a review of Christian spirituality
Campion Hall, Oxford, OX1 1QS
44/0 1865 286117
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To readers and friends of The Way, welcome to our new issue:

  Vol 49 no 2


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Toni Witwer

The Grace of Vocation and Charisms in the Church

The documents of the Second Vatican Council, especially those dealing with the nature of the Church and the renewal of religious life, related the idea of vocation to those special gifts (the technical term is charismata) which God gives to his people. In this it rediscovered an important strand of the Christian tradition. Toni Witwer relates this understanding to biblical representations of God’s call to individuals and groups and the various ways in which they respond to these calls.

J. Matthew Ashley

The University as an Instrument of Consolation in the Modern World

Ever since John Henry Newman, who will be beatified later this year, lectured on ‘The Idea of a University’ in 1854, the role of faith in tertiary education has been an important topic of discussion. J. Matthew Ashley presents ideas developed by one of the 1989 Jesuit martyrs in El Salvador, Ignacio Ellacuría, who was for more than a decade rector of the University of Central America. Ellacuría argued that the experience of spiritual consolation should be the touchstone for effective education at this level.

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Peter Steele

Thinking of Thanksgiving

Peter Steele is an Australian poet and literary critic. In 2008 he published a sequence of poems entitled ‘A Mass for Anglesea’, which uses the structure of the Christian eucharist as a framework within which to consider the nature of religious experience. In this article he reflects particularly on one of these poems, ‘Offerings’, an evocative listing of many kinds of things for which it is worth giving thanks.

T. M.

Finding God in the World of Banking

The Focolare movement invites its members to help bring about a more united world by striving first to bring about unity within their own lives. In particular they are to allow their Christian faith to influence all aspects of their lives: work, leisure, family life, political outlook, as well as religious practice. Here, in our Spirituality and Living strand, a Focolare member who wishes only to be known as T. M. shows how this outlook has shaped his career in international banking.

Robert Doud

The Philosopher Who Prays

Philosophy can be seen as the attempt to make sense of the world around us using reason alone and, in particular, without the need for religious revelation. As such, to be a philosopher is a quintessentially ‘secular’ vocation. Yet there have been throughout history philosophers who have been people of faith, deeply affected by their own lives of prayer. Robert Doud shows how this seeming contradiction can be resolved, and indeed how that intellectual humility that can be a fruit of prayer is essential to any philosophical enterprise.

Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator

Signs of God in Times of Aids

Since it was first identified in the early 1980s, the disease known as AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) has attracted an unusual level of theological reflection. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, currently Jesuit Provincial of East Africa, spent more than a decade studying AIDS, and in his view ‘it implicates, questions and challenges our notions of God, morality and Church’. To call AIDS a sign suggests that it has something to teach us, and Orobator shows what it is that we might profitably learn.

Jean-Guy Saint-Arnaud

‘I'm an Atheist, Thank God!’ On the Spiritual Life of Atheists

Atheism is currently a high-profile world-view, whether as a series of arguments forcibly opposing religious belief or as the default outlook assumed in much of the media. This can lead to the assumption that atheism and religious belief and practice, and in particular spirituality, are implacably opposed. But Saint-Arnaud believes not only that atheists necessarily have spiritual lives, but also that atheism itself has a crucial role complementary to religious faith which it critiques and purifies.

Brian Grogan

The Deliberation in the Market Place

Many people today spend a lot of their working lives in meetings, and in those meetings it is not unusual for a committed Christian to feel at times like a lone voice. Brian Grogan has for some years been running workshops to help participants consider how they might operate most effectively in these conditions. He draws his inspiration from a document of early Jesuit history, the ‘Deliberation of the First Fathers’ of 1539.

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Pedro Arrupe SJ, Chosen by God: Pedro Arrupe's Retreat Notes 1965

(Image of book)
Two months after his election as Superior General of the Society of Jesus, in the summer of 1965, Pedro Arrupe went on retreat. During his retreat Arrupe kept a notebook of personal jottings, which give direct testimony to the God who is passing through his life, and to what is going on within him as God passes. More than any other document this notebook reflects his state of mind when he received his mission as General and when, with complete confidence in God, he opened himself up to fulfilling it without reserve or delay. In it we see him developing schemes, thinking about people, and elaborating strategies in order to confront the challenges that the Church and the world have put before him. This unique manuscript was authorised for publication by Fr Arrupe’s successor as General, Fr Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, and was published in Spanish in a faithfully transcribed and annotated edition by Fr Ignacio Iglesias SJ. It has now been translated into English by Fr Joseph A. Munitiz SJ,so that English-speaking readers can share the rich interior life of this prophet of the twentieth century whose intuitions and initiatives are still vital and relevant today. These pages show how clearly and passionately Pedro Arrupe was a man of God.

Price: £8.00

ISBN: 978 0 904717 29 7

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From THE WAY, a Journal of Christian Spirituality published by the British Jesuits
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