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Peter Canisius by Moriz Bermann
The Society of Jesus has recently announced four Universal Apostolic Preferences, which are intended to guide Jesuit works in their mission of reconciliation and justice over the next ten years. The preferences, says Thomas Flowers SJ, ‘are a call to a renewed personal, communal and apostolic discernment of how to serve the Church and the world today’. What can the modern Society learn from the example of a sixteenth century Jesuit who had to listen carefully to the way in which God was calling...
Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash
At the beginning of Lent, Pope Francis asked us in his Ash Wednesday homily to think about where we are heading on the journey of life. Formed by our Lenten discipline and with Easter eyes, we now hope to be able to see more clearly the contours of that journey, for ourselves and others, says Joseph Simmons SJ. ‘No matter where we are in life, we are always somewhere on the Easter path.’ My childhood had many grand traditions. One of them was that every year on our birthdays, Grandma...
Photo by Fleur Treurniet on Unsplash
The late American football player and coach, Vince Lombardi, was an inspirational figure, so much so that the most sought-after prize in his sport, the Super Bowl, is now named in his honour. Before his sporting career took off he was a candidate for the priesthood, and studied at Fordham University in New York where he was powerfully influenced by its Jesuit ethos. He is credited with several stirring sayings about the importance of character and integrity, which many people attribute to the...
Stephen Noon SJ
Earlier this year, Fr General Arturo Sosa SJ announced four new Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus for the next ten years: Promoting Discernment and the Spiritual Exercises; Walking with the Excluded; Caring for Our Common Home; and Journeying with Youth. Jesuit scholastic Stephen Noon is confident that the Spirit has been at work in the discernment of these priorities for the Jesuits. It was not quite at the same level as my childhood eagerness for the coming of Santa...
From ‘Saint Paul Writing His Epistles’ by Valentin de Boulogne, via Wikimedia Commons
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the usage of the lectionary that determines the readings we hear each time we go to Mass, and Lent is a particularly good time for us to pay special attention to it, says Peter Edmonds SJ. How do St Paul’s words in the second readings that we will hear on the Sundays of Lent help us to appreciate the gospel texts that follow? It is easy to overlook anniversaries. One that we may not have noticed is that fifty years have passed since the approval...
Photo by AbsolutVision via Unsplash
Do we have an ethical framework that allows us to ask appropriate questions about the way in which the financial sector operates? Patrick Riordan SJ draws on a Vatican document and a book published in 2018 to explain why we need to ask particular questions about how the markets contribute to society – ultimately, do they make or take value? Experience and evidence over the last decades has demonstrated, on the one hand, how naive is the belief in a presumed self-sufficiency of the markets...
From 'The Painted Life of Mary Ward', #28
Born on 23 January 1585, Mary Ward founded the congregations for women based on the Jesuit model that we now know as the Congregation of Jesus and the Loreto Sisters. She faced frequent and powerful disapproval as she pursued the path along which God was leading her. Theodora Hawksley CJ celebrates Mary Ward’s remarkable capacity to resist opposition and to hold on to the truth that she had discerned, and highlights five ways in which we can follow her example. One of the things I love...
From Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan
Theresa May has warned of ‘paralysis in Parliament’ in the event of her Brexit deal being rejected by the House of Commons on Tuesday 15 January, and called on the MPs who will be voting to support the deal ‘for the country’s sake’. But what does it mean for parliament to do what is for the good of the whole country? Patrick Riordan SJ draws on the philosophies of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Hobbes to help us think about how the Will of the People can be discovered and acted upon in any...
Photo by Gabrielle Cole via Unsplash
‘Gratitude, being nearly the greatest of human duties, is also nearly the most difficult,’ wrote G.K. Chesterton. Luckily, St Ignatius is on hand to help us to cultivate gratitude, so that our hearts may be disposed ‘to receive more, to appreciate more, to love and be loved more.’ Sarah Broscombe views gratitude through psychological, spiritual and Ignatian lenses, helping us to see how and why growing in gratitude is a priority as well as a joy. Virtually every language has words for it,...
In the final stage of the Examen, having reviewed the recent events of our lives to see how God has already moved us, we imagine, with increased hope, how we might move with God and for God in the time to come. Frances Murphy concludes our Advent Examen by reflecting on how this mirrors our Advent experience.  Read the guide to the Examen on which the format of our Advent Examen is based.Advent Examen: 1. ThanksgivingAdvent Examen: 2. Prayer for the lightAdvent Examen:...

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