Peter Damian lived from 1007-1072 in Italy. He was a monk and cardinal in the Church. He worked to reform the errors he saw in the Church including the buying of church offices (simony) and selling Sacraments. Peter Damian was so strict in many of his practices that his health suffered and he was forced to moderate his practices of fasting and prayer. He had such a reputation for holiness that Dante placed him in the highest circle of Paradiso in his Divine Comedy. He lived a life of humility, study, and prayer, and because of the importance of his writings, is considered one of the Doctors of the Church.
Questions for Reflection:
- In your own spiritual life, how have you approached traditional disciplines like fasting? How has the virtue of spiritual discipline played out in your life? Has creating a routine of spiritual practices been helpful to you?
- How do you maintain an attitude of joy in your spiritual practice so that your prayer doesn’t become only an obligation to check off the to do list?