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Transformation in Christ: On the Christian Attitude

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Recognized as a modern spiritual classic and perhaps Dietrich von Hildebrand's greatest work, this sublime and practical study gives a penetrating analysis of the true path to holiness for those who love Christ. The first requisite is the person's desire for change, and with that fundamental attitude in mind, von Hildebrand devotes a chapter to each of the successive spiri Recognized as a modern spiritual classic and perhaps Dietrich von Hildebrand's greatest work, this sublime and practical study gives a penetrating analysis of the true path to holiness for those who love Christ. The first requisite is the person's desire for change, and with that fundamental attitude in mind, von Hildebrand devotes a chapter to each of the successive spiritual attitudes necessary for those who strive for Christian perfection. The Beatitudes are treated with beauty and depth in an uncompromising challenge to every serious Christian to put into practice these teachings of Christ.


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Recognized as a modern spiritual classic and perhaps Dietrich von Hildebrand's greatest work, this sublime and practical study gives a penetrating analysis of the true path to holiness for those who love Christ. The first requisite is the person's desire for change, and with that fundamental attitude in mind, von Hildebrand devotes a chapter to each of the successive spiri Recognized as a modern spiritual classic and perhaps Dietrich von Hildebrand's greatest work, this sublime and practical study gives a penetrating analysis of the true path to holiness for those who love Christ. The first requisite is the person's desire for change, and with that fundamental attitude in mind, von Hildebrand devotes a chapter to each of the successive spiritual attitudes necessary for those who strive for Christian perfection. The Beatitudes are treated with beauty and depth in an uncompromising challenge to every serious Christian to put into practice these teachings of Christ.

30 review for Transformation in Christ: On the Christian Attitude

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Miller

    This is my second time through and it really blows me away. This time around I would read about ten pages a day for spiritual reading instead of plowing through. This is what Alice von Hildebrand recommended in the preface and it was good advice. It was much like having personal spiritual direction or going on a bunch of short retweets. I love how he calls various things "unfreedoms" and the attitudes we develop and how to overcome them. It is so easy to see your own mistakes as he details them. T This is my second time through and it really blows me away. This time around I would read about ten pages a day for spiritual reading instead of plowing through. This is what Alice von Hildebrand recommended in the preface and it was good advice. It was much like having personal spiritual direction or going on a bunch of short retweets. I love how he calls various things "unfreedoms" and the attitudes we develop and how to overcome them. It is so easy to see your own mistakes as he details them. This is not an easy read, but it is so worth paying attention and learning from it. So easy to be caught up in his heroic biography, but he also a master of the spiritual life. Surprising considering his upbringing and that he was a convert. He writes like somebody who inhaled the faith from the start. Looking at my records I last read this in 2000. That is way too long between reads.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Richard Grebenc

    Wow! Arguably the best book I've read all year. Lengthy and sometimes dense, it is for the advanced reader (and even then have a dictionary ready). But von Hildebrand is a clear and systematic thinker, constantly providing lists and sub-lists in his line of thought. The 1962 Image edition I read would have been well-served to provide chapter sub-headings to more clearly delineate distinct sections and sub-sections (since this has been in print since it came out in 1948 you may find an edition th Wow! Arguably the best book I've read all year. Lengthy and sometimes dense, it is for the advanced reader (and even then have a dictionary ready). But von Hildebrand is a clear and systematic thinker, constantly providing lists and sub-lists in his line of thought. The 1962 Image edition I read would have been well-served to provide chapter sub-headings to more clearly delineate distinct sections and sub-sections (since this has been in print since it came out in 1948 you may find an edition that does this -- if so, get it). He brings forth aspects of simplicity, humility, freedom, patience, meekness, sorrow, sobriety, and so much more, that most persons would never consider or distinguish. He even delves into less than proper motivations accompanying ostensibly good behavior and approaches that make one re-evaluate his own life. When the going gets tough in your reading, the reader must get tough in turn and plow through -- it is well worth the effort. The dense clouds will part when you least expect it and the eminently quotable author will have you using your highlighter or making notes in the margins. In any case, he certainly will have you pondering (and hopefully praying). A small quibble is that the author could have made more use of practical examples to clarify or bring home his teaching. When he does so, it makes a great difference. I hope to read it again some day and that time actually outline the book. I undoubtedly missed much along the journey. One could develop an entire university course out of the brilliant and wide-ranging discussion found in this tome. It is a volume to keep in your library close at hand. A masterpiece. The book is "Transformation in Christ." The thoughtful and prayerful reader will not help but grow in his relationship with Christ by reading and implementing in his own life this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    John

    Excellent book. It really gets to the meat of living the Christian life and total abandonment to Christ. There are too many good points contained to do them any justice in a review here, so one needs to read it. The nutshell is this: we have to remove the natural comfort zones we create to protect ourselves and be bold for Christ, allowing Him to penetrate our hearts and transform us, not on our terms, but on His. Von Hildebrand makes this point over and over as he goes through different habits Excellent book. It really gets to the meat of living the Christian life and total abandonment to Christ. There are too many good points contained to do them any justice in a review here, so one needs to read it. The nutshell is this: we have to remove the natural comfort zones we create to protect ourselves and be bold for Christ, allowing Him to penetrate our hearts and transform us, not on our terms, but on His. Von Hildebrand makes this point over and over as he goes through different habits and virtues (and the vices opposed to them) to acquire and perfect. Of particular note is his fair and true assessment of both the excess and defect aspects of a given virtue or vice as he covers nearly every common, modern behavior of man which hinders his growth in Christ. This is not a quick read; it is best digested in slow and steady segments. Each chapter is neatly subdivided into little sub-headings with one or a few paragraphs to explain a particular point making it easier to pace oneself through the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anne-Marie

    In order to be truly transformed in Christ you need to want to change, you need contrition, self knowledge, true consciousness, simplicity, recollection, humility, confidence in God, patience, meekness, mercy, sorrow, sobriety and self surrender. This is the fruit of 18 lectures given by Deitrich von Hildebrand between August 1936 and 1937 and while his words were all the more powerful for being said in the context of the rise of Nazism, they are as relevant today as then. It is a mind blowing b In order to be truly transformed in Christ you need to want to change, you need contrition, self knowledge, true consciousness, simplicity, recollection, humility, confidence in God, patience, meekness, mercy, sorrow, sobriety and self surrender. This is the fruit of 18 lectures given by Deitrich von Hildebrand between August 1936 and 1937 and while his words were all the more powerful for being said in the context of the rise of Nazism, they are as relevant today as then. It is a mind blowing book and while there were several times when I had no idea what he was talking about - the man's a genius - what I did understand was incredible. Not only is the man a genius, he's clearly a saint. This is one of the best books I have read in my life and I will probably spend the rest of my life going back and learning from it. Just amazing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Father Nick

    This is one of the most outstanding intellectual anthologies of the coherence and distinctiveness of the Christian life that I have yet come across. Von Hildebrand is writing from a perspective of attentiveness to the essence of Christianity as it is presented in the excellence that virtue and holiness imply. His method in considering each dimension of Christian existence is to proceed first negatively by distinguishing true excellence from its imitations or popular misinterpretations. This is e This is one of the most outstanding intellectual anthologies of the coherence and distinctiveness of the Christian life that I have yet come across. Von Hildebrand is writing from a perspective of attentiveness to the essence of Christianity as it is presented in the excellence that virtue and holiness imply. His method in considering each dimension of Christian existence is to proceed first negatively by distinguishing true excellence from its imitations or popular misinterpretations. This is extremely helpful, insofar as the mind usually proceeds in the same way as the eye: it perceives through contrast, light and shadow. Highly recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Crofut

    The introduction compares this book to Imitation of Christ. To say that is a bold claim is an understatement, but incredibly, that claim may not have been bold enough. It's better. Kempis warns us of the pitfalls that ravage this world, but von Hildebrand balances his sharp incites into human frailty with the constant refrain of a Love that wishes to raise us to be something more than we are. The Christian virtues are all linked to each other; to possess one is to possess them all, and to be def The introduction compares this book to Imitation of Christ. To say that is a bold claim is an understatement, but incredibly, that claim may not have been bold enough. It's better. Kempis warns us of the pitfalls that ravage this world, but von Hildebrand balances his sharp incites into human frailty with the constant refrain of a Love that wishes to raise us to be something more than we are. The Christian virtues are all linked to each other; to possess one is to possess them all, and to be deficient in one is to be deficient in all. To know that God is real is to desire a serious change in who we are, fallen creatures in need of some serious help; this implies a simplicity in purpose and a sense of humility; one must trust God even (and especially) when we fail in our purpose and express true contrition; being those sad creatures we are, we must constantly refer back to God in prayer and recollection, constantly seeking to free ourselves of the automatism of our weak nature. That idea of automatism really struck me as important given the world of Twitter we exist in. Values exist objectively and exist in a hierarchy with each other; we are called upon to both recognize and respond to these values. von Hildebrand describes the true nature of terms we take for granted, like justice and humility and freedom, going into detail examining common errors regarding these important ideas and why those errors both flourish and harm us. This is one of the best books on human nature I have ever read and I seriously cannot think of a better philosopher who lived during the 20th Century. There is so much sugary "Christian" garbage out there, but here one finds a hearty meal for the mind. It also makes a wonderful devotional work. I read maybe 10 pages a day and did my best to actually live it. What a beautiful way to see the world. What a beautiful way to live. This is the Catholic faith that I love. A million horrible things are out there about this faith, some true, some false, some more true than we even know, but none of them undo the true teachings that this book illuminates, and those truths are worth living for and worth living by. My review simply doesn't do it justice. I'll reread this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nelson

    Dieses Buch ist eine der besten Bücher, die ich überhaupt gelesen habe. In diesen Zeiten, in denen das Christentum auf eine Ethik oder sogar auf einen politischen Moralismus reduziert wird, zeigt dieses Werk Von Hildebrands die tiefste Substanz des christlichen Lebens, in seiner ganzen Komplexität, aber auch in seiner intimsten Einheit. Es ist auch literarisch ein sehr schönes Buch. Ich würde sagen, es handelt sich um einen echten Klassiker der katholischen Spiritualität, genauso wie die Werke v Dieses Buch ist eine der besten Bücher, die ich überhaupt gelesen habe. In diesen Zeiten, in denen das Christentum auf eine Ethik oder sogar auf einen politischen Moralismus reduziert wird, zeigt dieses Werk Von Hildebrands die tiefste Substanz des christlichen Lebens, in seiner ganzen Komplexität, aber auch in seiner intimsten Einheit. Es ist auch literarisch ein sehr schönes Buch. Ich würde sagen, es handelt sich um einen echten Klassiker der katholischen Spiritualität, genauso wie die Werke von Johannes von Kreuz oder Teresa von Avila. Unglaublich, dass dieses Werk in Vergessenheit geraten ist. Este libro es uno de los mejores libros que he leído. En estos tiempos en los que el cristianismo ha sido reducido a una ética o incluso a un moralismo político, esta obra de Von Hildebrand muestra la substancia más profunda de la vida cristiana, en toda su complejidad, pero también en su más íntima unidad. Es también un libro literariamente muy bello. Diría que se trata de un verdadero clásico de la espiritualidad católica, como lo son las obras de San Juan de la Cruz o Santa Teresa de Ávila. Increíble que esta obra haya caído en el olvido.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joyce Donahue

    Wondering what it really means to be a disciple? This is it. Although this book was written long before the 21st Century emphasis on becoming disciples rather than mere members of the Church, read in that context, it provides a detailed description of the inner change that is necessary and possible when one truly encounters Christ. This, in its truest sense is the life of a modern mystic. Highly recommend for anyone serious about their spiritual life.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Life-changing wisdom in plain terms. The book gives a sort of step-by-step insight into what exactly it looks like to grow in holiness.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marc Giaquinto

    If you're reading new titles, you've got to read some older ones for familiarity, … this is a good one to know. If you're reading new titles, you've got to read some older ones for familiarity, … this is a good one to know.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Terry Burgess

    Difficult to read at times, but do recommend. Need to have some theology background

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kees Voorhoeve

    See Dietrich von Hildebrand: http://www.hildebrandlegacy.org/ See Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=7R3L... See Dietrich von Hildebrand: http://www.hildebrandlegacy.org/ See Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=7R3L...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Erik

    Recommended by James Schall in Another Sort of Learning, Chapter 16, as one of Eleven Books on Prayer, Belief, and Reflection. Included in the "Spiritual Reading" section of Fr. John McCloskey's 100-book Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan. Recommended by James Schall in Another Sort of Learning, Chapter 16, as one of Eleven Books on Prayer, Belief, and Reflection. Included in the "Spiritual Reading" section of Fr. John McCloskey's 100-book Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Hildebrand works to unveil the inter heart of the reader and to move you to a greater submission to the work of Christ in your inter self. You may feel like Hildebrand is writing to you and he knows you personally. I believe this book will be a classic for centuries ahead.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Rare it is for me to find a book of spirituality and prayer that truly speaks to me, that isn't pious twaddle or unicorns farting rainbows and sunshine. Hildebrand's treatise is grounded and realistic, yet joyful and brimming with the love of God. I shall be returning to this book often. Rare it is for me to find a book of spirituality and prayer that truly speaks to me, that isn't pious twaddle or unicorns farting rainbows and sunshine. Hildebrand's treatise is grounded and realistic, yet joyful and brimming with the love of God. I shall be returning to this book often.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Guillermo García-pimentel ruiz

    Si no lo has leído tres veces, te estás perdiendo mucho.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carollozano

    Very challenging but well worth the effort

  18. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    This took a long time to get through, but the wisdom of Dietrich Von Hildebrand should be sipped like a fine wine.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Bouchard

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Ferguson

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carlo

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mark Rist

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anca Lamse

  24. 5 out of 5

    Steven Green

  25. 4 out of 5

    Craig

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hayden

  27. 5 out of 5

    REGINA M. BURKE

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sr Maria

  29. 4 out of 5

    Walt

  30. 4 out of 5

    John

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