by Francisco Insa
St. Augustine's Press, 2023
eISBN: 978-1-58731-249-6 | Paper: 978-1-58731-248-9 | Cloth: 978-1-58731-247-2

The need and desire for the integral development of the person in his or her somatic, psychological and spiritual dimensions is growing faster than it can be answered. Ancient and classical wisdom gives us much to ponder and apply, but there is still much more to be given human life in the joy and integrity offered by Christianity. When one speaks of the meaningfulness and fruitfulness of life, there is an apostolic quality that makes of the beauty of a single individual a cause of fruitfulness in others as well. Yet many who are entrusted with the formation and care of souls have little at their disposal to foster or explain this.

The present book aims to respond to this need by addressing the consonance and individuality in human nature, and the ways in which ordering in personality and psychology are
not inhibiting, but potentially liberating and influential. Francisco Insa draws from his medical and theological background, which includes both clinical and pastoral experience, to address all those responsible for the formation of others––including parents, teachers, priests, spiritual directors––and enables them to confront their roles as formators with greater insight and confidence. Insa's guidance through the human personality and its various expressions, the education of the character, growth in maturity, the particularity of each stage of the life cycle, sexuality and celibacy, chastity in the context of post-modern life, and mental illnesses is a landmark presentation of scientific rigor matched with practical application. As often as one says, "My situation is unique,"; the author here responds: "Yes, but special even more than you can express"; Insa is forthright about what can never be lost in human beings, but only recovered when the head and heart are aligned and formed properly.

For as much as this book may help the reader understand himself, it will also render him better understood by others. The Christian approach to the formation of affectivity, as Insa shows, is indispensable to deep and enduring human development, and it is often the only way to identify and mediate interior dissonance and confusion.

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