The Jesuits

Pope Francis
13 March 2013 was the date of the historic election of the first Jesuit pope. Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ took the name of Francis and in the five years since, he has captured headlines, imaginations and hearts worldwide. Nicholas Austin SJ looks at one of the foundation stones of Francis’ papacy and, indeed, his life as a Jesuit: discernment. What, according to Pope Francis, does it mean to be a discerning Christian? When Pope Francis was asked, in the famous interview published by Thinking...
Photo by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash
A new audio resource, Women of God, Women of the Cross, from the Jesuits in Britain introduces you to the women who encountered Jesus during his passion. Using our senses to enter into their stories as we listen to them is not an end in itself, says Gemma Simmonds CJ. The application of the senses, as Ignatius calls it, is an instrument of prayer and discernment, and one that extols faculties that have been – and, too often, still are – associated with women and disparaged. Of all the ways...
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
The writings of Ignatius of Loyola are not the only texts to which we can turn as we seek to understand and practise discernment. The authors of the New Testament, as they sought to explore what it meant for God to have revealed himself in Christ, had plenty to say about how we can discover where God is, and is not, at work in our lives. Nicholas King SJ identifies certain passages that can aid our Lenten study of discernment. The pope is currently asking the Church to do something at...
Edmund Campion and Evelyn Waugh
How did the patron saint of the Jesuits in Britain, who was martyred on 1 December 1581, transform the life of one England’s most celebrated authors nearly 400 years later? Gerard Kilroy, the co-editor of a new edition of Evelyn Waugh's Edmund Campion, describes the motivations behind and evolution of Waugh’s ‘work of imaginative literature’.  Thomas More and John Fisher were canonised by Pope Pius XI on 19 May 1935; in the same month, Evelyn Waugh finished writing his gripping...
Peter Mullan as Henry Garnet SJ in Gunpowder
The opening half of episode 3 of Gunpowder was a vast improvement on the episode that preceded it.Thankfully it kept fairly close to the broadly known facts, and was a simple but presentable visualisation of the events. It covered the final loading of the parliamentary undercroft with barrels of explosives; the breakdown of the Gunpowder Plot (either via an anonymous letter to Lord Monteagle or a creative twist hinting at betrayal by the Spanish); the fleeing of the plotters to the Midlands;...
Gunpowder
This really is becoming something of a dog’s dinner.Except for the central fact that a group of blokes are planning to blow up the English parliament, the details of Gunpowder are becoming somewhat disconnected to the known facts of the Gunpowder Plot. People and places are adrift, incidents and portrayals are going badly out of focus, and time is bending more than in an episode of Star Trek.As in episode I, the production values of episode 2 are high, and obviously money has been poured into...
Liv Tyler, Edward Wintour and Kit Harington in 'Gunpowder'
There is a famous philosophical proposition that if an infinite number of monkeys sat at an infinite number of typewriters, all combinations of letters of the alphabet would eventually be made and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare would emerge.The American comedian, Bob Newhart, picked up this conceit in one of his stand-up monologues by suggesting that, if such an experiment was to be attempted, it would need monitors to go around and observe what the monkeys were writing.In the sketch...
birds in flight
Defining the qualities of an Ignatian leader is an all but impossible task, says Sarah Broscombe, and so it should be, because Ignatian leadership cannot be reduced to, ‘a tidy theory with accompanying tools and practices. It is a disposition of mind, heart and will.’ There are, however, certain traits that can usefully act as ‘compass bearings’ for those who want to understand what leadership means in the Ignatian tradition. What is your gut reaction when you hear the word ‘leadership’?...
Statue of St Ignatius
The life of the saint whose feast we celebrate on 31 July was changed completely when he read the stories of the saints who had come before him. But tradition has it that Ignatius had a devotion to St Peter even before his conversion as a convalescent, and that it was Peter’s intercession that brought about his recovery. To mark Ignatius’s feast, Philip Endean SJ explores this tradition and how it may have played out, both in Ignatius’s own life and in the mission of the Society of Jesus ever...
The Berrigan Letters
‘Both sides are kissing their relics and ignoring living men’. So wrote Daniel Berrigan SJ of Christianity and Marxism in a letter to his brother, Philip, on Christmas Eve 1963. The comment captures the spirituality and convictions of both men. They shared a profound desire that Christianity resist the distractions of clericalism and be constantly and fundamentally concerned with changing human realities, materially and spiritually.Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit priest who was celebrated as a poet...

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