Monday, November 01, 2004

What I'm reading.

Today I finished Father William Bangert's biography Jerome Nadal, S.J., which I'd been working on since mid-October. Before I entered the Society I could finish a book of this length - a little under 350 pages - in under a week; now, however, I curiously find myself so occupied with different things - personal and communal prayer, community meetings, house jobs, the hospital experiment (I will write something about this soon, I promise), and so on - that I'm often lucky if I get five or ten pages of pleasure reading done each day. Not that I'm complaining - even if our days here are very full, they're also very rewarding. As for the Bangert book, what struck me most about Nadal's life was the many lasting innovations he introduced into the Society. Though most remembered today as the man who Ignatius commissioned to bring the Constitutions to all the Jesuit houses of Europe, Nadal was also the first to suggest that the Jesuit novitiate be a house in its own right (before, novices were trained informally in regular Jesuit communities) and promoted yearly week-long retreats based on the Spiritual Exercises as a key part of each Jesuit's spiritual life. Though sometimes very dry, Bangert's book was well worth reading. Having disposed of it at long last, I just started Searching for the Christian End-Person: An Inside Story by Father Joe Downey, a Jesuit I've gotten to know up at Colombiere. Downey's book offers something akin to a "spirituality of aging," and I'm hoping to cull from it some insights that will help me in my present ministry with nursing home residents. When I finish Searching for the Christian End-Person (hopefully in less time than it took to get through Bangert's biography of Nadal), expect further reflections from me on this topic. AMDG.


Post a Comment

<< Home