This collection of essays is a testimony to the spiritual, theological, and scientific legacy of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. The contributors, both scientists and theologians,share their own insights about the continuing influence of Teilhardswritings. Chapter topics include Teilhards Spiritual Vision of the Mystical Milieu;Teilhard, Cosmic Purpose, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, andTeilhards Two Energies.
“For me to be a saint means to be myself,” wrote the Trappist monk Thomas Merton. But what does it mean to be oneself? In this profound meditation on Merton’s notion of the “true self” James Martin helps readers to understand who they and, in the process, to discover their vocations in life. Using insights from the lives of the saints and contemporary spiritual masters, Martin shows how the quest to know oneself is, ultimately, the quest to know God.
Philip Sheldrake brilliantly reveals the connection between our rootedness in the places we inhabit and the construction of our personal and religious identities. His book examines the sacred narratives that derive from both overtly religious sites such as monasteries, and secular ones, like the Millennium Dome, and suggests how Christian theological and spiritual traditions may contribute creatively to current debates about places.
In 1577, the Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci set out from Italy to bring the Christian faith and Western thought to Ming Dynasty China. To capture the complex emotional and religious drama of Ricci’s extraordinary life, Jonathan Spence has shifted away from conventional biographical techniques, and he relates his subject’s life to several images that Ricci himself created – four images derived from events in the Bible and others from a book on the art of memory that Ricci wrote in Chinese and circulated among members of the Ming dynasty’s elite.
Centered around the theme of a meal where all are welcome at the table, Come to the Banquet is broken into five chapters – hunger, food, nourishment, breaking bread together, and feasting at the banquet – that address such spiritual questions as How do we seek meaning? What does it mean to pray? How can a relationship with God guide my life? Who am I in relation to others? What does faith in Jesus have to do with me and the kind of life I want to live? Discussion questions are included at the end of the chapter for individual and group study.
The Jesuit Relations, written by New World Jesuit missionaries from 1632 to 1673 back to their Superior in France, have long been a remarkable source of both historical knowledge and spiritual inspiration. They provide rich information about Jesuit piety and missionary initiatives, Ignatian spirituality, the Old World patrons who financed the venture, women’s role as collaborators to the Jesuit project, and the early history of contact between Europeans and Native Americans in what was to become northeastern United States and Canada.
The Jesuits approached the task of converting the native peoples, and the formidable obstacles it implied, in a flexible manner. One of their central values was “inculturation ,” the idea of “coming in by their door,” to quote a favorite saying of Ignatius, via creative process of syncretism that blended aspects of native belief with aspects of Christian faith, in order to facilitate understanding and acceptance.
David Fleming SJ provides an authoritative yet highly accessible summary of the key elements of Ignatian spirituality, among which are contemplative payer, discernment, and dynamic involvement in service and mission. Chapters include:
God is Love Loving; Sin is a Lack of Gratitude; Prayer is a Conversation; Seeking the Grace of Compassion; Jesus is All Heart.
Fr. Fleming explains how this centuries-old method of disciplined reflection on God’s work in the world can deepen our spiritual lives today and guide all the decisions we make.
John O’Donohue writes: “It would be infinitely lonely to live in a world without blessing. The word blessing evokes a sense of warmth and protection; it suggests that no life is alone unreachable. Each life is clothed in raiment of spirit that secretly links it to everything else. Though suffering and chaos befall us, they can never quench that inner light of providence.”
Using tools and materials employed by scribes for thousands of years, Donald Jackson and an international team of artists and scholars embarked on a monumental seven year journey: to create the first handwritten and illumined Bible commissioned since the invention of the printing press. Combining the most widely used English translation of the Bible with original artwork that reflects cultures from around the world, The Saint John’s Bible is an inspiring interfaith undertaking that speaks to the heart of religious traditions.
The seven volumes include: Pentateuch, Historical Books, Wisdom Literature, Psalms, Prophets, Gospels and Acts and Letters and Revelations.
For most people most of the time, prayer is hard. It is especially difficult – not to mention unsatisfying – when people experience it as formal, dry, and repetitious. But what might happen if you discovered a simple prayer that changed all that? What if you discovered a simple prayer that changed all that? What if you discovered a prayer that changed you?
The prayer is the examen, which St Ignatius Loyola developed for the purpose of nurturing a reflective habit of mind that is constantly attuned to God’s presence.
What makes the prayer so powerful is its capacity to dispel any notion that God is somewhere “up there,” detached from our day-to-day tasks and concerns. Instead the examen leads us into a relationship with a God who desires to be personally caught up the lives of those whom he created.
By following five simple steps for praying the examen, we can encounter the God, who ,as Scripture tells us, “is not far from each one of us “ – the God whose presence in our lives can make all the difference in the world.