Prisms: "The celebration of the Pauline Year has stimulated a large number of books on the person and writings of St. Paul. . . In his letter to Titus Paul make a summary statement about how much the Spirit is truly the Giver of life. . . . Early on in his First Letter to the Corinthians Paul asks "Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?". . . And in Paul's Letter to the Romans we receive the richest understanding of our prayer as Christians."
Prisms entire text
Consecrated Life Stories
The Impact of Women Religious on the Church of New York
Regina Bechtle SC, two centuries after New York became a large suffragan diocese of Baltimore, recounts its history—which, as in diocese everywhere, is inseparable from stories of its women religious. Looking for what was really going on, she finds the faith-meaning underneath the sisters' social and ecclesial achievements. Regina is Charism Resource Director fo the Sisters of Charity of New York.
Excerpts: "How do we measure impact? I suggest we measure impact by the tributes of a society. . . . To the Ursulines belongs the distinction of being the first women religious in the New World. . . . By 1855 New York City was known as the largest Irish city in the world and the third largest German city. . . . Diminishment, not power, seems the overriding theme in conversations about religious life. today."
Monasteries of Meteora
Mary Frances Coady gives her visual and spiritual impressions of ancient traditions kept by Eastern Christian monastics on a rocky peninsula of Greece. She writes to us from Toronto Canada.
Excerpts: "I wonder aloud why these monasteries were built in the first place and why anyone these days would want to return to such a medieval way of life. . . . In the 11th century, hermits first came to Meteora seeking refuge from "the world.". . . In 1961 the oldest monastery became a monastery for women."
Philip Shano SJ suggests a way of adapting the general examen found in the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises to a communal examne that can help the community as a group to attend to its daily life in a prayerful way. Fr. Shano wrote for us in 2008 his email address is <email@example.com>.
Excerpts: "Did some event have a very positive and consoling effect on the community? . . . Maybe the fatigue and moodiness of one member has influenced all of us. . . .Guidance questions have to resonate with the community."
Go to this article to find questions for reflection and discussion
Ignatius's Contemplation ad Amorem
Louis M. Savary re-examines how Ignatius's Fourth Week contemplation asks us to observe closely the way God loves us and to ut into practice our love of God and the ret of creation in a similarly unconditional and generous way. Savary has given lectures and workshop on Teilhardian spirituality for many years. His email address is <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Excerpt: "The grace we are to seek in this contemplation is not primarily gratitude and wonder at realizing how unconditinally God loves us. . . .This perspective of finding and loving God in all things permeates the four stages of the Ignatian Contemplatio. . . .For Ignatius, these four capacities of the human mind and spirit—liberty, memory, understanding and will—are the greatest gift we can offer to God. . . . "Finding God in all things" means being with God all day long in our daily duties and activities, doing each thing with God and in God."
Job's Difficult Transformation
Marian Maskulak CPS, making grateful use of Stephen Mitchell's The Book of Job, explores the spiritual changes Job undergoes and suggests their relevance to ourselves. Sister Marian is an assistant professor of Theology and Religious Studies at St. John's University in Queens, New York. Her email address is <email@example.com>.
Excerpts: " Even good qualities or practices can become idolatry when they and one's own self become the focus instead of God. . . . The "Why me?" question places the self over and against God, rather than in relationship with God. . . . Anger or hate can be indicative of an underlying love. . . . Creation praises God by simply being what it is, and some of cretion can be quite violent or devastating. . . . There is more to life and suffering than words can explain."
The Central Paradox of John of the Cross
James W. Kinn presents and, like a good teacher, emphasizes John's teaching for proficient beginners. Father Kinn is an actively retired priest and lives in Salem, Wisconsin.
Excerpts: "This dark and empty prayer is filled with promise. . . . This humility and poverty of spirit leads to exaltation by God. . . . The darker the night, the more receptive we are to God's light."
Connecting through Prayer
John H. Zupez SJ suggests a way of praying that gives us a greater sene of connectedness to God and to one another in our lives. In past years, Father Zupez taught in seminaries in Nigeria and Zimbabwe. He was recently appointed pastor of Corpus Christi Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His email address is <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Excerpts: "St. Ignatius Loyola advises us not to clutter our prayer with many thoughts but rather to remain with and to treasure any insight that comes to us. . . . Many Christians have found in awareness or centering prayer a means of connecting with the gracious God who is there every moment for us."
When Pragmatists Become Mystics
Rabbi Allen S. Maller shares a variety of Hassidic wisdom sayings for our inspiration and for the deepening of our faith. Rabbi Maller last wrote for us in January 1994, he lives in Encino, California and his email address is <email@example.com>.
Excerpts: " We live in two worlds: past and future, spiritual and material, rational and emotional, public and private. . . . Seek the sacred within the ordinary. Seek the remarkable within the commonplace."
A Game You Should Not Play
Birney Dibble MD discusses the candor that people often find difficult around terminally ill patients. Doctor Dibble has practiced medicine all over the world. He writes form Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Excerpts: "Patients wondering if they are dying are more distrought thant those who know for sure. Maybe not at first—not until acceptance comes. But now the uncertainty is over. The game stops. The serious business of dying can begin. I have had many, many patients thank me for telling them."
Scripture Scope: Understanding the Psalms
Eugene Hensell OSB continues his Scripture essays, a regular feature of each issue of Review for Religious. Fr. Hensell travels about giving retreats and workshops his home is at St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana.
Confessions, by Ian A.T. White
Deadheading, by Bonnie Thurston
When Francis Prayed, by Chet Corey
"kecharitoméne," by Sean Edward Kinsella
On this Pentecost Sunday Morning, by Chet Corey
Veronica, by Barbara Bruns PHJC
Book • Shelf • Life
Mini reviews by Philip Fischer SJ