a review of Christian spirituality
|April 2013|| Vol 52 No 2|
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Ignatius, Gratitude, and Positive Psychology: Does Ignatian gratitude develop Subjective Well-Being?
The question of whether the practice of spirituality has any measurable effects in the life of the practitioner is a fascinating one. Tom Carson addresses it by focusing upon gratitude as a key attitude promoted within Ignatian spirituality. Can this attitude be shown experimentally to have a positive effect on psychological well-being?
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The Marian Antiphon of Francis Bernardone: A Reflection upon the Relationship of the Virgin Mary with her Son in The Office of the Passion of St Francis
In his Office of the Passion, St Francis of Assisi rearranged quotations from the scriptures to form fifteen ‘new’ psalms. Although he puts these words into the mouth of Jesus, much is revealed in them about Francis himself. Here Ruth Evans considers what this Office tells us about the relationship between Francis and the Virgin Mary.
Discovering Joy: Four Thought Experiments for the Fourth Week
The final main section of the Spiritual Exercises, the ‘Fourth Week’, deals with the resurrection of Christ. Rob Marsh believes that it is often given short shrift, both in theory and by directors in practice. He here proposes four ‘thought experiments’ that might help us to understand and appreciate this part of Ignatius’ programme more fully.
The Mystical Theology of Karl Rahner
The twentieth-century theologian Karl Rahner believed that in the future Christians would be mystics, or they would be nothing. He also acknowledged that it was difficult to arrive at an agreed definition of mysticism. Harvey Egan here examines Rahner’s mystical theology, asking what this can tell us about a ‘mysticism of everyday life’.
MAGIS: The Search for More
For almost a decade now Jesuits have been running youth programmes under the heading Magis, a term used in Ignatian spirituality to mean ‘more’ or ‘greater’. At the heart of these programmes is the process of discernment, acquiring the tools to be able to recognise more clearly where God is leading the life of the one who discerns. Ludger Joos describes the experience of such programmes.
Metanoia and transformation II: Fourteen Points
In this second part of his essay (begun in the January 2013 issue), Norman Todd adapts the ‘fourteen points for management’ described by W. Edwards Deming to the transformation of the contemporary church. He argues that such transformation is constantly necessary, and the attempt to implement it can itself be a powerful promoter of Christian joy.
‘A Raid on the Inarticulate’: Eliot’s Four Quartets and the Christian Journey.
The Four Quartets of T. S. Eliot are complex poetry, allowing for multiple readings and interpretations. Here Keith Ravenscroft offers a theological approach to them, and in doing so discovers ‘a work of profound Christian witness’. They stand as a monument to the poet’s attempt to find and articulate the meaning of his own life, as well as that of his contemporaries.
Praise: The Fundamental Attitude in the Church
Towards the end of the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius included a series of guidelines for ‘thinking within the Church’. Many of these are framed in terms of aspects of church life and practice that are to be regarded as praiseworthy. Antonio Guillén asks what this might have meant in the sixteenth century, and how far it might still be useful for us today.
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THE WAY IGNATIAN BOOK SERVICE
New titles from the Institute of Jesuit Sources:
Ignatian Exercises: Contemporary Annotations, edited by David L. Fleming SJ
|This book offered 29 new articles for understanding the Ignatian Exercises better and making Ignatian retreats more wisely, selected from Review for Religious by David L. Fleming SJ.
ISBN: 0 924768 06 1
Robert Bellarmine SJ, On the Eternal Happiness of the Saints
|ON THE ETERNAL HAPPINESS OF THE SAINTS, originally published in Latin in 1616 is one of five specifically devotional writings of Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), Jesuit, theologian, saint and doctor of the church. This book will itself make clear some of the reasons for which Bellarmine was highly esteemed also as a spiritual director and why all five of those books enjoyed long-lasting popularity.
As he develops his subject Bellarmine draws widely on Holy Scripture, especially on St. Paul, and easily and aptly quotes from the Fathers of the Church, especially St. Augustine. His bold metaphors, his similes, and comparisons are true to the Baroque age in which the book was written; some of them will startle the modern reader. But what pervades the book are Bellarmine’s sympathetic understanding of human nature and, as one of his admirers has said, how he makes heaven thoroughly desirable where, to use one of Bellarmine’s own images, “We shall enter into a great sea of divine and eternal joy, which will fill us within and without, and surrounds us on all sides.”
ISBN: 978 1 880810 79 4
Jeremy Clarke SJ, Catholic Shanghai: A Historical, Practical and Reflective Guide
|This guide is for those who want to experience the richness and vitality of the Chinese Catholic Church in Shanghai, a city that is rampantly commercial and surprisingly spiritual.
The author gives clear directions on how to get to each of the sites presented here, explains something of its history and significance, and provides information on such practical items as the character of the area in which the site is located, nearby landmarks and public parks, and pointer about etiquette or local customs.
Given that many of the locations are active places of worship, material is also provided that may be helpful for quiet reflection or prayer.
In addition, as a general background to understanding and visiting specific churches and religious sites, there is an overview of the life and liturgical practices of the Catholic Church in Shanghai. In short, for readers who might range from the general public to the interested scholar, this is a pilgrimage guide to Catholic Shanghai
ISBN: 0 924768 06 1
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