Prisms: It seems strange to me to be writing my own farewell as editor. I have completed 22 years as editor, and it has been for me a privilege to publish so many authors. I hope and pray that our readers can also identify a learning and deepening for their religious lives as their experience of this journal.
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Agents of Change: Six Models
Louis M. Savary shares and explains six models of being a change agent that were created by a long ago deceased Jesuit, Joseph Grau. You may contact Savary through his email <email@example.com>
Excerpts: "If you chose be a Change Agent in an unfair situation, you can play at least six different roles—in helping make the needed change happen. . . . The most common forms of Lifestyle Agents include the protest march, the worker strike, the sit-in, the letter-writing campaign, the political campaign, etc. . . . The effects the Ideological Agent has on the Structures of society or the church are mostly indirect, but yet very powerful."
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Christ-like Empathy in Those Who Govern
John H. Zupez SJ draws on Mark's gospel to encourage religious superiors and anyone exercising authority to learn from the empathy of Jesus shown towards others. He is currently the pastor of Corpus Christi Church in Oklahoma City. His email is <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Excerpts: "Again and again Jesus attributes his cures to the patent faith he perceived in those wo whom he ministered. . . . From all who wish to enter the kingdom, Jesus demands childlike curiosity and openness to new ideas."
Making the Spiritual Exercises
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius: A Path to Virtue
James Menkhaus explores the Spiritual Exercies of St. Ignatius, using the languageof virtue ethics and emphasizing a new understanding of the virtues of friendship and presence. He is currently involved in his doctoral work in Systematic Theology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and teaches part-time at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. His email address is <email@example.com>
Excerpt: "Without God's love the focus on one's sins could lead the exercitant to a sense of despair. . . . The First Week experience is impossible without one's reflection on one's own narrative and experience. . . .One does not become a follower of Christ without effort and prayer and an honest attempt to follow him. . . The poor and oppressed are the ones that Christ ministered to and who are often the examples of suffering in society. . . . A virtue ethics perspective of the Exercises calls one to apply these virtues in the future.'"
Reflecting on Readiness to Make the Spiritual Exercises
Myree Harris RSJ offers some possible questions and reflections for a better assessment of retreatants' readiness to enter into the full 30-day Spiritual Exercises esperience. Sister Myree Harris lives in Petersham, Australia. Her email address is <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Excerpts: "What you are testing for in the disposition days is willingness versus willfulness. . . . A person could pray for thirty days, without actually doing the Exercises. . . . Sometimes the grace can be given, but not opened for years."
Looking at Death from a Christian Perspective
Julius D. leloczky OCist reflects on the contemporary obession with death and recalls how our Christian faith givs us a life-perspective. Father Leloczky writes from Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas in Irving, Texas.
Excerpts: " If we cannot live and love forever, why live and love at all? . . . Life is one and indivisible; it cannot be separated into a life here on earth and another life after death. . . . As long as we are alive on earth, our lives are 'unfinished symphonies.' "
Spiritual Direction 101
J. Thomas Hamal SJ reflects on the practice of spiritual direction understood as a dual ministry with the roles of giving and receiving by the director and the directee. Father Hamel who last wrote for us in January 2010 resides in Worcester, Massachusetts at College of the Holy Cross.
Excerpts: "It is normal for a director to refer to an experience of God brought to a previous meeting with the directee. . . . In the ministry of giving spiritual direction, the spiritual director may grow aware of imitating Jesus, who has truly been contemplating the director."
Exploring Religious Life
Looking for Nuns, Finding Women Deacons
Phyllis Zagano suggests that in light of the Apostolic Visitation of U.S. women religious the monastic framework proposed applies to the minority of institutes and religious vocations, whereas the larger body of institutes and new vocations are moving to other ways of ministering, presaging the church's return to the ancient vocation of the diaconate for women. Ms. Zagano is a well-known authority on women in ministry and senior research associate-in-residence at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Her email address is <Phyllis.Zagano@hofstra.edu>
Excerpts: "It is important to recognize both that the diaconate is not the priesthood and that diaconal service is a legitimate vocation for women. . . . There is not dearth of young women who wish to dedicate their lives to ministry. . . . What is perhaps most interesting about the Apostolic Visitation's questionnaire is that it asks very little about personal prayer."
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William P. Clark OMI reviews the challenges that contemporary culture has presented to the understanding and practice of religious obedience. He writes from St. Henry's Oblate Residence in Belleville, Illinois.
Excerpts: "The vow of obedience often look on the appearance of something restrictive, repressive, and somehow foreigh to the American mentality. . . . Opposing authority can, on occasion, bring about better governance and actually fulfill a role of service."
Scripture Scope: Jeremiah: A Messenger of God Caught between a Rock and a Hard Place
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. His email is: <email@example.com>.
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February Snow, by Patricia Schnapp RSM – 70.1.24
Tremblement de Terre, by Mary Alban Bouchard CSJ – 70.1.43
Ask the Birds, byTerri MacKenzie SHCJ – 70.1.66
Book • Shelf • Life
Mini book reviews by Rosemary Jermann
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