a review of Christian spirituality
| Vol 49 no 3
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Ignatian Spirituality, Collaboration and Development: A Reflection from an Educational Perspective
If Ignatian spirituality was ever seen as the preserve of Jesuits alone, this is not so any longer. In ministries ranging from parishes and retreat houses to work with refugees and asylum seekers a wide variety of Christians (and sometimes others) work alongside each other closely to implement the Ignatian vision. It is perhaps in education that the implications of this collaboration have been most fully explored, as Michael Edwards describes here.
The Single Day of the First Week Exercises
Although the book of the Spiritual Exercises divides its material into four ‘Weeks’, and there is an expectation that the experience will last for about a month altogether, it is notable that Ignatius only assigns material for a single day of prayerful reflection to the First Week. In practice this is always supplemented with complementary meditations. Johannes Steinke suggests that there is much to be learnt from a closer examination of Ignatius’ text and the experience of early directors.
‘From Good to Better’ or ‘From Bad to Worse’: Exercises 335 with Diagram
A key theme in Ignatian teaching on discernment is recognising the basic direction in which the directee is heading. Only when this is identified can the significance of the movements that the person experiences be correctly interpreted. Here Gerald O’Mahony argues that there is a similar distinction that needs to be recognised among those who have progressed further in the spiritual life, drawing on psychology to illuminate its importance.
Spiritual Direction in Africa: A Need for a Different Approach?
Are standards of good practice in spiritual direction universal, or should we expect them to vary between cultures? Puleng Matsaneng trained as a spiritual director with people steeped in the Western tradition. But in trying to apply this in the townships of South Africa she encountered a need for adaptations that respected the very different background of those with whom she was working. What might it mean to develop a model of spiritual direction rooted in an African context?
An Ignatian Path to Gratitude
It has been said that the key grace for Ignatius was that of gratitude, a recognition that everything I have comes as a gift from God. Here Wilkie Au draws on the life and writings of his friend the moral theologian Bill Spohn to illustrate how gratitude can transform one’s approach to God even in the most challenging of circumstances, and how the experience of the Spiritual Exercises can foster such an approach.
Deceptions in Discernment
While discernment is clearly a key feature of the Ignatian path to God, it is not without its dangers. Central among these is that of self-deception. While professing that I seek only to know and carry out the will of God, all sorts of more self-serving motives can readily intrude, leading me to very different goals. Ignatius was very aware of this danger from his own experience, and Antonio Guillén looks at some of the safeguards against it that he incorporated into the Spiritual Exercises.
Ignatian Pilgrimage- The Inner Journey (loyola to Manresa on Foot)
When drawing up the initial training programme for the new kind of religious order that he was founding, Ignatius specified that recruits should pass through a series of carefully monitored experiences. Key among these was an extended pilgrimage, undertaken on foot and without money. This was in part to be a heightened experience of God’s providence working through the people encountered on the way. Brendan McManus undertook such a pilgrimage as part of his own Jesuit training, and reflects upon its lasting influence.
Ignatian Directed Retreats: The Dark Ages?
The history of the Spiritual Exercises is often told as if Ignatius drew up a programme for an individually-guided retreat, but this was rapidly abandoned as too labour-intensive, in favour of group experiences. Accordingly it was only in the late 1960s that the importance of one-to-one guidance was rediscovered. Tom Shufflebotham believes that there is plenty of evidence to call this understanding into question.
With 1,800 pages and nearly 400 articles, the two-volume Dictionary of Ignatian Spirituality, published by the Jesuits of Spain in 2007, is undoubtedly the finest single resource in this field that is currently available. However there are as yet no plans to translate the whole work into English. Here then, as a taster, we present a translation by Michael Campbell-Johnston of Antonio García Rodríguez’s article on ‘Love’.
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THE WAY IGNATIAN BOOK SERVICE
The Old Testament: The Psalms, translated by Nicholas King SJ
|Nicholas King’s ground-breaking translation of the New Testament was published to great acclaim in 2004. The first group of Old Testament translations comprises Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, the Book of Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus. It will be followed by three more volumes: The Pentateuch, The Historical Books and The Prophets.
The book of Psalms, a collection of songs for use in Temple worship, has become the hymn book of the Christian Church. In this amazing new translation with a commentary, extracted from his ongoing translation of the Bible, Nicholas King invites you to 'step aboard and listen to the ancient voices that have been singing them for upwards of 3,000 years, and finding your own story and your own journey to God written in them. There are psalms for every mood.'
ISBN: 978 1 84867 224 6
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