A Guide to the Spiritual Life

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 answering the Lord’s call, he became a brother in the community. He then spent several years in Jerusalem and Nazareth immersing himself in the study of Hebrew and the Jewish roots of Christianity. After being asked to be a priest by the community In 1981, he traveled to Rome to study theology and canon law and also 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 spiritual direction, the formation of new members in the Community, and participation in its General Counsel. He began preaching retreats regularly in France and abroad and has consolidated his principal retreat themes into twelve books on spirituality. These books have sold over a million copies 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. In English these are all published by Scepter. In recent years, he has devoted himself primarily to preaching retreats, giving missions and talks, and working for the development of the Community.


“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
- 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


©2020 Fr. Jacques Philippe.