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  Vol 50 no 4


FOLLOWING YOUR CALL

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Contents

Interreligious Dialogue: The Experience of some Pioneer Jesuits in Asia

Before becoming Superior General of the Jesuits in 2008, Adolfo Nicolás worked for many years in Asia. Here he draws on that experience to argue for the contemporary emergence of a new paradigm for the work of spreading the gospel, that of 'evangelisation-through-dialogue'. He finds seeds of this in the work of the first Jesuits in that continent, seeds which at the time failed to flourish in an unprepared world.

Ignatian Spirituality, Apostolic Creativity and Leadership in Times Of Change

It is often noted that we are living though times in which societies world-wide are undergoing rapid, thoroughgoing, and perhaps unprecedented change. It is natural, in such a situation, for organizations as well as individuals to become cautious and even fearful. Bernadette Miles, director of the Campion Centre of Ignatian Spirituality in Melbourne, Australia, suggests that Ignatian spirituality can help religious organizations maintain their apostolic creativity in challenging times.

Living an Ignatian Vocation

What might it mean to speak of having an 'Ignatian vocation', particularly if you believe yourself to be called at the same time to live as a lay-person, beyond the clear structures of religious life? Margaret Blackie, a South African research chemist, shares her thoughts on this topic, distilled over a decade, in the hope that 'others will dare to think of their lives in similar terms'.

On Confusion and On Prayer: St Francisco Borja

Francisco Borja was the third Superior General of the Jesuits, and is often remembered as the man who reined in some of the freedom which had been Ignatius' legacy to his new kind of religious order. There was much more to him than this, however. Here Juan Miguel Marin presents some of his writing on prayer, in which Borja shows a perhaps unexpected sympathy towards, and ability to empathize with, those who struggle to encounter God in their spiritual lives.

The Contemplation to Attain Love

The Ignatian Exercises culminate in a prayer form often known by the first word of its Latin title, the Contemplatio. Here Ian Tomlinson, former director of the Loyola Hall Spirituality Centre on Merseyside in England, asks whether this is best regarded as simply another method of prayer, to join the many taught in the Exercises; or more fundamentally as an introduction to a new and more radical way of living.

The Development of the Exercises: Recognizing the Spirit

Santiago Arzubialde is the author of a 1000-page, two-volume historical analysis of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, written in Spanish. In this extract, translated by Joseph Munitiz SJ, he presents the background to one of the themes for which Ignatius is best known, that of discernment. He traces the process by which the Rules for Discernment found in the Exercises evolved, casting a new light on Ignatius' thought on this important topic.

Fostering the Process of Discerning Together

We come to the last of the reprinted articles marking five decades of publication of The Way. In this one, dating from 1996, Virginia Varley, who worked in two Ignatian spirituality apostolates in Guelph, Canada, presents a series of strategies designed to facilitate the interpersonal attempt to recognise more fully the work of God's Spirit in the world that is communal discernment.

A Bridge Too Far: Spiritual Exercises 50 and 52

In his presentation of sin in the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius uses material derived from the medieval Christian tradition describing the fall of those angels, led by Lucifer, who rebelled against God; and the fate of an individual who freely chooses to reject God. Gerald O'Mahony argues that, from his experience both as director and as one praying with the Exercises, the attitude that Ignatius seeks to inculcate here can be better approached by using other material, more firmly rooted in scripture.

Unconditional Surrender and Love When Spirituality Illuminates the Theology of Karl Rahner

The New Testament letter to the Philippians portrays a Christ who, out of unconditional love for humanity, humbled himself to the extent of enduring the ignominious death of a common criminal. Theology has a technical term for this self-humbling: kenosis. Ingvild Røsok here traces the link between kenosis and love as it is investigated in the work of Karl Rahner, one of the great Jesuit theologians of the twentieth century.

From the Foreword

THE WAY HAS NEVER, in its fifty-year history, been simply an academic journal. Neither has it been simply pastoral. It has rather tried to maintain its position on the ground where these two meet. This is not necessarily an easy place to be. Some readers will opt for the more scholarly articles, and would want to see more of them. The taste of others tends to the more personal, experiential and reflective. The Editorial Board’s preference is for contributions that combine both approaches. A good Way article should invite you, the reader, to reflect upon your own response to the proclamation of the gospel, while offering intellectual tools to help you make deeper sense of that call. This October edition of The Way is the last of those marking the journal’s golden jubilee. It is also this year’s Special Issue which often, as here, offers a chance to focus more specifically on Ignatian spirituality (the journal as a whole is significantly subtitled ‘a review of Christian spirituality’). This year has offered a chance to look back over five decades during which the world and the Church have both undergone huge changes. A number of the articles in this issue ask whether and how traditional practices and ways of understanding can still foster faith in such different times.

...

The invitation to follow a Christian call today will not be exactly the same as it was when The Way was first published in the early 1960s. No doubt, if the journal survives the coming decades, the nature of that call will have changed again. Yet is clear that any adequate response will continue to touch both head and heart, intellect and affect, academic reflection and personal experience. As it moves into its second half-century, this journal will continue to aim for the middle ground in which these different aspects of the human journey, and of the Christian vocation, meet and influence each other.

Paul Nicholson SJ

 

 

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