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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Spirituality for Real Life

My latest kindle book is The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life by James Martin SJ. I'm just at the beginning, which has a short bio of Ignatius plus an intro to what Ignatian spirituality is about. Here's a little bit from the part I've just read (pp. 5-8) ....

[F]inding God in all things.

This deceptively simple phrase was once considered revolutionary. It means that nothing is considered outside the purview of the spiritual life. Ignatian spirituality is not confined within the walls of a church. It's not a spirituality that considers only "spiritual" topics, like prayer and sacred texts, as part of a person's spiritual life.

Most of all, it's not a spirituality that says, "Well, that -- whether it's work, money, sexuality, depression, sickness -- is something to avoid when talking about the spiritual life."

Ignatian spirituality considers everything an important element of your life. That includes religious services, sacred Scriptures, prayer, and charitable works, to be sure, but it also includes friends, family, work, relationships, sex, suffering, and joy, as well as nature, music, and pop culture.


[T]he way of Ignatius ... is an incarnational spirituality. Christian theology holds that God became human, or "incarnate," in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. (The word incarnation comes from the Latin root carn, for "flesh.") More broadly, an incarnational spirituality means believing that God can be found in the everyday events of our lives. God is not just out there. God is right here, too. If you're looking for God, look around. To this end, one of the best definitions of prayer is from Walter Burghardt, a twentieth-century Jesuit theologian, who called it a "long, loving look at the real." Incarnational spirituality is about the real.

I'll probably post a few more bits from the book as I read more. Meanwhile, from me who likes to find God in nature, here's another screen capture from LOST :) ...


Anonymous Richard said...

Thanks Crystal, just downloaded it. Love my Kindle!

4:42 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

I love mine too :) I probably wouldn't have bought it myself, but my sister gave it to me, thinking I could make the font big enough to read stuff I couldn't otherwise. So nice to be able to get books right away too.

5:23 PM  

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