a review of Christian spirituality
| Vol 48 no 1
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Robert R. Marsh
How are we to understand the nature of those 'spirits' which are the object of the process of the 'discernment of spirits'? Most commonly, perhaps, these are equated with psychological movements occuring within a person. Here it is argued that such a limited understanding leads to an impoverishment of the discernment process. A richer alternative approach is suggested.
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Although the aims of psychotherapy and spiritual direction are clearly different, the two disciplines have the capacity to learn from each other. Richard Boileau, a permanent deacon from Canada, describes a method of psychosynthesis that can aid a person's spiritual progress by working with their sub-personalities.
Although they are separated by six centuries, the works of the English mystic Dame Julian of Norwich and of the American writer Annie Dillard complement each other. Both draw on the experience of the human capacity to maintain an optimistic outlook in the face of inescapable suffering. What might such optimism have to say about the nature of creativity?
The 'Mass that takes its time' has proved attractive to a large number young adults in Paris and beyond who were finding little to sustain them in more regular church services. A description of this form of celebration is accompanied by an analysis of the impact that it has on those who take part in it.
Preaching, in all Christian denominations today, faces the challenge of taking account of the findings of academic biblical criticism, while still helping people to hear the God who speaks through the texts which we have inherited. By considering a number of biblical passages, Thurston shows ways in which this might be done.
Gerard J. Hughes
The former Master of Campion Hall in Oxford used one of the paintings in the Hall as the basis for a University sermon. He reflects on the ordinariness of a key event in the Christian story, and how this can itself provide a basis for faith.
Ignatius divided his Spiritual Exercises into four 'Weeks', each of which corresponds to a particular dynamic common in the spiritual life. Menkhaus shows how the analysis of personality for which Shakespeare's plays are noted can be used to illuminate aspects of these four dynamic processes.
Forgiving a serious wrong that has been done to you surely presents one of the greatest challenges of human life. Nevertheless it may well be necessary for anyone who desires to make spiritual progress. Misfud offers practical advice on how someone who desires to forgive another might best proceed.
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THE WAY IGNATIAN BOOK SERVICE
New from Way Books
The Book of Furrows, by Patrick Purnell SJ
|The Book of Furrows is Patrick Purnell's long-awaited follow-up to his first poetry collection, Imagine, published by Way Books in 2004. Fr Purnell worked for many years in education and in catechetics and has since been involved in giving the Spiritual Exercises. Many of the poems in both books have been inspired by his experience of spiritual direction, and some of them have recently reached a wider audience through BBC Radio 4's programme Something Understood. The Book of Furrows is organized around the Weeks of the Spiritual Exercises and events in the life of Christ.
ISBN: 978 0 904717 35 8
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