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April 2004 Vol 43 no 2


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Spiritual Direction and Survivors of Sexual Abuse

How the experience of sexual abuse, whether owned or repressed, affects the dynamic of spiritual direction.

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Transformation in Retreats, Transformation in Everyday Life

Growth in the Spirit can happen both in formal retreats and in the pressures of daily life. Stefan Kiechle describes and compares the two kinds of process.

Unity in Difference: Spiritual Challenges in Interchurch Family Life

One of the founding members of the Association of Interchurch Families reflects on how marriage between committed members of different churches both challenges and strengthens their faith.

The Spirit in Contempoary Culture:
Forgiveness: A Dilemma of Democracy

Forgiveness in the political order will always be contentious and risky—but only on that basis can conflicts definitively be put behind us, and the past cease to be our prison.

Crossing the Line: A Spiritual View of the US-Mexican Border

The Mexicans who struggle to enter the USA may often be ignored, but through them Christ is present as in the least of his sisters and brothers, and their stories can do much to enrich our own spirituality.

The Clown

The clown acts in the name of truth to challenge our untruth, questioning the assumptions informing our lives. In the world of Jesus under the big top, the first is last and the last is first.

Amen: The Human Response to God

Jesus calls us to transformation through dispossession, and the call comes through everyday life as well as through prayer and the sacraments.

Sacraments, Spirituality and Reality

There have been many changes in sacramental theology and liturgical practice over the last few generations. Perhaps it is now time to remember anew that through the sacraments we should seek ‘the things that are above’.

Theological Trends:
Trinity and Relationships

Modern theologians, whatever their other differences, insist that we come to know the doctrine of the Trinity as the doctrine of a God related to us.

From the Ignatian Tradition:
Remembering Iñigo

What it was like to live with Ignatius in his last years.

Recent Books

on prayer in the early Church
on marginalization and John Atherton
on a history of English bible translations
on faith and feminism
on the noted Indian Jesuit exegete, George Soares-Prabhu
on Richard Harries and the Holocaust
on meditation and mysticism
on Aquinas, Przywara, and Jesuits in eighteenth-century Prague

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here to order this issue alone,
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From the Foreword

'IN CHRIST GOD was reconciling the world to Himself.' The process is hardly serene. In the detail from Lorenzo Lotto’s picture of Christ and the so-called adulteress reproduced opposite, Jesus’ calm authority contrasts sharply with the distraughtness of the woman and with the anger on the faces of her accusers. One of them is even counting out her alleged offences. Reconciliation will require much work—work which will be slow and will take quite different forms for the different people involved.

This issue of The Way looks at various aspects of that process of reconciliation, of Christ working and labouring to form a new people. In recent years we have begun to name for what it is the experience of sexual abuse; and our first article, by Beth Crisp, considers how spiritual directors should deal with people who have suffered in that terrible way. Other articles consider different crucibles of Christ’s reconciling work: the interchurch family (Ruth Reardon); political realignment (Michael Henderson); and the integration of the immigrant refugee (Daniel Groody). The paradoxical, surprising nature of the process is brought out by Patrick Purnell’s piece on the clown, and then developed further by other authors: Ruth Burrows in her reflections on how we respond to God in Christ; Clare Watkins in her exploration of the diverse ways in which the sacraments can reorient our vision; and Declan Marmion in his account of the doctrine of the Trinity—which, in reality, is no more and no less than what Christ’s refashioning work tells us about the nature of God. In a more directly Ignatian vein, we have a reflection by Stefan Kiechle on the subtle relationships between retreats and everyday life, and also some extracts from Luis Gonçalves da Câmara’s eyewitness account of life with Ignatius. Da Câmara’s faithful observations are by turns attractive and strange, and evoke at once Ignatius’ profound wisdom and also the unfinished business that remained—even at the end of his life—to be done.

The Good Friday liturgy speaks of a Christ given over into our hands so that we could be restored through his triumphant death and resurrection. May this issue of The Way foster the effects of Christ’s grace in the different forms—gentle or violent, simple or complex—its readers may need.

Philip Endean SJ

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here to order this issue alone,
and here, to order a free sample copy.