The List is a weekly feature highlighting something remarkable, offbeat, or otherwise noteworthy from the world of the Jesuits and Ignatian spirituality. Gary Smith is a 72-year-old Jesuit who has spent the last several years in refugee camps in Africa. You might say that these are some of the worst places on earth, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But they are also places where grace abounds, not least through the ministry of Gary Smith. Gary’s […]
William Barry, SJ, one my favorite spiritual writers, says that friendship is at the heart of our relationship with God. So this week I’m putting the Ignatian tag on a song about friendship. It’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from the movie “Toy Story.” It was nominated for an Academy Award for best original song in 1995. Maybe this choice is a bit whimsical, but this song puts a smile on your face. […]
The List is a weekly feature highlighting something remarkable, offbeat, or otherwise noteworthy from the world of the Jesuits and Ignatian spirituality. Pope John XXIII proposed the idea of Vatican Council II 50 years ago. The debate about what happened there continues today. Was the Council a break with the past? Or did it reaffirm ancient traditions and doctrines? Both, says Jesuit historian John W. O’Malley in his new book What Happened at Vatican II, […]
Ignatian spirituality is about finding the path that God wants us to walk. It has much to say about discerning God’s will. The first step in discernment is to fervently pray that God will lead us. So my Best Ignatian Song this week is the gospel hymn “Lead Me, Guide Me.” When you’re facing a decision, sing the chorus: Lead me, guide me along the way, For if you lead me I cannot stray. Lord […]
Mark Massa, SJ, tells his students at Fordham that “sitting at Mass doesn’t make you a Christian, any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car.” He thinks that the Catholic emphasis on a mediated, sacramental faith needs to be balanced by a new emphasis on discipleship and a direct experience of the holy. In the 16th century, the Reformation forced Catholics and Protestants alike into taking theological stances that were polemical and […]
The List is a weekly feature highlighting something remarkable, offbeat, or otherwise noteworthy from the world of Ignatian spirituality. I’m not surprised to run into Jesuits with offbeat hobbies and unusual talents, but Ryan Duns, SJ, stands out. He’s a master of the Irish tin whistle. This is no mere hobby. He plays professionally. Last semester he taught a course “An Introduction to the Irish Tin Whistle” in the Irish Studies department at Fordham, where […]
William Barry, SJ, one of my favorite spiritual writers, has just published a new book: Seek My Face: Prayer as a Personal Relationship in Scripture. I’m looking forward to reading it. Everything Bill Barry writes is good to read. My favorite Barry book is A Friendship Like No Other: Experiencing God’s Amazing Embrace. His simple point is that God wants a relationship of friendship with us.
My friend Paul Campbell listed the ten best Ignatian movies on his People for Others blog. (The best in his opinion. Check out the comments.) I thought I’d try my hand at Ignatian songs. What’s an Ignatian song, you ask? It’s music that expresses, exemplifies, or evokes one of the qualities of Ignatian spirituality. Learn about them by poking around this website. Start on the “What Is Ignatian Spirituality?” page here. My first choice is […]
The List is a weekly feature highlighting something remarkable, offbeat, or otherwise noteworthy from the world of Ignatian spirituality. “A Franciscan, a Dominican, and a Jesuit walk into a bar . . . “ People tell jokes about rabbis, lawyers, blondes, Irishmen, Poles, and nuns among others. And Jesuits. Jesuit jokes are “niche humor.” You don’t have to be Catholic to enjoy them, but it helps to know something about the Jesuit mystique. The jokes […]
Mary Ann Glendon has refused to accept the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame. Jim Martin, SJ has an idea for a replacement.