Memorial St Ignatius 2013

Coming up this Wednesday is the Memorial Feast of St Ignatius (October 27, 1491[1] – July 31, 1556,) and this one is extra special as it is shared with the first ever Jesuit to be elected Pope.

Image source

Previous posts on St Ignatius 
 Related posts
Post from 2012 on Fr. Pedro Arrupe here- who served an 18-year term as superior general of the Society of Jesus which began in 1965 at the end of The Second Vatican Council. He was the first Basque to occupy this position since the founder of the Jesuits, St Ignatius of Loyola. Comparisons between the two men, (and an uncanny physical resemblance too,) extended beyond their common homeland. Fr. Arrupe oversaw a renewal of the Jesuits so profound that he is revered by many as a “second founder, a second Ignatius ” 


A few other things that have caught my eye in web browsing

 Some insight into the special Ignatian charism of Pope Francis as "a contemplative in action" can be gleaned from his address given at the mass early in July to the thousands of seminarians, novices, consecrated lay persons and clergy from around the globe who gathered  in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome. 

 It has been great to hear the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, acknowledging the influence that Ignatian Spirituality has had on him.

 At the Press Conference announcing his appointment last November, he said, "Learning from other traditions than the one into which I came as a Christian has led me into the riches of Benedictine and Ignatian spirituality, the treasures of contemplative prayer and adoration, and confronted me with the rich and challenging social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church." 

Archbishop Welby has also visited Chemin Neuf, an Ignatian ecumenical community in which Christians from all walks of life live and work together for the Gospel. Its main founder in Lyon (France) was Fr Laurent Fabre S.J.


Books on Ignatian Spirituality are numerous.
 Click here for Amazon's list of most recent ones.

A couple that particularly captured my eye...

NB Clicking on the images below won't work (!) but the links underneath do.

Image source and review
A few personal ramblings..

It's an intriguing image and title and certainly appeals to me as an Irish person living in Celtic Cornwall, who also loves Ignatian spirituality. The two paths have always been integrated and embedded in my life. I have memories of annual retreats given at secondary school, very often given by Jesuits and they were a powerful influence in my adolescence and have stayed with me through the years, although in those days the term Ignatian spirituality was not even used.

Later, as a young adult I became friends with several priests and lay people, who encouraged me to take the shorter form of the spiritual exercises and then I was fortunate to have a spiritual director for two years, who had been trained at St Bueno's in Wales, so all of these have been rich formative influences that have impacted on my life, consciously and unconsciously, and for which I am grateful.

I also find that my training in counselling and Carl Jung and James Hillman's work in psychodynamic and archetypal approaches sometimes meshes well and broadens the imaginative approach of Ignatian spirituality, whilst my faith and science background keeps me grounded and well away from some of the wackier elements !!

The Ignatian way of seeing and paying attention appeals to my Celtic sensibilities and also my training in microbiology and cell biology goes along with the awesome power of nature, in seeing "God in All Things." Observing, moving from the macroscopic to another level of microscopic and sub microscopic activity, contemplating nature, revelling in the beauty of biochemical pathways, chance, randomness, mutation, evolution v nurture and the web of interactions, God in action, always standing in awe and wonder at the diversity of life and its processes.

I believe all life is sacred and sacramental at some level and its mystery always profoundly humbles me.  Question of faith abound in me just as much as questions in the scientific realm remain open and maybe that is where my love of poetry has taken up the slack and necessarily grounds me in that great cloud of unknowingness, under which I often sit ! Click here for a post last August which touches on some of this and another here.

Yes, "Vanity, all is vanity" says the author of the book of Ecclesiastes, and it is this phrase which leads us into the wonderful array of some of my favourite scriptures this coming Sunday. Looking at life through a scientific lens as well as a faith one can do wonders for bursting the bubble of human ego. We know much and yet so little ! 
Reverence and appreciation for life is in short supply these days. Stewardship of life on this planet is woefully inadequate, whether it's on the individual or collective level and we must take some huge and imaginative collaborative decisions across nations if we are to prevent future disasters happening on a global scale.

The book above is only 88 pages published in October 2012

Fintan Creaven SJ is a Jesuit priest working on the staff of Loyola Hall Retreat Centre near Liverpool and he has spent 30 years directing the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius (sadly to close in 2014 - see article here.) His interest in Celtic spirituality stems from a time at a Jesuit school in Galway, Ireland. 
I may buy it !!

This one below looks interesting..
Reviews of this look interesting here

The one below is written by an Australian Jesuit and the author's description says
 "For most of the ‘front pages’ that follow, my inspiration has been twofold—to elaborate some touching story from my everyday life experience, however banal, and use it as a stepping stone to illustrate how we might more easily find God and be found by God in all things.

 Central to Ignatian spirituality is the belief that our world is transparent, reflecting constantly a God who works in the depths of everything. 

St Ignatius Loyola saw the world as very ‘user friendly’. For him every part of it, from the stars in the heavens to the flowers of the field, elevated his mind and heart to God. 

In Ribadeneira’s Life of Ignatius we learn ‘how even the smallest things could make his spirit soar upwards to God, who even in the smallest things is Greatest. 

At the sight of a little plant, a leaf, a flower or a fruit, an insignificant worm or a tiny animal Ignatius could soar free above the heavens and reach through into things which lie beyond the senses.’ (Life I11 5381)

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