Thomas Dubay S.M. (1923-2010)
In the early 1990's a most
remarkable priest, Father Luke Zimmer,
visited my Church and gave an
inspiring talk about Father Dubay's book Fire Within.
If you want to
increase your spirituality and raise it to a higher level, then this is the book
It is adapted from the writings of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John
of the Cross.
It is a little difficult to read for some lay persons because
of a few unfamiliar words.
I have written this little dictionary
specifically for use with Fire Within.
Friends of mine who have used
this short dictionary have said it enhances their understanding
Father Dubay has written in this, his literary masterpiece.
It is also
useful for other religious texts.
Dictionary for Fire Within.
ACUMEN: Quickness, accuracy, or keenness of judgement or insight.
ADVERTENCE: To call attention to, refer.
unselfish concern for the welfare of others.
ANATHEMA: A formal
ecclesiastical ban, curse, or excommunication.
ANTECEDENT: One that precedes
another. A preceding event.
APOSTASY: A rejection of Christian faith.
APOSTOLATE: The office, duties or mission of an apostle.
at once opportune and to the point, relevant.
ASCETIC: One who recognizes
material comforts and leads an austere life.
ASSIDUOUS: Constant in
application or attention, diligent, persistent.
AXIOMATIC: Relating to an
axiom, a universally recognized truth.
BEATIFIC VISION: The souls of the just see the divine essence by an intuitive
vision, and face to face.
The divine essence is known immediately
showing itself plainly, clearly, openly, not through any creature.
COGNITION: Mentally knowing, awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.
CONCUPICENCES: Strong desires, expecially sexual desires. Lust.
CONNATURAL: Related or similar in nature, innate, inborn.
Being in agreement with or accord.
CONTEMN: To view with contempt. Despise.
CONTEMPLATION: Thoughtful observation or study, meditation on spiritual
An intimate sharing between friends, a being alone with
CORPOREAL: Of, relating to, or characteristic of the body. Bodily.
DARK KNOWLEDGE: Idealess knowing, not expressable by image or concept. (p62)
DE IURE: What ought to be, in the normal course of things. (p206)
DICHOTOMY: To divide into two contradictory parts.
timid, lacking in self confidence.
DISCURSIVE: Covering a wide field of
DISCURSIVE MEDITATION: Prayer produced in the human
manner, modo humano.
DISSONANT: Harsh and inharmonious in sound.
ECCLESIASTICAL: Of, or relating to, or appropriate to, or to use in a
ECSTATIC: Being in a state of ecstasy, intense joy or delight.
EFFICACIOUS: Producing or capable of producing a desired effect, effective.
EFFUSION: To pour out, radiate, exude.
ELUCIDATION: To make clear or plain
by explanation. To clarify.
EPHEMERAL: Living or lasting for only a brief
EPISCOPAL: Of, or relating to a bishop, or church governments by
EREMITICAL: Of a hermit type life.
ESOTERIC: Intended for a
ETHICISTS: Specialists in ethics.
substitute a mild or vague term for a harsh or blunt one.
explanation or analysis, especially of a text.
EXISTENTIAL: Of, relating to,
or dealing with existence.
EXTRINSIC: Not an essential part, extraneous.
FACILELY: Done or achieved
with little effort.
FELICITOUS: Admirably suited. Exhibiting an agreeably
FINITUDE: The condition of being finite.
WATERS: Analogy used by St. Teresa for watering the garden of the soul.
There are four stages, the 1st requires hard work and gives
2nd, is less work, but more water. 3rd is far less
work and a lot more water.
4th is no work and unlimited water. (p78)
GENUS: A class, group, or kind, with common attributes.
theory of salvation by knowledge, a heresy.
HAGIOGRAPHICAL: Biography or writing of the Saints.
HEDONISM: The persuit of
HERESY: An opinion at variance with the authorized teaching of the
HOLISTIC: Concerned with wholes, rather than separation into parts.
HYPERBOLE: A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for effect.
ILLUMINISM: A form of Gnosticism, a belief in ones' own divine
with a sense of 'mission' to enlighten
others, and contrary to the teaching of the Church's magisterium.
Beginning to exist or appear.
INEFFABLE: Incapable of being expressed,
indescribable, or unutterable.
INFUSED CONTEMPLATION: A deep love communion
with the Triune GOD.
A loving awareness of GOD, a loving
contemplation, a loving wisdom. (p57)
See the nine traits common
to all infused contemplation. (p70)
INFUSED PRAYER: A deepening self
communication of the Holy Trinity.
originate, intensify, or prolong it, by anything we can do.
divinely given in its entirety, modo divino. (4th mansion, p63,70)
INFUSION: To pour in. That which is poured in by GOD. The touch of burning in
The touch of understanding in the intellect.
INIMICAL: Injurious or harmful, unfriendly, hostile.
INSIPID: Lacking flavor, excitement, stimulation or interest.
INTELLECT: The power within to have ideas, to reason, to think, and to
know. The power to acquire knowledge.
JEJUNE: Not interesting, dull,
lacking in maturity, childish.
JUXTAPOSITION: Place side by side for
LACONICAL: Using few words, terse, concise.
LEVITATION: When the soul leaves
the body (transport), GOD sometimes takes the body with it.
body rises as if weightless. (6th mansion, p102)
LIGATURE: A tying or
bonding. Something that unites.
LOCUTION: A speaking or an utterance. Can be
received in three manners, external (heard with the ears),
imaginary (within a persons inward sense facilities), and intellectual
(deepest center of the person,
with no sound or voice heard).
MANSIONS: The seven rooms of spiritual growth, as taught by St.
Teresa of Avila (The Interior Castle).
Imagine seven concentric
rooms. The Beatific Vision is beyond the seventh at the center,
and is the ultimate and final destination. Starting with
the first mansion (outermost room),
the soul advances to higher
rooms as it satisfies the requirements of each one. (p73-110)
MEDITATION: To reflect on, to contemplate. A devotional exercise of or leading
MELANCHOLIA: A mental disorder, severe depression,
MILIEU: An environment or setting.
MODICUM: A small,
moderate, or token amount.
MYOPIA: Lack of discernment, or long range
perspective in thinking.
MYSTICAL: Of, or having a spiritual reality or
import not apparent to the intelligence or senses.
direct communion with GOD.
MYSTICAL TOUCH: A deep, intimate
contact-union-experience of GOD in one of His attributes
power, light, goodness, beauty, or joy. (p45)
NADA DOCTRINE: The drastic detachment taught by St. John of the Cross and St.
Teresa of Avila. (p5)
NEOPHYTE: A recent convert or novice, a new
NIHILISTS: Various theories or systems of thought: nothing really
exists except thought,
nothing really matters, nothing in life is
really worth struggling for, or living for. Skeptics.
NUANCE: Subtle degree
of difference, as in meaning, feeling, or tone.
OBTUSE: Lacking quickness of
perception or intellect.
OTIOSE: Of no use, lazy, indolent.
Identifying the Deity with the created universe with no distinction between
them, or a belief that all things are divine.
PAROCHIAL: Of, relating to, supported by, or located in a parish. Narrowly
restricted in scope or outlook, provincial.
PASCHAL: Of Easter or
PATENT: Obvious, plain, open.
PATRISTIC: Of, or relating to
the fathers of the early Christian Church.
PAULINE: Of, or regarding, St.
PEJORATIVE: Tending to make or become worse.
PERDITION: The loss
of the soul, eternal damnation.
PERDURE: To endure.
to cause death or serious injury, deadly.
PERSPICACITY: Acuteness of perception or discernment.
or breeding infectious disease. Morally evil or deadly.
PETRINE: Of, or
relating to, St Peter.
PHILOLOGY: Literary study, or classical scholarship,
love of learning.
POLEMIC: A controversial argument, especially attacking a
PROCLIVITY: A natural inclination or tendency.
OF QUIET: A state of prayer which is quiet, deep, and peaceful happiness in the
and one does not understand what it is. It comes after
recollection. (4th mansion) (p88)
PRIMEVAL: Original or ancient.
PROFICIENTS: Having an advanced degree of confidence. An expert.
Tediously prolonged, wordy, speaking or writing excessively.
innate inclination, a tendency.
PROPITIOUS: Presenting favorable
circumstances. Kindly, gracious.
PROSAIC: Matter of fact, straight forward,
lacking in imagination, dull.
PSALMIST: A writer or composer of psalms
(sacred song or hymn).
PUERILITIES: Belonging to childhood, juvenile,
PURGATION: The act of purging or purifying.
QUIETISM: A heresy, where there was to be no human activity in prayer. (p89)
RAISON D'ETRE: The reason or justification for existing.
RAPTURE: A state of
ecstasy, loss of external senses, a feeling of weightlessness,
soul is disoriented, loss of sense of time passing, an experience of deep
union with GOD.
RECOLLECTION: An infused and gentle awareness given by GOD
and not produced by human effort.
One is gathered together in GOD
and desires solitude to be with Him.
The senses and external
things slowly lose their hold upon the person. (4th mansion) (p87)
RECONDITE: Not easily understood.
REDOUND: To have an effect or
consequence, to return, recoil.
RESPLENDENT: Dazzling in appearance,
REVIVIFIED: To impart new life, energy, or spirit to.
SACERDOTAL: Relating to priests or the priesthood.
SANJUANIST: Of, or
regarding, St. John of the Cross.
SCHISM: A separation in the unity of the
SERVILE: Slavish, sub servient.
SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR: A
priest who gives spiritual guidance to individuals,
interprets spiritual happenings and advises a course of action.
JOHN: Of the Cross, B:1542, D:Dec 13, 1591, a doctor of the Church because
of his ability to guide people to a more perfect
He was a Carmelite, and wrote many books, and
worked with St. Teresa.
ST. TERESA: Of Avila, a Carmelite, and doctor
of the Church. B:Mar 28, 1515, D:Oct 4, 1582.
With St. John of
the Cross, she reformed the Discalced Carmelites and founded 32
She wrote many books, the most famous of which is
'The Interior Castle'.
Her books inspired and guided many people
in their spiritual lives.
STOIC: Seemingly indifferent to joy, grief, pleasure, or pain.
Majestic, of high spiritual, moral, or intellectual worth.
Not to be
excelled, supreme. Inspiring awe, impressive. Raised aloft.
A deceptive stratagem (maneuver designed to deceive), or device.
Clear precise expression in few words, concise, terse.
SUNDERANCE: To break
SUNDRY: Various, miscellaneous.
SUPERFLUITY: The quality of
being beyond what is required or sufficient.
SUPERNAL: Celestial or
TAUTOLOGY: Needless repetition, same subject with different words, redundant.
TEMERARIOUS: Recklessly daring.
TERESIAN: Of, or regarding, St Teresa of
THEIST: A believer in GOD.
TIMOROUS: Full of apprehension, timid.
TRANSCENDENT: Surpassing others, supreme, independent of the material world.
TRANSPORT: When the soul leaves the body, but the body is not dead. Out of
The Flight of the Spirit. (p100)
UBIQUITOUS: Seemingly everywhere at the same time, omnipresent.
act of anointing.
UNGUENT: A salve for soothing or healing, an ointment.
UNTRAMMELED: Unrestrained, not limited.
VACUOUS: Devoid of matter,
VEHEMENCE: Fervent, intense, full of energy, strong.
conscious choice at its lowest level. A wish or inclination.
WILL: The mental faculty by which one deliberately
chooses or decides upon a course of action.
WOUNDS OF LOVE: A wounding of
the soul. "It will feel like a seraphim is assailing it by
of an arrow or dart which is all afire with love." (St.
Teresa of Avila)
These touches of fiery love spark and enflame
longings for the Beatific Vision itself. (p46)
Page numbers are from: Fire Within, by Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M.
written by Bob Stanley, 1997
Updated October 1, 2010
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