Catholic Book Review: Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer
Take Your Faith to the Next Level
In the great tradition of Saint Francis de Sales, Father Dubay draws his readers into the challenge of deeper conversion and greater holiness. Conquering mortal sin in our lives is only the first step on the road to a truly loving relationship with God. Father Dubay reminds us that a marriage relationship is built on the small daily sacrifices and acts of love, not just on the avoidance of adultery. Father Dubay writes with an easy style - you could easily imagine yourself sitting in on a parish renewal or a retreat as you read this book. Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer is light enough to be a good read, but full enough for slow, careful reflection during prayer as well.
Table of Contents - Chapters from Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer
Father DuBay leads his reader through the goals of conversion and deep prayer, the obstacles that get in our way of reaching these goals, the motivations that will inspire us to overcome these obstacles, and the steps to reaching our goals. The chapters in this book are:
Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer
- Getting a Feel
- The Radical Conversion
- Degrees of Depth
- Call to the Heights
- A Remarkable Resistance
- Relevance and Motivation
- Conversion and Genuine Love
- Conflicts and Conversion
- A Surefire Program
- The Sacramental Dimension
Deep Conversion Deep Prayer - Father DuBay introduces you to the spiritual life and explains the connection between conversion/morality and prayer.
Happy are You Poor - Father DuBay argues that Christians are called to embrace poverty, not just a weakened "spirit of poverty" that covers up a latent materialism.
Three Degrees of Conversion
Father DuBay follows the tradition of spiritual masters such as St. Francis de Sales in teaching a progression toward holiness in which getting rid of mortal sin is only the first step. Many times, people ask if an otherwise good person who commits a mortal sin just before he dies would go to hell (the answer is that it depends on God's judgment, which is based on both justice and mercy). The goal of deep conversion and deep prayer is to be so far away from mortal sin that this never becomes an issue. Father DuBay discusses each of the three degrees of conversion.
- Defeat mortal sin and idolatry
- Avoid venial sin and get rid of all affection for sin
- Love God and neighbor with all of your being
The Remarkable Resistance
Father DuBay forces his reader to face the age-old question posed by St. Paul. Why do we constantly do those things that we don't want to do and fail to do those things we know would be good for us? The basic answer is of course sin. Our body is at war with our soul, and our body and soul both rebel against the leadings of the Holy Spirit toward goodness. However, this resistance is specific for each person and each person must come to recognize the form it takes in his or her own life and learn how to conquer it. Father DuBay's description of the great resistance is incredibly helpful in facing your own mysterious internal conflict.
One way to combat our inner resistance is to know why it is worth overcoming. Father DuBay describes seven motivations for undergoing deep conversion, entering into deep prayer and achieving holiness.
- Holy people have better marriages
- Holiness frees us to love others completely
- Holiness helps us see Truth clearly
- Holiness attracts people to the beauty of the Church (aiding evangelization and ecumenism)
- Deep conversion leads to deep prayer - contemplative love
- Holy people are radically happy
- We build in this life the character we will have for all eternity
Father DuBay describes a program to enter into the second and third levels of conversion. He describes each of the following steps in full. Ge warned that, like all road maps to holiness, DuBay's is not an easy path. There is no easy path to holiness. However, his is a clear path and his explanation of each step is extremely helpful.
- Be concerned
- Be determined
- Be motivated
- Be committed to daily meditative/contemplative prayer
- Be humble
- Be specific
- Be persevering
Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer
I would highly recommend this book as an introduction to serious spiritual development. It would be a perfect introduction to St. Francis deSales' Introduction to the Devout Life.
Father DuBay's writing style is lively, engaging, and straightforward. He is also quite blunt, which is what most of us need in our spiritual lives.
Don't look for easy or painless paths to holiness within these pages. In fact, we recommend reading this book with the goal of finding your weaknesses and making a plan to combat them.
After you read this book to get a general plan for conversion in place, read Introduction to the Devout Life to get a more specific program for meditative prayer. We cannot recommend these two books highly enough!