|April 2015|| Vol 54 No 2|
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Thomas Merton’s Contemplative Journey
Thomas Merton, monk, writer and peace activist, was born one hundred years ago this year. As he followed his own sense of God’s call, he became, paradoxically, a ‘spokesman for silence’. Here Jane Kopas traces the spiritual journey of one who, as she writes, ‘embraces his contradictions as well as strengths’, thereby encouraging others to do the same for themselves.
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Theology and the Family
Later this year the Roman Catholic Church will conclude a unique, two-part synod dedicated to the study of family life in the opening decades of the twenty-first century. The Vatican has made it clear that in the preparation for this meeting it is important that the experience of those living within Christian families is heard. Jacqueline Stewart takes up this challenge here.
Around the Family Table: What the Laity Really Want
Many would argue that the mission of the Church has been hampered in recent centuries by too great a division between its lay and clerical members. Oonagh Walker’s account of the ways in which an initiative originating in the middle of the Second World War has grown, demonstrates one way in which such divisions might be effectively overcome.
Joseph A. Munitiz
Thoughts on Hell
Free-will would seem to make it necessary that human beings have the power definitively to reject God’s love; the traditional name for this state is hell. Yet God is omnipotent and, as scripture tells us, wants all people to be saved. Joseph Munitiz here ponders on some of the ways in which modern theologians have tried to resolve this seeming contradiction.
Does God have a particular will for each of us?
A positive answer to the question that forms the starting-point of this essay may summon up a warm image of an infinitely caring God, or a sinister one of a divine puppet-master. Michel Rondet believes that it is by understanding ourselves as gifted with creativity by God, who invites us to respond freely, that we can best find a way beyond this seeming impasse.
Hermits and the Roman Catholic Church: Recovering an Ancient Vocation
In the second of two linked articles Carol McDonough explores how the hermit vocation, which had been all but lost in the Church after the European Enlightenment, re-appeared in the twentieth century and was given official recognition in the Second Vatican Council and the revised Code of Canon Law which followed it.
Reigniting the Fire of Priesthood: The Spiritual Exercises at the Heart of Tertianship
Jesuits, members of the religious order founded by Ignatius Loyola, have a notoriously long formation. Ignatius himself recognised that it would be easily possible, during the decade or more that this demands, to lose touch with a man’s original inspiration. Here Norlan Julia offers a personal account of the remedy prescribed in the Jesuit Constitutions, the programme known as tertianship.
Spirituality in the City: Encountering the Other
The word ‘spirituality’ often conjures up images of quiet landscapes, peaceful retreat-houses and silent chapels. These are all a far cry from the regular day-to-day experience of most contemporary city-dwellers. Yet, Chad Thralls argues, city life offers us unique opportunities for conversion of heart by recognising and responding to our connections with other people.
Ignatian Spirituality and Christian Feminism: A Dynamic Duo for Unioning Love
Studies in recent years have highlighted the ways in which the spirituality Ignatius Loyola developed was shaped by his experience of listening to, and working with, women. Maria McCoy here describes retreats that she has recently directed which draw particularly on feminine images of God, and the impact these have had on men and women alike.
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THE WAY IGNATIAN BOOK SERVICE
|Gerard W. Hughes, At Home in God: Essays from The Way, 1962–1985|
Gerard W. Hughes was one of the most prolific, and well-loved, spiritual writers of the last thirty years. His 1985 book God of Surprises has gone through six editions and been translated into more than twenty languages. His last work, Cry of Wonder, came out at the end of 2014, only weeks before his death at the age of 90.
But the ideas that run through the books of his last three decades were first explored in the pages of The Way. In this collection you can trace the evolution of his thought on a series of topics that would prove to be of enduring interest to him: the struggle for belief in an unbelieving world; the Christian need to work for peace and justice; an impatience with those who would erect barriers between different churches. He wrote so that as many as possible might find themselves ‘at home in God’. May this collection continue to spread his word and his influence.
ISBN 978 0 904717 47 1
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