|January 2017|| Vol 56 No 1|
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St Mark’s Gospel: Discipleship and Formation
One way of coming to a deeper understanding of any text is to ask for whom it was originally written. Edmonds uses this approach in considering the Gospel of Mark, and then describes five topics that he believes run through Mark’s writing. The last of these five is ourselves, those who read the Gospel today. Can we accept the challenges offered by the Marcan Christ?
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The Consolation of Poetry
In her article Teresa White proposes poetry as a cure for compassion fatigue. She takes the example of a fellow parishioner, who delights in sharing his own love of poetry. Here poetry appears as a contemplative discipline: ‘at its core is the quest for wisdom of heart and mind’. As such, it also bears a close relationship to the core concerns of this journal.
Louis Lallemant and Jesuit Spirituality
Louis Lallemant (1588–1635) was a French Jesuit who spent much of his life training his fellow Jesuits. He was criticized by his contemporaries as being excessively devoted to mystical prayer, although writings that disseminated his teachings had a profound effect on Jesuit spirituality in the following centuries. By paying close attention to the historical context in which Lallemant lived and worked, Bartók sheds new light on this controversy.
Rossano Zas Friz de Col
The Spiritual Globalisation of Christianity
The ecumenical attempt to bring different strands of Christianity into closer union has often started by comparing doctrine—the teachings of different Churches—and asking what common ground can be found between them. In this article Zas Friz De Col offers an alternative approach. What existing unity might be discovered by researching how the Christian life is actually lived by members of different denominations?
Images that Lead to Prayer
Most readers of The Way will be familiar with imaginative prayer, a practice to which Ignatius of Loyola devoted much attention in his Spiritual Exercises. However, for many this is thought of principally as a way of approaching a scriptural text. Here Fabri suggests that a similar method can be used to find a powerful source of prayerful inspiration in works of art and other images.
Taizé, Contemplative Prayer and the Holy Spirit
From its origins as a small, ecumenical monastic community in post-war France, Taizé has come to have a global reputation as a place of prayer. An important element in this has been its music, a form of chant which has become enormously popular worldwide. Howard describes the effects on a student congregation in the United States, and links their experience to the wider history of mysticism.
Meister Eckhart’s Construal of Mysticism
Although a controversial figure in his own time and for some centuries afterwards, Meister Eckhart is now generally acknowledged as one of the great teachers of mystical prayer, emphasizing the need for detachment. Roy offers a critical introduction to his work, arguing that despite its limitations it leads to a powerful vision of what it means to aim to be united with God.
George B. Wilson
Theologia: Digging Deeper
According to St Anselm, theology could be understood as fides quaerens intellectum. In English this usually appears as ‘faith seeking understanding’, but Wilson believes that this literal translation misses many of the nuances of Anselm’s definition. He presents here elements that lie behind the summary phrase, and prevent it from being used to uphold a dry and overly academic approach to the quest for a knowledge of God.
Forgiveness and Healing: Confession and the Spiritual Exercises
In the First Week of St Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises there is an opportunity for a sacramental confession of the sins of one’s whole life. Jensen argues that this has usually been too focused on forgiveness of sin, to the neglect of the healing of spiritual and psychological wounds, which he suggests are an equally important effect of the sacrament.
'See, Judge, Act' and Ignatian Spirituality
‘See, judge, act’ is a method of discernment popularised by Catholic Action in the twentieth century, and taken up by the Basic Ecclesial Communities of Latin America and elsewhere. Sheppard compares it with the principles of Ignatian discernment, concluding that a synthesis of the two approaches offers a powerful tool for discovering the will of God in a deeply secularised world.
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