Spirituality and Catholic Life

Photo by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash
A new audio resource, Women of God, Women of the Cross, from the Jesuits in Britain introduces you to the women who encountered Jesus during his passion. Using our senses to enter into their stories as we listen to them is not an end in itself, says Gemma Simmonds CJ. The application of the senses, as Ignatius calls it, is an instrument of prayer and discernment, and one that extols faculties that have been – and, too often, still are – associated with women and disparaged. Of all the ways...
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The writings of Ignatius of Loyola are not the only texts to which we can turn as we seek to understand and practise discernment. The authors of the New Testament, as they sought to explore what it meant for God to have revealed himself in Christ, had plenty to say about how we can discover where God is, and is not, at work in our lives. Nicholas King SJ identifies certain passages that can aid our Lenten study of discernment. The pope is currently asking the Church to do something at...
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It was precisely an exercise in discernment of spirits that enabled Rob Marsh SJ to offer this Ignatian introduction to the practice that will be the focus of our attention this Lent. Join him in a careful consideration of ‘one particular microsecond of one particular life, and one paragraph of many where Ignatius catalogues the way the good and bad spirit work’, and see an example of Ignatian discernment at work. Just a microsecond of my day:I am looking at my computer and hesitating to...
Photo of woman on bench by Grant MacDonald at flickr.com
Are you familiar with The Way, another journal published by the Jesuits in Britain? Since 1961, The Way has been publishing articles about Christian spirituality, such as this piece by Tom Shufflebotham SJ on the place of the prayer of faith in the Ignatian tradition. Thinking Faith will be offering you one article from each future issue of The Way - why not explore the journal further? When I was 27, my Provincial inflicted me as a teacher – untrained – on schoolboys in Rhodesia/...
birds in flight
Defining the qualities of an Ignatian leader is an all but impossible task, says Sarah Broscombe, and so it should be, because Ignatian leadership cannot be reduced to, ‘a tidy theory with accompanying tools and practices. It is a disposition of mind, heart and will.’ There are, however, certain traits that can usefully act as ‘compass bearings’ for those who want to understand what leadership means in the Ignatian tradition. What is your gut reaction when you hear the word ‘leadership’?...
Woman on bench
Whether you are looking forward to putting your feet up or preparing for an action-packed adventure, the benefits of a good holiday are invaluable, says Gerald O’Mahony SJ. Slowing down and gearing up can both be ways of following God’s will if they lead us towards consolation. I have been asked to explore the biblical, Ignatian and other foundations of a healthy and positive approach to rest and holidays, encouraging readers to really make the most of whatever break they may be intending...
washing feet
The liturgies of the Easter Triduum are rich and evocative, and the depth of their meaning and impact can only be discovered if we participate fully in them. Sr Anouska Robinson-Biggin FCJ identifies three invitations that we are called to respond to over these days, and offers an Ignatian guide to how we might answer those calls in prayer and action. In the final days of Lent, the liturgies of Holy Week issue each of us with an invitation to ‘be with’ Jesus in a special way. This time,...
Photo of desert by TREEAID at flickr.com
Early Christians spent time in the desert because it was there that they felt best placed to turn themselves to God. Nearly 2000 years later, the deserts of the world can still orient us to God, but perhaps for a different reason. Jaime Tatay SJ uses Ignatian ideas to show that the desertification of the natural world should challenge us ‘to shape more enlightened and responsible ways of thinking, feeling and behaving’. When we think of a desert today, we imagine a waterless, desolate area...
The Negev Desert
Thinking Faith’s Lenten reflections this year will take us into the desert, as we look at how and why it is so often a place of encounter with God and of transformation. James Hanvey SJ introduces the desert as a living memory within the Christian tradition – what does it mean to be people of the desert, and why might there be a heightened awareness of that during Lent?Some years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Negev while on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. I was completely unprepared for...
Jéhovah devient notre père by Jean-Georges Cornélius.
The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was promoted by St Claude La Colombière and St Margaret Mary Alacoque, whose relics will come to London with the Sacred Heart of Mercy Mission this week. James Hanvey SJ explains why this devotion will always be central to the life of the Church and why it is the foundation of our intimacy with Christ. ‘Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, has a heart… With him it is always personal.’ The first time I visited Paray-le-Monial I...

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