a review of Christian spirituality
| Vol 50 no 4
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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.
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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: Saint 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 Rřsok 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.
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THE WAY IGNATIAN BOOK SERVICE
The Lord of Friendship
|A favourite phrase that the first Jesuits used in talking about themselves was that they were a group of “friends in the Lord”. In his Autobiography, Ignatius of Loyola describes how they would take time out from their studies at the University of Paris to picnic on the wooded slopes of Montmartre. There they would share their hopes and dreams of future ministry, dreams that would soon lead one of them, Francis Xavier, to India and Japan, and another, Pierre Favre, to walk an estimated 14,000 miles along the roads of Europe in his seven years of active apostolate.
The Lord of Friendship presents a series of studies (originally prepared for a seminar run by the Dutch and Flemish Jesuits) looking at this hitherto undervalued aspect of the foundation of the Society of Jesus. How was Ignatius able to pass on his vision of a new kind of religious order, dedicated to taking the gospel to the borders of the known world and beyond? What might the idea of such companionship have to say to the renewal of religious life today? The links between friendship, mission and discernment explored here remain potent forces for all concerned with the attempt to bring the Good News to the people of our own time.
ISBN: 978 0 904717 30 3
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