††††† During recent years, we have beenwitnessing the development of a contemporary spirituality.Some of the characteristics of this new spirituality includethe following: It is rooted in liturgy and Scripture; it issignificantly personalistic in its stress on the Christianís I Thourelationship with God and others; it is experiencing astrong incarnational trend as the Church calls her membersto a more vital involvement with the temporal andterrestrial aspects of Christís kingdom; and it shows a keeninterest in religious psychology and religious anthropology.††††† Despite its process of renewal and change, however,contemporary spirituality cannot sever itself from theauthentic spiritual tradition that has preceded it.Consequently, we must learn how to unite contemporarytrends with the authentic, essential elements that haveconstantly inserted themselves throughout the history ofChristian spirituality. To unite the contemporary with thetraditional is one of the aims of this book.††††† Another purpose is to present a unified overview of thespiritual life. In offering this, I do not claim it is anexhaustive view by any means. As I draw from some of myprevious works on spirituality and add new material, I dohope, however, that this modest work will be an aid tocommitted Christians as they form their own personalsyntheses of their Christian existence. Such a unified viewis highly desirable and becomes increasingly important asone progresses in the spiritual life.†††† I wish to take this opportunity to thank EdwardBrueggeman, S.J., for his helpful suggestions, and EuniceStaples for her careful typing of the manuscript.
EDWARD CARTER, S.J.Xavier UniversityCincinnati