How the Jesuits Got So Worldly

Historian John W. O’Malley, SJ, ponders Jesuit worldliness  in a recent article.  He starts with a Jesuit joke, but the “worldliness” of the Jesuits is no joke.  It’s real. The decision to operate schools gave the Society a big shove in the worldly direction.  But O’Malley traces the roots of worldliness to the Jesuits’ early commitment to works of mercy: The Franciscans and Dominicans, of course, also engaged in works of mercy. Charity, after all, […]

Chaplain on the Bench

Many sports teams at Catholic universities have chaplains.  You can sometimes catch a glimpse of these men at basketball games.  They are the fellows in black in their Roman collars, hovering the background during timeouts.  Did you ever wonder what they do?  Fr. Dave Anderson, SJ, explains how it works at the University of Seattle.

Pedro Arrupe's Vocation

A genuine miracle played a decisive role in Pedro Arrupe’s decision to become a priest. He was a young medical student on pilgrimage to Lourdes. He noticed a young man twisted with polio in a wheelchair at Mass. At the consecration of the host, the man stood up, cured. Writes Arrupe: Thanks to the special permission I had, I was later able to assist at the medical examinations of the young man. The Lord had […]

Best Ignatian Songs: Anthem

I recently read an article in which the author argues that suffering is often a necessary part of Ignatian discernment.  A painful situation spurs us on to make a change.  Achieving the spiritual freedom necessary to choose well can be a wrenching and lengthy process. That’s the theme of the song “Anthem,” written by Leonard Cohen.  The chorus says that the flaw is where the light shines: Forget your perfect offering There is a crack […]

Flannery O'Connor and William Paul Young

America magazine’s Books and Culture section looks at Flannery O’Connor and William Paul Young, two writers at opposite ends of the literary quality spectrum. Young, author of the best-selling The Shack, holds up the low-quality end of the scale.  I started The Shack but didn’t finish it.  After reading David Nantais fair-minded America piece I realized that there is more to the book than I saw in my literary snobbery.  Jon Sweeney’s piece on O’Connor […]

Why Young Adults Need Ignatian Spirituality

For at least five reasons, says Tim Muldoon of Boston College: it gives  life a clear foundation; it sees God in all things; it shows us how to walk with Christ; it makes sense of suffering; and it hold up an ideal of social justice.  He writes: To speak of God in all things is to remind us that ours is a sacramental understanding of God—God among us in the faces, the words and the […]

Ignatian Spirituality on Facebook

The new Ignatian Spirituality page on Facebook reached a milestone this week when its fan count went over 1000. This morning it’s 1109 fans and counting. Take a look, and become a fan if you like what you see. The page, like this web site, is a service of Loyola Press. But it really belongs to its fans and friends. Some spirited discussion is going on there. Take a look at the fans who object […]

Epiphany on the Metro

A friend of mine sent me this piece in the Washington Post written several years ago by William Blazek, SJ.  It’s the account of a ride one morning on the DC Metro–a delightful example of finding God in all things, including a moment of epiphany: That ordinary morning, on a plunging high-speed run through Foggy Bottom, three stops north of the Pentagon, but before the Red Line transfer at Metro Center, the engines wound up […]

Best Ignatian Songs: All Along the Watchtower

My Ignatian song pick this week pays homage to one of the greatest songwriters. He’s Bob Dylan, and the song is the haunting and enigmatic classic “All Along the Watchtower.” Dylan wrote it and performed it in the sixties, and it’s been covered by Jimi Hendrix, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and other rockers. The lyrics are evocative: There must be some way out of here, said the joker to the thief, There’s too much […]

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