Miguel de Molinos


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Spanish Quietist. Sent to Rome in 1663, he became a much-sought-after confessor and spiritual director. In 1675 he published his ‘Spiritual Guide’ (Guía espiritual), recommending the prayer of acquired or active contemplation. Unlike discursive meditation, this prayer of quietude, he held, needs no help from reason or imagination, but a total submission to the will of God and, once obstacles have been overcome, temptations can be disregarded. This imperfect contemplation is open to all under expert guidance, in contrast to infused or passive (perfect) contemplation which is entirely God's gift. Molinos was arrested by the Holy Office in 1686, tried and condemned; he submitted in 1687 but remained in prison for the rest of his life.

Subjects: Christianity.

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