courses, Workshops, One to One Tuition, Spiritual Direction (although spiritual direction doesn’t have to be sought exclusively at the School). Putting into practice the teaching is something personal. When the time is right, in reply to God’s Call, it is up to the person to decide to put into practice the teaching, in his/her own life/schedule.
The teaching is divided into three main levels, following three sections of the full spiritual journey:
First Education (Undergraduate Equivalent)
1- Level One Foundation Course: implementing the foundations of a strong and healthy spiritual life, starting to dedicate time for prayer, on a regular daily basis, supporting that first serious step in spiritual life.
1′- Intermediate1 Courses: with more teaching, supporting a sustainable rhythm of growth, in the first stages. Equivalent to the 4th and 5th Mansions of St Teresa of Avila. Reaching a more stable state: “Union of Will”. Completing the First Level Course with other courses.
2- Level Two Foundation Course: providing the teaching on the most decisive moment in spiritual life: the deep radical purification.
2′- Intermediate2 Courses: with more teaching supporting that stage. Completing the Second Level Course with other courses.
Further Education (Graduate Equivalent)
3- Formation in order to start teaching elements of the First Level Course.
4′- Level Three Foundation Course.
4”- Further Courses on the Third Level.
Third Cycle Education (Post Graduate Equivalent)
6- Development in Spiritual Theology teaching