In a reading today, Jeremiah voiced God’s hopeful longing, “Perhaps they will listen and turn back, each from his evil way.” The seed of one response was born in the castle of Loyola, Spain in 1491. A simple plaque there says, “Aqui nacio.” On a literal level, it means St. Ignatius was born there. Symbolically, it reaches more broadly: the start of a creative, alternate narrative no one dreamt would spread so far, endure so long.
At a time when clergy were the only intermediaries between ordinary people and God, Ignatius differed. Gloriously, he told ordinary shmucks: “God has a dream for you.” Ignatius’ alternative didn’t emphasize external rules. Instead, the interior process of the Spiritual Exercises asked not what? but who? Called into “conscious living relationship with the person of Christ,” Ignatius exchanged his sword for a walking stick. He traded the macho drama of a knight’s life for a mysterious process. He had no idea where it would end, but limped into it trustingly.
With genius and craziness, Ignatius directed his followers into the swirl of cities, where lively plazas offered places to preach and exchange new ideas. His directions for Jesuit life are remarkably flexible: no office in common, no excessive penances; regarding dress, “the manner is ordinary.” He often inserts the realistic qualifier to fit circumstances: “or whatever’s best.” Just as prophets in today’s readings met disdain, so the Jesuits have had perpetual differences with the powers-that-be. Gospel fidelity could conflict with human law; no other religious order has spent as many man-years in jail.
|You’re Invited – Join us! RCIA Adapted for Children|
This webinar will begin with a brief background on the RCIA adapted for children. We’ll then turn to ways of implementing it. The presentation will conclude with an introduction to the RCIA Journal, and ideas for prayer with children.
This is what we will cover: What is RCIA? Ways to implement RCIA, adapted for children, in a parish setting. A short overview of the new RCIA Journal. Retreat ideas. Questions. Pflaum sales reps and David Dziena will present RCIA resources available from Pflaum and all of Bayard, Inc.
|Wednesday, August 4, 2021 – 1:00 PM (ET) REGISTER NOW |
Kathy Coffey has been intrigued by the process of Christian initiation, especially children’s, for over 25 years. After publishing her books in the Children and Christian Initiation series, she traveled around the country, giving workshops about it in many dioceses. Among her award-winning books are HIDDEN WOMEN OF THE GOSPELS, MORE HIDDEN WOMEN OF THE GOSPELS (Orbis), and WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN (Liturgical Press).