With over one million copies sold in 24 languages, Jacques Philippe’s writings on themes such as prayer, interior freedom, and peace of heart have become classics of modern Catholic spirituality.
Jacques Philippe was born on March 12, 1947 in Lorraine, France. After studying mathematics in college, he spent several years teaching and doing scientific research. In 1976, he met the then recently-founded Community of the Beatitudes and answered the Lord’s call to follow Him through this vocation (see below for more information on the Community of the Beatitudes). He then spent several years in Nazareth and Jerusalem immersing himself in the study of Hebrew and the Jewish roots of Christianity. In 1981, he traveled to Rome to study theology and canon law, was ordained a priest in 1985, and began his work as a spiritual director, working in the formation of priests and seminarians of the Community. In 1994, he returned to France, where he assumed various responsibilities including the development of training in the Community, and participation in its General Council. He has also preached retreats regularly in France and abroad and has consolidated his principal retreat themes into several books on spirituality. In recent years, he has devoted himself primarily to spiritual direction and preaching retreats.
The Community of the Beatitudes is an Ecclesial Family of Consecrated life founded in France in 1973. The Community of the Beatitudes gathers faithful from all states of life (married or unmarried lay people, seminarians, priests, permanent deacons, men and women consecrated in celibacy) who wish to conform as closely as possible to the model of the early Christian community through the common life, the sharing of goods, voluntary poverty and an intense sacramental and liturgical life. The members of the Community (which has a contemplative vocation based on Carmelite spirituality), are actively engaged in the service of the poor and the proclamation of the Gospel.
“Many have already benefited from Fr. Jacques Philippe’s writings on the spiritual life - and with good reason. His books offer clear, yet profound, reflections on important themes like: how to pray better, how to experience true freedom, how to handle suffering, and how to discern God’s will. I highly recommend these books to anyone seeking sound spiritual guidance along the path of prayer.”
- Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR
"Fr. Jacques Philippe has become one of the foremost Catholic authors of our time. His works are noted for their simplicity, depth, and clarity. Again and again, in different ways, he insists on the priority of the interior life as the indispensible ingredient for true peace and happiness. As the author of the “Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan”, I rarely add new books to the list. But Interior Freedom is one of them. It has already attained the status of a religious classic."
- Fr. C. J. McCloskey III
Co-author of Good News, Bad News: Evangelization, Conversion, and The Crisis of Faith
"The finest masters make their art seem easy. As prayer is the highest art, Jacques Philippe is a very fine master indeed. Without being simplistic, he applies to prayer the maxim that the greatest art is to have no art. Prayer is very simple for the same reason that pride makes it so hard: we can talk with God if we seek first his Kingdom.
So long as we are distracted by the petty kingdoms of this world's "vain store," we will trip and stumble along the road to God. In many insightful ways, Father Philippe shows that the interference in our conversation with our Creator is from us and not from him. The apostles, who had prayed daily, asked Jesus to teach them to pray because they saw in him a clarity of communion which they had never before encountered. Jesus taught them the language of Heaven with a graciousness free of any condescension, even though it was brought to them from on high. As a good servant of Christ, Father Philippe does the same, and I am glad to say that the translation is so artlessly lyrical that one imagines how fine it first was in the author's French."
— Fr. George William Rutler
If prayer is an absolutely universal human vocation, then Pere Philippe is a splendid guide to those of us who, desiring to deepen the conversation already begun, long for nothing less than total and unending intimacy with the living God.
- Dr. Regis Martin, Professor of Theology,
Franciscan University of Steubenville and Author of The Suffering of Love