Feast of St Ignatius LoyolaThis Sunday 31st July 2011

The Feast of St Ignatius Loyola on Sunday 31st July will be celebrated by followers of the Ignatian tradition the world over. 

There are a multitude of resources on the web but this one in particular caught my eye today.

In my inbox I received this article from the Online Journal of British Jesuits written for the Ignatian jubilee year in 1991.
Philip Endean SJ compares Ignatius with another 16th century figure in whose tradition millions of Christians continue to practise their faith: Martin Luther.

How did these two contemporaries find themselves on differing paths?

This is not the sort of thing that normally appeals to me at all but the name Endean rang a bell as I know that Philip Endean has run retreats on the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises at the excellent St Bueno's Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Wales - and that certainly does interest me so I threw caution to the wind and read it.

It is a very long read but if you can make the time it throws up all sorts of fascinating aspects and if you can't find the time I have put these nuggets of gold from the final part of the article which are deeply relevant to what many of us are struggling with in the church today.

"Ignatius and Luther had different answers to the problem of authority and conscience. But they faced basically the same question, and with an acuteness that was quite new, arising from their personal experiences of God’s mercy.

How does one adjudicate between two voices which are always liable to come into conflict: prophetic conscience and ecclesiastical authority? 

Neither Ignatius’s nor Luther’s solution is as one-sided as they first sound. We should not take from them a simple preference for one answer over the other, but rather a challenge: a challenge to find a deeper understanding of the ways in which God’s spirit moves within the whole Church. 

If we can achieve that, then maybe we can reconcile the truth and discard the nonsense contained within both positions.

Ongoing Reformation

This has been an article about the sixteenth century. What should it mean for us today? 

It does not mean that we can all become one Church tomorrow, but rather, I suggest, that we are ourselves in the throes of a cultural shift just as radical, if not more so, than that which occurred in the sixteenth century, throwing up Ignatius, Luther and many others as models of a fundamentally new way of being religious. 

The real question for us is this. 

Are we prepared to let God mould us anew, as he remoulded the medieval Church through figures like Luther and Ignatius? 

Are we prepared to let God be who God will be for us in a radically new way? 

If so, we do not know where we shall be led. 

But, if we accept God’s new calling, we might come to discover more fully the unity we in one sense already possess – in the one whom Ignatius loved to call Creator and Lord."

Other Events and the Chance of Winning
a Free Book 
The blog of dot Magus Ignatian Spirituality.com is a must visit for anyone interested in St Ignatius and some of you no doubt have been enjoying their month long Ignatius fest which is ending on Sunday.

To mark the day, Loyola Press are giving away a copy of Paul Coutinho’s book An Ignatian Pathway to one lucky dotMagis reader. 

To enter for your chance to win, you just leave a comment on their post  here before the end of Sunday, July 31.

For an additional chance to win, visit People for Others, which is giving away its own copy of An Ignatian Pathway 

and you can  follow along here with the final days of 31 Days with St. Ignatius.

If you have the strength and inclination, here is a video on the life of St Ignatius.

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Phil Ewing said...

Yes, it is far beyond my financial means too !
But I have been lucky as a few years ago I undertook two years spiritual direction from a woman who worked at St Bueno's ( she did part time retreats there -don't know if she still does) and she was excellent. I went once a month.It was a gifted time.

Living in Cornwall has drawbacks as St Bueno's is a long distance away.
I think Liverpool offers a training course but again that is miles away and too expensive. I wish they did a fast track course as I have already got counselling qualification. I also travel more now since Colin and I have retired so committing to a long course like this would not fit in easily any more.

Thanks for comments Claire- always welcome ! :-)

grilly said...

I stopped at St Beuno's some years back and found there several books by Margaret Silf. I have been dreaming to do a retreat, or a training in spiritual direction there. Too expensive... C'est la vie :-)
I am very indebted to Ignatius and the Jesuits who taught me Ignatian spirituality. My life woudn't be what it is, had I not met him and them :-)
Thank you, Phil!