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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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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At his People for Others blog, my friend Paul Campbell has trouble coming up with “five fun facts” about Ignatius Loyola. One of them is the fact that Ignatius was hauled up several times before the Spanish Inquisition. This got me thinking about the personalities of saints. There aren’t many “fun” facts about Ignatius because Ignatius was probably not much of a fun guy. I think he was pretty intense. He seems to have had […]
About 280 men are currently in Jesuit formation in the United States. The Jesuits are praying for more. Being good disciples of Ignatius Loyola, they are also working to encourage vocations as well as praying for them. An article in Holy Cross Magazine describes how this works on one Jesuit campus. The idea of a vocation gets “mentioned.” One of the most effective “mentioners” isn’t even a Jesuit.
Ignatius Loyola experienced a profound mystical vision on the banks of the Cardoner river in northern Spain. He did not describe it any detail. He merely remarked in his autobiography that he learned more about God in the brief moments of this vision than he did in years of study and prayer. The vision seems to have opened Ignatius’ eyes to the presence of God everywhere. It’s what he was getting at in the Contemplation […]