What can we learn about self awareness from the Jesuits?

I have just been reading an inspiring book called, ‘Heroic Leadership’ by Chris Lowney, about the Jesuits who have been working as an order or company, as they prefer to call it, for over 450 years.  They have obviously been doing something right!  The following thoughts are excerpts from a few chapters of the book. Ignatius, who was the founder of the Jesuits with 9 others, wasn’t your classic saint. His background was colourful. He Read more about What can we learn about self awareness from the Jesuits?[…]

What are we learning two months into lockdown?

‘My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.’  James 1 Read more about What are we learning two months into lockdown?[…]

How can we effectively use our time during lockdown?

When you have a forced isolation, or lockdown like we have in Spain and other nations right now, what do we do with our time?  Even when the world isn’t involved in a pandemic, we have issues of sickness, accident, hospitalisation, burn out, imprisonment, cancellation of events and suchlike, that cause us to rethink our rhythms and activities.   What do we do with free space when it comes?  Fill the space with something as soon Read more about How can we effectively use our time during lockdown?[…]

How do you give your very best strawberries?

I read a short quote from our SacredSpace morning devotion a couple of weeks ago that hasn’t left me. I share it with you here: In an essay about the crushing loss of a friendship novelist Jacqueline Mitchard crafted a brilliant phrase. To describe how she had neglected other relationships during the ill-fated friendship, Mitchard wrote that she had given the ‘very best strawberries’ of her personal life only to that one particular friend. I Read more about How do you give your very best strawberries?[…]

114. Have you debriefed your journey this year?

It’s been a habit for years now of taking a day in December to reflect back over the past year, and then look forward with expectation for the new year ahead.  I like to mix it up every year and create a different way of reflecting.  I think I could call it a spiritual discipline now, as it has become such an important tool, to learn lessons from the past and move into the new Read more about 114. Have you debriefed your journey this year?[…]

113. Am I indifferent?

The dictionary definition of the word ‘indifferent’ is ‘lack of interest, concern, or sympathy.’  For example: “she shrugged, feigning indifference”.  But this isn’t the kind of indifference I want to talk about.  St Ignatius, the Spanish monk who began the Jesuits, developed many spiritual exercises, one of which was called ‘indifference.’ Let me tell you a simple story to illustrate.  Years ago, while living in Scotland, we had moved into a new home with a Read more about 113. Am I indifferent?[…]

112. How is my confession?

When I think of confession, I am immediately reminded of the verse I memorised in my early discipleship: 1 John 1:9 ‘But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness.’  I was taught that confession was a personal practice between me and God.  Yet when we read the famous story of the prodigal son, we see that his confession Read more about 112. How is my confession?[…]

108. Can you drink the cup?

I have read this little book by Henri Nouwen several times now and I think it will be one of those books regularly taken out of the bookshelf for a recap.  It’s a book about the story of our lives.  Our lives are made up of a mixture of both joy and sorrow, although if we aren’t careful the sorrow can take over the joy.  Or on the other hand, our focus on joy may Read more about 108. Can you drink the cup?[…]

107. How is technology impacting your life?

When was the last time you assessed the impact of technology in your life? My mum is 95 years old and has never been good with technology.  She has never driven a car, never watched a video, never sent a text or opened a website, never held a smart phone or even know what an app is.  All she knows is to turn on the TV and to push the red button on her landline Read more about 107. How is technology impacting your life?[…]

106. How do you create habits?

I was watching a TV show the other day where a doctor wasn’t allowing a patient to go through a cultural ritual and as a result, she was very anxious and uptight.  After this incident, the doctor’s partner caught the doctor going through his own ritual in getting ready for a surgery – a certain way of washing his hands and repeating certain phrases that he said under his breath.  He subsequently allowed the patient Read more about 106. How do you create habits?[…]

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