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(1)(2) (3) Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits


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(3) Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits. IAN 14199?. Jesuit Spirituality. from a Process Perspective iILL. LIBRARY. fX. w. Joseph A. Bracken,. S£&X 22/2. ON COLLEGE. March 1990. S.J..

(4) THE SEMINAR ON JESUIT SPIRITUALITY A. group of Jesuits appointed from their provinces. The Seminar. United States.. studies topics pertaining to the spiritual doctrine and. practice of Jesuits, especially results to the. in the. American. and communicates the done in the spirit of Vatican. Jesuits,. members of the provinces. This. is. recommendation to religious institutes to recapture the original inspiration of their founders and to adapt it to the circumstances of modern times. The Seminar welcomes reactions or comments in regard to the material which it publishes. II's. The Seminar focuses. its. Jesuits of the United States.. direct attention. The. on the. issues treated. may. life. be. and work of. common. the. also to. Jesuits of other regions, to other priests, religious, and laity, to both. men. and women. Hence the Studies, while meant especially for American Jesuits, are not exclusively for them. Others who may find them helpful are cordially welcome to read them.. CURRENT MEMBERS OF THE SEMINAR is pastor of St. Leo's Parish in Tacoma, Washington, and superior of the Jesuit community there. John A. Coleman, S.J., teaches Christian social ethics at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.. L. Patrick Carroll, S.J.,. R.. Emmett Curran,. S.J.,. teaches history. at. Georgetown University. in. Washington. James J. DiGiacomo, S.J., teaches theology at Regis High School in New York. Robert N. Doran, S.J., is one of the editors of the complete works of Bernard Lonergan and teacher of systematic theology at Regis College, the Jesuit School of Theology in Toronto. Philip C. Fischer, S.J., is secretary of the Seminar and an editor at the Institute of Jesuit Sources.. David J. Hassel, S.J., teaches philosophy at Loyola University, Chicago, and regularly writes on topics in spirituality. Frank J. Houdek, S.J., teaches historical theology and spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. Michael J. O'Sullivan, S.J., teaches psychology at Loyola Marymount University.. John W. Padberg, S.J., is chairman of the Seminar, editor of Studies, and director and editor at the Institute of Jesuit Sources. David S. Toolan, S.J., is associate editor of America and superior of the. West Side. Jesuit. Community. in. New. ©. York.. 1990 and published by The Seminar on Jesuit Spirituality, 63108 (Tel. 314-652-5737). 3700 West Pine Blvd., St. Louis,. Copyright. MO.

(5) Jesuit Spirituality. from a Process Perspective. Joseph A. Bracken, SJ.. Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits 22/2:. March 1990.


(7) .. For your information. .. .. The Jesuit university in El Salvador will soon number among its faculty two authors of essays in Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits, Charles Beirne and Dean Brackley. They will go there as part of a team of members of the Society of Jesus from several lands who will take up the academic teaching and research and the public witness to the Gospel which their. murdered brethren had carried on so. faithfully until last. six. November. Father. Beirne, presently academic vice-president at Santa Clara University, wrote. "Compass and. Catalyst:. 1986 issue of Studies. at. The Ministry. The. Fordham University. article. New. in. by Father. the Seminar. Brackley,. Two. March. teaches theology Mobility:. Standards" in the January 1988. your best wishes and prayers. on Jesuit. who. "Downward. York, appeared as. Social Implications of Saint Ignatius's issue. Please join. of Administration" for the. two men,. Spirituality for these. members. to those of the for their. of. newly ap-. pointed companions, and for the veteran, ongoing members of that university. who. much. precisely in. and through. that intellectual apostolate have given so. of themselves to the service of faith. The. and the promotion. of justice.. ideas of Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947), mathematician. and. philosopher, form the framework of the essay in this present issue of Studies.. Whitehead was a man. immense abilities, wide-ranging accomplishreligion, and a talent for putting many of his in-. ments, a deep interest in. of. sights into a vivid, imaginative, indeed, a poetic prose. Consider, for ple,. from four of his works, these. Christ,. and on. Religion. is. on. brief selections. religion,. the vision of something which stands beyond, behind, and. and yet waiting. to. be. realized;. and yet the greatest of present that passes,. The. .. .. .. something which facts;. is. a. remote. is real,. possibility,. something that gives meaning. to all. and yet eludes apprehension; something whose possession. the final good, and yet ideal,. on God, on. Christianity.. within the passing flux of immediate things; something which. mate. exam-. is. beyond. and the hopeless. love of. God. particular occasions.. for the. What. all. reach; something. quest. (Science. world .... is. done. is. in the. and. the. which. is. the. Modern World). the particular providence for. world. is. is. ulti-. transformed into a.

(8) reality in. heaven, and the reality in heaven passes back into the world.. By reason. of this reciprocal relation, the love in the world passes into the. love in heaven, is. and floods back again. the great companion. and. into the world.. God. In this sense,. —the fellow sufferer who understands.. (Process. Reality). The. life. those. of Christ. who. is. not an exhibition of overruling power.. can discern. sence of force.. It. it,. and not. for the world. Its. has the decisiveness of a supreme. power ideal,. Its. glory. lies in its. and that. is. for. ab-. is. why. the history of the world divides at this point of time. (Religion in the Making). The essence. of Christianity. tion of the nature of. the appeal to the. is. God and. life. of Christ as a revela-. of his agency in the world. (Adventures of. Ideas). But Whitehead was. and foremost a. first. great philosopher. Joseph. Bracken, professor of theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati and author of this issue of Studies, has paid. him the. with ultimate seriousness Whitehead's process-relational. own. merits. and then going on. neo-Whiteheadian synthesis. to elaborate a. of theology. Certain central elements of that synthesis to Jesuit spirituality. that synthesis. and is. the. seem. make up. this article.. startlingly. new,. it. by taking philosophy on its. best possible tribute. And. if. some. might be good. and. their relevance. of the elements of to recall. Modern World another remark by Whitehead: "A clash. not a disaster,. it is. from. Science. of doctrines. an opportunity/'. The one-hundredth. issue of Studies. ing," has brought inquiries about. (November. and requests. 1989), "Jesuits Pray-. for extra copies. from readers. make them available to others. We have such copies here at the Seminar office. The price for back issues is $1.50 per copy plus postage. Just send a note and we shall be glad to get such copies to you right away or to those whose names and addresses you give us.. who would. This. is. like to. the time of year that the United States Jesuit provincials invite. new members. to join the. Seminar in the. fall. as several present. members. then complete their three-year terms. By the next issue of Studies in May, shall. be able to give you the names of those members-to-be.. John W. Padberg, SJ. Editor. I.

(9) CONTENTS. Introductory Comments. A. Neo-Whiteheadian Worldview. 3. The Trinity and Created Reality The Incarnation of the Son. 4. The Church. 9. Salvation. 11. Application to the Spiritual Exercises First Principle. and Foundation. Sin in the First. Week. Attain the Love of. 14 15 18. The Kingdom of Christ The Election and Discernment of Spirits Prayer, Action, and the Contemplation to. Concluding. 7. God. 19. 22. 26. Scientific Postscript. 29. The Finite Subject of Experience The God/World Relationship. 29. SOURCES: SimUo. Rodrigues on the Folly of the Cross. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. 33. 37. 42.

(10) RECENT BOOKS Joseph Simons, S. J.. Jesuit Theater Englished Five Tragedies ofJoseph Simons. Edited by Louis], Oldani, S.J.. ,. and. PhiUp C. Fischer, S.J. 1989, 416 pp. Five plays, performed thousands of times in the Jesuit college theaters of. the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, are here for the. first. time. These historical tragedies are important resources in the fields of drama, history, education, religious studies, and social science. Without notable subtlety but with sly humor nevertheless, these school plays at various points satirize greed and cowardice, castigate superstition and skulduggery, portray bluntly arrogant machinations, and hold up for admiration cleverness and courage. Here are fascinating glimpses of how the Jesuit schoolmasters of Europe saw the political, economic, social, and religious milieu of their times. This book is a translated in unabridged form.. contribution to the history of education as well as to the history of the theater.. $34.95 cloth $24.95 paper. Antonio M. de Aldama,. S.. J.. An Introductory Commentary on the TransktedbyAloysiusJ. Owen,. S.J.. Constitutions. 1989, 319 pp., index. —. historical, This commentary provides an in-depth understanding Constitutions. the of Jesuit spiritual and interpretive, documentary,. —. Together with the Spiritual Exercises, the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus are Ignatius of Loyola's most precious legacy to the religious order which he founded and to the Church which he served. This Introductory. Commentary on the Constitutions. is. a scholarly. work of interest. to those. engaged in historical studies, in spiritual direction, in the sociology of religion, and in the sources of Jesuit life and work. $22.95 cloth $16.95 paper. Order from:. The. Institute of Jesuit Sources. 3700 West Pine Blvd. 63108 St. Louis,. MO. 314-652-5737.

(11) Jesuit Spirituality. from. a Process Perspective. INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS The final test of any philosophy or theology is whether or not it makes sense in terms of the reader's experience, enriches his or her life.. For. many. years now,. I. have. reflected. on the Christian doctrine. of the Trinity in connection with the process-relational philosophy of Alfred. North Whitehead. Out of. grees a conviction I. understand. which I. I. my. study has come by de-. this joint. which has profoundly changed the way. Christian faith, has even changed the. pray and look for divine guidance in. have come. to the conclusion that. entire created universe. communitarian find that the. in. life. —. is. our. my. daily. of. ther" through the energizing activity of the it,. In brief,. the. More and more,. human. one with the "Son" in the "Son's" ongoing response see. in. contained within and structured by the. of the three divine persons.. I. way. human world— indeed,. whole meaning and purpose. animate creation, as. life.. which. Holy. life is. to. I. be. to the "Fa-. Spirit 1. shares in this communitarian. Even life. in-. of the. three divine persons, so that, as Ephesians 1:10 proclaims,. we. should give glory to the Father that everything in heaven and on earth. is. power. 1. even. now. recapitulated in Christ, His Son, through the. of the Spirit. The names "Father" and "Son". this first. paragraph in order. are written with quotation marks in. to indicate their purely metaphorical, nonsexist. character. For the purposes of easy reading, however, these. be used without quotation marks in the. rest of the essay.. same terms. will.

(12) 2 / Joseph A. Bracken,. Some related. S.J.. years ago,. I. published. themes in a book. quickly pointed out to. my. reflections. on these and other. entitled The Triune Symbol. 2. me. that,. plications for pastoral theology. But friends. while the book had significant im-. and. spiritual direction,. it. was. too technical for most people to read and readily apply to their lives.. Hence,. was very. its. own. value for pastoral theology and spiritual direction. limited.. articulate the. still. What was needed was. same vision. another book which would. of the God/world relationship in. sense language. For various reasons,. ond book. Then "Foundational. I. common-. have never written that. sec-. Issues in Jesuit Spirituality" appeared in. Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits, 3. whether. I. and I found myself wondering should write a companion piece in terms of my own neo-. Whiteheadian synthesis of theology.. For, while. I. was (and am). quite sympathetic to the basic thrust of the thought of the author of. somewhat uneasy with the results. Too much Ignatian spirituality, as I saw it, was sacrificed in favor of. that article, of classic. I. was. still. an action-oriented, pragmatic, perhaps even somewhat-rationalistic approach to the. spiritual. life.. Furthermore,. I. felt. that. my own. scheme, while preserving the social and dynamic context so com-. would still provide for features of traditional Ignatian spirituality which seem to be undercut by the tatter's proposal. In brief, it seemed like an excellent opportunity to make from a process perspective a summary presentation of that theme of the communitarian life of the three divine persons and of material related to it, and to make clear the relevance of mendable in that. earlier presentation,. those concepts to the spiritual. life,. specifically, to the Spiritual Exer-. cises of Ignatius of Loyola.. In the following pages, accordingly,. I. will first offer a prelimi-. nary sketch of the God/world relationship and various other themes. Joseph A. Bracken, S.J., The Triune Symbol: Persons, Process and Community (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1985). 2. 3. Roger Haight,. S.J.,. "Foundational Issues in Jesuit Spirituality/' Studies (September 1987).. in the Spirituality of Jesuits 19/4.

(13) Jesuit Sprituality. from a Process Perspective / 3. developed at greater length in The Triune Symbol. Then. will ad-. I. dress myself to the six features of the Spiritual Exercises. "Fundamental Issues" sought. and. to reinterpret. indicate. can be differently understood within the framework of synthesis.. vanced. My. how. they. this process. intention here will not be to refute the positions ad-. in that earlier article, since the. appeal for. which. many. Jesuits. Rather,. native vision for those. who,. my. like. approach there has strong. plan. is. simply to offer an. alter-. me, want a more synthetic or. vi-. sionary approach to the God/world relationship. Finally, in the third. and. last part of the article,. I. up some. will take. of the. more. specific. issues involved in understanding the philosophy of Whitehead.. Readers. who would. be uncomfortable and/or impatient with. more academic discussion may choose. this. to terminate their reading of. want to communicate will already have been laid out by that point, and what follows in Section 4 will be geared to those of a more theoretical bent It will deal, for example, with the meaning of the term the article at the. end of Section. 3.. The. essentials of. what. I. "actual occasion" or "actual entity," the nature of "societies" as the. aggregates into which actual occasions combine, and the overall. worldview which thereby. why. I. results.. Likewise,. will briefly indicate. I. believe that an event-ontology such as Whitehead proposes. might well be a catalyst for further progress. in. Roman. Catholic. systematic theology.. A NEO-WHITEHEADIAN WORLDVIEW Before going any further,. let. me remind. the reader that this com-. munitarian model for the God/world relationship reality,. not a picture of. tation of aspects of the. it. That. is, it is. is. only a model of. merely "a symbolic represen-. world which are not. directly accessible to.

(14) 4. / Joseph A. Bracken,. What. us/' 4. S.J.. the model attempts to describe. ultimately a mystery;. is. but the mystery (here, the God/world relationship). by. illuminated. perhaps be. carefully thinking through the logical presupposi-. and consequences. tions. may. of a given model. Hence, the. be taken seriously, but not. literally.. 5. For. taken. if. model should. literally. the model. tends to distort rather than illuminate the reality in question. The. "planetary" model of the atom, for example, has been very useful in trying to visualize these minuscule components of reality. But the. quantum theory has made evident understanding. its. limitations as a. model. for. Hence, physicists are experiment-. this level of reality.. ing with other models to explain what. is still. inaccessible to. human. observation even with the aid of scientific technology. Similarly, the. model which. I. some, but not tionship. tures,. will set forth in the next all,. Other models. and the exact. may be. necessary to explain these other fea-. correlation of these models with. always remain a mystery.. The. Trinity. let. me now. worldview based on the notion of the. of three divine persons in. dynamic. from any relation to creation, there. and love between the. Trinity as a. and the. may be. Son a. That. is,. community quite apart. an unending exchange of. is. Spirit. life. The unchang-. briefly described as follows.. at every instant (for reasons to. to offer the divine. try to sketch a Chris-. interrelation.. Father, the Son,. ing pattern of their interrelation. D) decides. one another. and Created Reality. Given these preliminary remarks,. The Father. will illuminate. of the features of the traditional God/world rela-. may. tian. few pages. be explained in Section. possibility for their joint exis-. tence as one God. The Son simultaneously decides to accept this possibility all. from the Father, thereby converting. three of them.. cides to. 4. The Holy. prompt the Father. Spirit, finally, at that. to offer. Ian Barbour, Myths, Models and Paradigms:. Science and Religion (New York: Harper 5. and the Son. Ibid., 47f.. &. Row,. A. 1974),. into actuality for. it. same moment de-. to. respond so as to. Comparative Study in 7..

(15) Jesuit Sprituality. from a Process Perspective / 5. perpetuate their coexistence as a divine community. The divine mediates between the Father and the Son somewhat as. Spirit thus. the "soul" or animating principle within each of us ate. is. between the mind and the body, keeping them. said to medi-. an ongoing. in. interrelation.. Complex. as this arrangement might. seem. at first glance,. it. nevertheless guarantees that each of the divine persons plays an. indispensable role in their. The Father cannot. life. together as the divine community.. actualize the possibilities. which the Father. offers. The Son, on the other hand, only actualizes at any given moment what the Father proposes by way of possibility for. to the Son.. their joint existence. Finally, the. Holy. between the Father and the Son but their interaction. All three are. needed. hence, their unity with one another. more, as. I. shall indicate below, this. Spirit continually. is. bound by. the outcome of. to sustain their. is strictly. is. common. life;. indissoluble. Further-. rhythm or flow. then established between the three persons. mediates. of. life. that. is. the ontological basis. for the incorporation of finite subjects of experience into the divine. communitarian. life.. In line with the Nicene Creed,. Creator of heaven and earth,. let. which describes the Father as. me now. further propose that the. moment to all these creaturely subhuman and subhuman) a similar possibility. Father communicates at every jects of. experience (both. of existence. That. the Father communicates an impulse of. is,. and love which empowers each. of. them both. to. be. itself. life. and. to. decide to exist in union with the Son in the Son's response to the Father.. These decisions, of course, are for the most part not con-. sciously made.. Only. rational beings. make conscious. decisions with. varying degrees of self-awareness. But, in line with the Whiteheadian metaphysics I. which. here stipulate that. I. will explain in the last section of this essay,. all finite. subjects of experience, even the sub-. atomic components of inanimate objects, make an implicit feelinglevel "decision" at every. moment simply. they unconsciously "cut off". to. be themselves. That. (in Latin, de-cido). other possibilities of. existence in order to be precisely this entity at this. space and time.. is,. moment. in this.

(16) 6. A Bracken,. / Joseph. S.J.. Furthermore, in and through finite entity is. its. thereby linked with. self-constituting decision each. all its. contemporaries in assent-. ing to the Father's proposal of existence and thus in joining. its. limited "yes" to the Son's unconditional "yes" to the Father's offer of. and love. life. for that. active within creation to jects of. experience to assent to the Father's proposal of existence. and thus the. Son. creation. moment The Holy Spirit, meanwhile, is inspire each new generation of finite sub-. to join their collective "yes" to the unconditional "yes" of. The net. to the Father. is. focused at every. effect, then, is that. moment on. God and. within. exists. ask,. Father's proposal of existence?. degree to which. which. it. one entity. finite subject of. thus responds, above its. Not. evil.. poral consciousness, but. all finite. the Father has in. mind. is. just. and. love.. in terms of the direction. may vary from. the process-oriented expla-. human. beings in their tem-. for. ability, that is, to. them. at this. deviate from. moment. history. In so deciding, they effectively bring disorder. into creation.. chaos. is. Not. all. chaos, to be sure,. is. destructive;. of. world. and chaos sometimes. paradoxically the necessary preliminary to the emergence. of higher forms of order. 6. which. But the. subjects of experience possess a. measure of spontaneity, an innate. what. all. experience must. self-constitution,. to another. Here, in effect,. nation of the problem of. of God.. that very fact cease to. to the Father's offer of life. implicitly chooses for. it. would by. It. life. a given entity says "no" to the. if. words, simply to be, a. somehow respond. of the Spirit Creation. shares in the trinitarian. What happens, you may be. In other. the divine Son in the tatter's. power. relationship to the Father through the. the world of. results. But by definition. from the decision of a. deviate from the divine purpose for. this type of. finite subject of it is. destructive.. chaos. experience to. The. Father, of. course, continually adjusts the divine offer of possibilities to. new. generations of finite subjects of experience so as to meet the situation already created. 6. Man's. by the. decisions of preceding generations. But. See, e.g., Ilya Prigogine. and. New. (New. Dialogue with Nature. Isabelle Stengers, Order out of Chaos:. York:. Bantam Books,. 1984)..

(17) Jesuit Sprituality. over a period of time something created as the decisions of subjects of experience are. and greater disorder. in the. power. like a collective. many. added. from a Process Perspective I 7. of evil. is. successive generations of finite. to. world of. one another. to. produce greater. creation.. The Incarnation of the Son The scene is thus set for the Incarnation, the presence and activity of the Son within the world of creation in such a way as to mobi-. power of good in response to the collective power of evil. That is, what finite (above all, human) decisions have generated by way of a collective power of evil or disorder within creation must be countered by a rival power for good, focused on a more adequate individual and corporate response to the Father's offer of life and love to all creatures. For the vision embodied in the divine "initial aims/' as Whitehead calls them, is the only basis for true and lasting order within the universe. But, before giving attention lize. to. a collective. how. this process of restoring. one must. creation works, is. peace and harmony to the world of. first offer. a prior explanation of. how. Jesus. God and, secondly, of how his words and affect men and women up to the present mo-. the incarnate Son of. deeds continue to. ment Theologians have long recognized grace should not coerce the. that, in principle, divine. human mind and. human beings human way. Yet. will,. but rather. should empower. to function. more genuinely. a fully satisfactory explanation of. how. this is so. more. naturally, in a. has always been lacking in those theologies which. conceived grace primarily in terms of divine efficient causality. For. what God makes. to be, has to be; otherwise,. God. is. not omnipotent. Within the process-oriented view of reality we sketched above, however, this speculative difficulty is no longer present. For the Father offers only possibilities of existence to creatures, just as the Father offers a. new. possibility of existence to the. Son. at every. mo-. ment. Like the Son, the creature must respond in some fashion simply to exist But the degree of responsiveness is the creature's decision; the creature, in other words,. is. free to. respond in. its. own.

(18) 8. / Joseph A. Bracken,. way. S.J.. to the divine offer of. and. life. love.. Yet the more. it. responds. and wholeheartedly, the more it approximates the uncon(even though completely free) response of the Son.. positively ditional. Applying. how he can human nature,. reasoning to Jesus, one readily sees. this. be both divine and. human. at the. same. time. In his. what the Father had. Jesus never seriously deviated from. in. mind. him at every moment of his life. Granted that he presumably felt the normal stresses and frustrations of growing up, Jesus in his adult life came to recognize and submit to the inner promptings of for. his Father in heaven; this. meant by the chronized his. what. is. Christians have traditionally. sinlessness of Jesus. So behaving, he perfectly syn-. human. "yes" to the Father with the "yes" he made to. the Father as the eternal Son of God. The Son. and through Jesus. as a free, but. still. was thus working. in. perfectly compliant, instru-. ment Moreover, far from feeling constrained by his obedience to what he recognized as the will of the Father, Jesus undoubtedly experienced a greater freedom of thought and action than other. human. beings. For the rest of us are uneasily aware of a sinful past. which we have more or less consciously said "no" to what the Father seemed to be asking of us. Hence, we are burdened with in. and alienation from the Father and our fellow human beings, which make genuinely free and peaceful decisions on our part more difficult Jesus, on the other hand, had a truly filial relationship with the Father which unquestionably gave him greater peace of mind and self-assurance. He too, of course, was tested in feelings of guilt. that self-confidence, as the traumatic events in the last hours of his. earthly. life testify.. But even then he seems. to. have weathered the. storm and died in peace.. Here one might object that Jesus but. many. of God. That. is,. in terms of this hypothesis not only. other saintly individuals might be the incarnate Son in virtue of a lifetime of. voice of conscience, they too. Up. is. tetter's. ongoing response. certainly true.. to the. As noted above, the. power of good in this world at any given moment is conby the decisions of all the finite subjects of experience inso-. collective. stituted. to a point this. fidelity to the. would be conscious or unconscious. instruments of the divine Son in the Father.. unswerving.

(19) Jesuit Sprituality. far as they are linked. that. from a Process Perspective / 9. with the response of the Son to the Father at. same moment Thus the Son. is. indeed working through the. world religions and. saintly founders of other. their adherents as well. Kingdom of God Jesus was still unique. as through the followers of Jesus in promoting the. on. earth. But,. among. those. from another perspective,. who have. said "yes" to the Father over the centuries.. For Jesus was the incarnate Son of God, not simply because he. responded to the Father's inspirations so adult. life,. faithfully all. through his. but also because he was given a very special mission by. the Father in terms of those promptings.. He was. asked to be the. Savior of the world, the implicit focal point for the strivings of hu-. man. beings everywhere to live in accord with their consciences. Ad-. mittedly, this. is. a specifically Christian belief which might well be. by Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and so forth. But, at least in principle, there is no theoretical reason why Jesus cannot be regarded in a special way as the incarnate Son of God because of contested. the Father's plan for the salvation of the world.. The Church In. any event, from the perspective of Ignatian. point. is. spirituality, the. key. that Christians as followers of Jesus are called to imitate the. pattern of his earthly. life,. namely,. like. him. to. respond to the inner. promptings of the Father and thus to become one with the divine. Son. in combatting the collective. the collective. now. power. of. good. power. of evil. Church and. ing process of redemption. The Church, after. with the Kingdom of God, for the it is. the Father.. reth. is. role in this. its. all, is. turn. ongo-. not synonymous. latter includes all of creation. The Church, on the other hand,. whom. world has been most. God. me. joined to the Son in the Son's ongoing relationship to. those individuals to. in. in consolidating. in this world. Accordingly, let. to a brief consideration of the. insofar as. and. as triune,. is. the association of. the Father's plan for the salvation of the. fully revealed. Christians alone profess belief. and Christians alone. in a special sense the incarnate. believe that Jesus of Naza-. Son. of God. Hence, they bear.

(20) 10 / Joseph A. Bracken,. S.J.. work of Jesus not simply individuals but as members of a community called the Church. Here it is necessary to summarize what is explained in greater. a special responsibility for carrying on the as. detail in the last section of the essay,. namely, Whitehead's doctrine. of "societies," understood as groupings of finite subjects of experi-. ence according to relatively fixed patterns of behavior. Since, ac-. cording to Whitehead,. new. coming into. what preserves. moment. existence,. what. or. subjects of experience are constantly continuity from. moment. gives each society an ongoing self-identity. continuous pattern of interrelation. among. members. the. is. to. the. of the soci-. Thus the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one God because they preserve a constant and unchanging pattern of interrelation from moment to moment An atom remains an atom because its ety.. component ence, retain cal. which. parts,. are likewise. an ongoing pattern of. momentary. subjects of experi-. interrelation. So, too,. with physi-. organisms and, indeed, entire communities; what guarantees. ongoing corporate lation. among. self-identity in. each case. is. the pattern of interre-. the component parts or members.. now. Transposed. to the. Church. as the. community. of the fol-. lowers of Jesus in space and time, this interpretation views Christians as held together. the. way. Jesus'. in. life,. and given an. identifiable. group identity by. which each and all of them internalize the pattern of think and act as Jesus did, that is, and respond to the. inner promptings of the Father as Jesus did. Naturally, the urgings of the Father. may. not be the same to. all. individuals. and. to all. groups; nor, presumably, will their individual and collective re-. sponse to the Father's promptings always be the same. But for an individual to call himself or herself Christian and for a group to itself. Christian,. of Jesus. call. an unmistakable link with the person and message. must be. visibly operative within the behavior of that per-. son or that group. Paradoxically, however, the desire for total conformity in. thought and action terproductive for of God.. Such. among. its. the. members. of the. Church can be coun-. deeper mission, the promotion of the Kingdom. a desire. may,. in other words, represent rigidity rather. than creativity in responding to the Father's impulses at. this. mo-.

(21) ]esuit Spirituality. ment. in history. In. any. from a Process Perspective / 11. Church leaders above. case,. all. must. exercise. caution to avoid uncritically identifying certain preconceived needs. Church as an ongoing. of the. institution with the. Gospel message. As noted above, the Church. is. demands of the not synonymous. with the Kingdom but only a divinely chosen instrument for realization.. Communities as well as. its. individuals, in other words, can. which the Father has for them within the overall plan of salvation, when their members become preoccupied with their own corporate survival and well-being and "sin," can deviate from the aim. and out-. neglect the evident pastoral needs of people both within. The history. side the institutional Church.. of Christianity. is. filled. with examples of such shortsightedness. Different church groups. have quarreled with one another about. rival prerogatives for. preaching the Gospel message. Likewise, within given groups, church leaders have acted high-handedly and lay members have acted irresponsibly in the face of controversial issues in the matter of faith. and morals.. Clearly,. what. is. needed. a. is. new awareness. that. all. without. exception should be governed by the inner promptings of the Father,. who. alone sees what. tion of the. is. or can be truly effective for the promo-. Kingdom. Naturally,. Church must spend more time Father. may wish. to. communicate. this implies that. members. in prayer, listening for to them,. and. less. of the. what. the. time in pursuing. and values simply of their own choosing. For, only if members of the Church deliberately take this more worshipful stance, goals. are they likely to conform their lives to the pattern of Jesus'. life. and. thus to act as his "ambassadors" in the promotion of the Kingdom. Salvation Finally,. some mention should be made. of. what. constitutes salvation. within this processive-communitarian scheme. The Kingdom of God, it. will. be remembered,. at every. moment. is. a. the divine Son, together with. experience, responds in the offer of life. moment-by-moment achievement. and love. power. for that. of the. Holy. moment The. all finite. in that. subjects of. Spirit to the Father's. collective. "yes" thus.

(22) 12 / Joseph A. Bracken, SJ.. spoken to the Father from the Son and. all finite entities. constitutes. Kingdom of God for that moment in cosmic history. In the next moment, the Father under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit offers a the. new. set of possibilities to the. new. experience. This tute. ual. all. subsequent subjects of. response to the Father's proposal will consti-. God on. another momentary realization of the Kingdom of. still. Seen from. earth.. Son and. this perspective, the salvation. human being and. of all creation. is. a. both of the individ-. moment-by-moment. achievement Yet these moments of salvation, once they occur, do not there-. by perish. They become part of the ongoing life of the triune God. The three divine persons, in other words, are continually adding. new. creaturely experiences to their. own. thermore, being thus part of the divine transformed; that. is,. communitarian. life,. life.. Fur-. these experiences are. they can be appreciated in a. new way. for the. modest role which each of them played in the unfolding of the world process. Applied to human beings, this means that every. moment. of our earthly lives together with. stances. is. when. life. of the three divine persons. At the. this series of earthly. ence "resurrection"; that. moments them. of our. life. serially (as in. whole. For the. is,. in such. life). time in our. Yet, precisely at this. is. complete,. we are reunited with all a way that we no longer. our earthly. first. moments. lives,. human moment of. we. which we. we. of our. we. experi-. those past experience. are fully alive, fully in. beings.. "resurrection,". experience a strong sense of judgment. For the life,. end. but simultaneously, as a unified. touch with ourselves as unique. entire. attendant circum-. preserved, albeit in a transformed state, within the. communitarian lives,. all its. see the full truth about ourselves. first. we. likewise. time in our. and the world. in. The decision which we then have to make is simple and yet momentous: Do we accept ourselves as we really are and thus enter into the fullness of the divine life, or do we refuse to lived.. accept the truth about ourselves and suffer the consequences? fore discussing these consequences, let. me emphasize. Be-. that the judg-. ment which is thus made is not God's judgment on us so much as our own judgment on ourselves. The three divine persons, after all,.

(23) from a Process Perspective / 13. Jesuit Spritiuility. have already accepted us and incorporated our communitarian. All that they. life.. do. lives into the divine. (and, indeed,. to incorporate us into the fullness of their. must do. communitarian. in order life) is. to. present us with the complete truth about ourselves and the role. which we played. in the. world process.. We. have. whether. to decide. or not to "accept acceptance/' 7. we do. If all,. we might. manent. thus. condemn. ourselves to "hell,". er or longer period of reflection lives,. of physical. classical. punishment. would. significance of. the divine. for the effects of one's sins. would presumably help. on. tion either in life. (As Karl Rahner. still. these individuals better. lovable. human. beings. Fi-. on. this earth or. comments. somewhere. common among possibility,. else in the universe.. in Foundations of Christian Faith, the no-. which. is. so. the religions of the East, might be admitted as a. provided that "this reincarnation. man which. 8. al-. through reincarna-. to try again. tion of a second chance or, indeed, multiple chances,. will never. end and. is. not understood as a. will continue. In that case, of course, the individual. quired to accept the truth about both lives (or. 7. earth. Like-. might be the case that the three divine persons would. it. low such individuals equivalently. time.". would. notion of purgatory, minus the factor. to accept themselves as flawed but. fate for. This. life.. indirectly justify praying for the souls in purgatory,. since one's prayers. nally,. be exposed to a great-. on the meaning and. full participation in. be equivalent to the. it. which we. before becoming reconciled to the truth about ourselves. and thus attaining. wise,. we might. First of. a state of per-. i.e.,. resistance to participation in the cosmic society of. are nevertheless members. Second,. our. might follow.. not, then various consequences. on forever. in. would still be rea whole series of. In this connection see Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology (Chicago: Uni-. versity of. Chicago. (New. Press, 1963), 3:223-28; also. by the same author, The New to Be (New Haven:. York: Scribner's, 1955), 3-14, and The Courage Yale University Press, 1952), 163-67. Being. 8. Karl Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity, trans. William V. Dych (New York: Seabury Press, 1978), 442..

(24) 14 / Joseph A. Bracken,. S.J.. lives together). For, in the end, salvation is a matter of truthful self-. acceptance.. Implicit here, of course,. the idea that sin. is. deception. — deception of others, but above. when an. individual has decided to ignore. on a. persistent promptings of the Father. is. to her or his. one's decision to others, but above. longer this type of (self-)deception is. the. lies,. end. even. what seems. certain point,. about one's past. life. life,. be the. one has. to. is. to oneself. Furthermore, the. one. is. more. carried on, the. One comes. to forget that they are indeed. of one's. to. all,. all. to see the real truth of the matter.. own. self-deception. For,. no one willingly chooses harm. Hence, one must rationalize or justify. justify that contrary decision. After. what. all. based on. is. difficult. it. to believe in one's. lies.. Hence,. when. at. obliged to face the unvarnished truth. he or she can find. ly difficult, almost impossible.. Were. awareness that paradoxically one. is. full self-acceptance it. extreme-. not for the concomitant. already accepted by the three. divine persons as the person that one really. is,. and. somehow worked into the overall plan for world, it would be impossible. But, given. that one's. life. has been. the redemption. of the. the miracle of. God's grace, one can come to terms with one's past and accept incorporation into the divine. full. life.. APPLICATION TO THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES. This completes. ology which. I. my. overview of the process-oriented systematic the-. set forth initially in. tinued to reflect. upon and. The Triune Symbol and have con-. refine in the intervening years.. At. this. would like to turn to the "problem areas" in the Spiritual Exercises to which the Studies essay "Foundational Issues in Jesuit Spirituality" made reference and indicate both where I agree with what is said there and where I differ with it in the matter of an point,. I. "update.".

(25) Jesuit Sprituality. First Principle First of all,. from a Process Perspective /. 15. and Foundation. with reference to the. First Principle. and Foundation,. I. would agree that at face value Ignatius's reflections are too individualistic and eschatological for most action -oriented contemporary Christians. As that essay says, The first principle and foundation today should include some statement concerning human responsibility to this world and the eternal value of human action in this world and for this world. The first principle and foundation ought to illuminate how human action in this world even now is saved, and that the exercise of my freedom and the creativity of my action count. 9. God/world. But, given the process-oriented understanding of the relationship. which. I. elaborated above,. it. should be possible to pre-. serve both Ignatius's original intent and such a. new. focus on Chris-. tian life in this world.. For, as noted above, salvation. is literally. achieved at every mo-. ment within the cosmic society constituted by the sons and all finite subjects of experience. That is, the Son together with all existing finite subjects sponds to the offer of. power. in the. and love extended. life. of the Spirit Such an action. subjects of experience. is. at every. moment. of experience re-. them by the Father. on the part. of the finite. both an act of worship to the Father as the. originating principle within the divine. way. to. three divine per-. community and the only. which those same entities can effectively constitute the world in which we live here and now. Thus, worship of God and service of one's fellow creatures are conjoined in one and the same in. decision to join with the. Son. Father. Furthermore, each. relationship. is. in the Son's. moment. not isolated but. is. ongoing response. in this history of the. joined to. its. time immemorial, so as to constitute the ongoing. 9. ". Foundational Issues/'. 24.. to the. God/world. predecessors from. "hymn. of the uni-.

(26) 16 / Joseph A. Bracken,. verse," to. S.J.. borrow a phrase from. made by innumerable. other words, the decisions. ence at every. God. moment. now. moments. many. will. have. in time a further increment. Kingdom. experience in the future.. shortly. when was. I. still. have more. will. certainly not. now. soul.". 11. wrong. In the end, this. can do in terms of. that. is all. any. its self-constituting. Kingdom. comitantly, of course,. its. is. of. God. for this. it is. joining with. contribution to the fullness of the. their creatures,. life. is. created to praise,. means. this. to save his. moment through. "perpetually perishing." 12. communitarian. about that. experience. decision: join with the. power. its. world of the present moment But. comments,. to say. finite subject of. the life-giving offer of the Father in the. tute the. other finite sub-. in urging the retreatant at the. and serve God our Lord, and by. building the. and. only wish to emphasize that. I. beginning of the Exercises to ponder that "man reverence,. Son. of the Spirit. Con-. contemporaries to constithis world, as. Its. Whitehead. only enduring value. Kingdom. of. 11. God, the ongoing. of the three divine persons together with. which alone survives and thus serves. Pierre Teilhard. all. as the ever-. We. de Chardin,. Hymn. of the Universe. (New. York: Harper. Perennial Library, 1972).. Louis. J.. MD: Newman 12. is. other words, simultaneously in two worlds: consciously in. live, in. & Row. in. response to. present context for the decisions of creatures here and now.. 10. to. discuss the reality of sin in terms of this processsive-. communitarian scheme. But for Ignatius. made. of these finite decisions are disordered. jects of. I. is. of God.. be remedied by the decisions of. to. of. in time but likewise in eternity. For in. the transtemporal reality of the. Admittedly,. Kingdom. are preserved in their simultaneity, even. new moment. as with each. subjects of experi-. contribute to the building of the. not only here and. eternity all past. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. 10 In. Puhl,. S.J.,. The. Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius (Westminster,. Press, 1951), 12.. Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality:. corrected ed.. (New. York:. The Free. An. Essay in Cosmology,. Press, 1978), 338 (514). N.B.:. The number. in parentheses refers to the corresponding page in the 1927 original edition of Process. and. Reality, also. from Macmillan..

(27) Jesuit Sprituality. the world of space to to. and. from a Process Perspective I 17. world of eternity. time, unconsciously in the. which the world of space and time. Our. implicitly belongs.. promote the Kingdom of God should. reflect. efforts. our awareness of. belonging to both worlds.. Another concern of the. and Foundation. of the First Principle explicit focus. fully agree. all finite. on "man". as. is still. too narrow.. What. too,. I. and. union. at stake here is the. is. subjects of experience, even the subatomic. components. with the Son in the. chairs,. response to the Father through the power of the Spirit Clas-. Buddhism speaks. sical. too individualistic, with the. an individual human being. Here,. of inanimate objects, such as tables tetter's. is. wording. but would add that even a concentration on "man" in. the collective of. earlier essay is that Ignatius' s. of Sunyata as the mystical experience of the. "dependent co-origination" of. moment. to. moment. 13. It is. upon one another from possibly this same experience, al-. all. quite. entities. beit reinterpreted as the experience of a cosmic society of existents. headed by the three divine persons,. to. which. I. am making. appeal. The three divine persons, in other words, exist in "dependent co-origination" on one another and on all their creatures from mo-. here.. ment. to. moment. Likewise,. all finite. subjects of experience exist in. "dependent co-origination" on one another and on the three divine. moment The cosmic moment is the necessary. which thus. persons at every. society. moment. by-product of the interrelated. to. agencies of. all its. In a practical. exists. from. constituent members.. way,. this. would mean. that the First Principle. and. Foundation ought to be partially reworded somewhat as follows: All finite subjects of experience are created to praise, reverence,. serve the three divine persons, All creatures. on the. and by. this. means. to attain salvation.. face of the earth are created for. one another. help each other in attaining the end for which they are. The point here. is. and. all. to. created.. not a sentimental rhapsodizing about one's bond-. edness with the universe, but a pragmatic recognition of the essen-. 13. Unwin. See, e.g., T. R. V. Murti, The Central Philosophy of Buddhism (London: Paperbacks, 1980), 7f, 269-75..

(28) 18 / Joseph A. Bracken,. tial. dependence of. S.J.. all. upon one another to moment The implicit anthropo-. subjects of experience. constitute a. world from moment. centrism of. much. to. of Western spirituality (including the First Princi-. and Foundation of the Ignatian Exercises) needs to be complemented by the wisdom of the East, provided that that wisdom can ple. be represented within a Christian and, in. this case, explicitly trini-. tarian context. Sin in the First I. turn. now. Week. to the. the meditations. on. second "problem area" of the Exercises, namely, sin of the First. Week. Quite. ment, that earlier essay on foundational issues. need for a deeper awareness of. rightly, in. my judg-. calls attention to the. which immopreventing them from. sinful social structures. bilize otherwise well-intentioned individuals,. doing something about the blatant injustices which they see. around them. in. contemporary. society. 14 Yet, as. tivity to issues of social justice is. grounded. I. see. it,. all. this insensi-. in self-deception,. what. I. described above as the long-term effect on oneself of one's disor-. dered decisions. Hence, there. is still. a place within the framework. one prayerfully to look at the patterns of thought and action which have taken shape in one's own personal life in recent months and years (or at least since the time of one's last retreat) and to ask for divine guidance in discerning which among those patterns are based on self-deception, a more or less conscious refusal on one's part to look at the facts, the full truth of of the Exercises for. the matter. Certainly, the. recommendation. on the dehumanizing action. much. on concrete groups. of people.". 15. But, in. we. "meditate. our corporate. my. judgment,. of this "objective analysis" of our contemporary social context. retreat itself.. 15. in order that. effects of the social patterns of. should be done either before or. 14. is. after the retreat,. not within the. For within the retreat one's conversation. "Foundational Issues/' Ibid., 27.. 25-28.. is. primarily.

(29) from a Process Perspective. Jesuit Sprituality. with the Lord who, better than oneself or any expert on. knows. tice,. precisely. what one can and should do. to. 19. I. social jus-. remedy the. situation at hand.. This. not to imply that there. is. the problems solution ence.. is. which one it. that. one must pray. imply that one's prayer, as. be divorced from one's work.. done primarily. we. and. faces. one (and only one) solution. to. until that. revealed to oneself by the Lord in some mystical experi-. Nor does. Hence,. is. My. Lord. for the. to. point. is. far as possible,. should. simply that our work. is. promote the Kingdom of God.. should have the humility to allow ourselves to be led by. the Lord, above. all. in times of retreat Naturally, this also calls for a. more careful use of the Rules for the Discernment of Spirits, a point to which I shall return shortly. For the moment, I only wish to point out that our best safeguard against self-deception the. first place,. human. reasoning, however conscientiously. is. not, in. it. may be. carried out, but rather "listening" for the inspirations of the Spirit or,. from another perspective, the persistent promptings of the Fa-. ther in our regard. In effect, this. means. setting aside. da during prayer periods and allowing ourselves. The Kingdom of Still. own. Ignatius.. New. is It. the. agen-. be surprised.. Christ. another "problem area" in the Exercises, according to the. er essay,. rent. to. our. Kingdom meditation. finds the focus. on Christ. earli-. as originally formulated as. by. King out of step with cur-. Testament scholarship on the self-awareness of Jesus and. with the presuppositions for dialogue with the representatives of other world religions. 16 While the point here made,. I. still. find. have quite deliberately "mixed For,. on the one hand, he. 16. Ibid., 28.. it. his. curious that Ignatius seems to. metaphors". in this meditation.. definitely uses military. imagery to estab-. Kingdom of God. Christ addresses to his folwords "It is my will to conquer the whole world. lish the reality of the. lowers the familiar. understand and sympathize with. I.

(30) 20 / Joseph A. Bracken,. and. S.J.. my. all. enemies, and thus to enter into the glory of my But, on the other hand, as the colloquy addressed to. Father/' 17. our Lord makes. clear, it is. apparent that the "enemies" in question. and comfort, vain. are the enemies within oneself: desire for ease. and overweening. ambition,. pride.. Hence, the retreatant. pray for the grace "to imitate Thee in bearing abuse and. all. of life.". This. world nor. is. asked to. wrongs and. all. Thy most state and way. poverty, both actual and spiritual, should. holy majesty deign to choose and admit 18. all. is. me. to such a. "macho" way to conquer the "macho" tradition. Accordingly, in. certainly not a. is. Jesus a leader in the. thus mixing his metaphors here, Ignatius. is. traditional sense of chivalry in his followers. both appealing to a. and. at the. same time. urging them to undergo a deeper self-examination into the underlying motives for their habitual thinking and behavior.. The. corrective suggestion. article is that. and ask. mental option shaped. itself. herself/himself the following questions:. are the values that controlled. and. sions. out?. actions did 19. in the "Foundational Issues". the retreatant focus on the humanity rather than the. divinity of Jesus. What. made. While. I. my. my whole life? my commitment. commitment? What funda-. Through what to the. Kingdom. specific deci-. of. God. play. certainly think that these are appropriate ques-. tions to ask oneself during meditation. on the. life. of Jesus,. I. also. believe that one does not thereby shift attention from the divinity to. the humanity of Jesus. Rather,. it is. precisely the divinity. thus revealed through the humanity. The principal reason. which. is. why we. West do not more readily grasp this part misconceived what it means to be. in the spiritual tradition of the. we have in large That is, we think of God. fact is that. divine.. in the singular as the transcendent. Lord of heaven and earth. to. whom. submission. Perhaps that. is. why,. all. creatures. as Karl. owe obedience and. Rahner suggested some. years ago, Christians have over the centuries remained "mere 'mon-. 17. Spiritual Exercises, no. 95.. 18. Ibid., no. 98..

(31) Jesuit Sprituality. otheists/" 20. God. That. is,. even though. as triune, practically speaking,. and. however, the Father serves the Son and ence at every. moment by. all finite. I. have proposed above, subjects of experi-. all finite. offering them possibilities of existence. which the Father alone cannot with. 21. earth.. scheme which. trinitarian. I. we nominally profess belief in when we think of God we think. of an all-powerful Creator of heaven. Within the. from a Process Perspective. The Son,. actualize.. in turn, together. subjects of experience serves the Father in actualizing. those same possibilities: the Son actualizes perfectly and without reserve; finite subjects of experience, only imperfectly. The. edly.. Spirit, finally,. serves the other. two members. community and all succeeding generations tating this ongoing dialogue between the world of. creation.. Seen within. and. halfheart-. of the divine. by facilithe Son, and the. of finite entities. Father,. man Jesus in subevery moment of his. this context, the. mitting to the promptings of the Father at. was consciously or unconsciously coordinating his human thought and action with the ongoing response of himself as the Son to the Father. Thereby his humanity was divinized and became a more perfect instrument for the revelation of what it truly means to be divine. Whether Ignatius himself thought of the three divine persons earthly. life. as serving their creatures. is. hard to. say.. On. the one hand, in the. Contemplation to Attain the Love of God, Ignatius pictures God the singular) as "laboring for earth/' 21. me. (in. in all the creatures of the. Likewise, in the celebrated colloquy before Christ on the. cross in the First. Week, he urges the. retreatant to. or she should do for Christ in return for. what. ponder what he. Christ has already. him or her. 22 Elsewhere, however, Ignatius refers to God or to Christ in more traditional fashion as the Divine Majesty or Eternal Lord of all things. 23 In any case, as a master psychologist done. for. 20. Karl Rahner, The Trinity, trans. Joseph Donceel. 1970), 10. 21. Spiritual Exercises, no. 236.. 22. Ibid., no. 53.. 23. Ibid., nos. 98, 106.. (New. York: Herder. &. Herder,.

(32) 22 / Joseph A. Bracken,. S.J.. Ignatius recognized that the chief obstacles to our. one another within the Kingdom were the. and. fort. security, vain ambition,. and pride. human. service of. desire for personal in one's real or. com-. imagined. accomplishments. Hence, in the Kingdom meditation and again in the meditations on the. Two. Standards and the Three Kinds of Hu-. he urges the retreatant. mility,. and wrongs and. to ask for the grace to bear insults. even actual poverty out of. to live in spiritual or. love for Christ, in imitation of the. tatter's. own. thus will one share in Christ's "glory," that. understand life. it,. For only. life-style.. at least as. is,. I. would. consciously participate in the selfless communitarian. of the three divine persons.. Simply to be, of course, one must participate in some fashion in this cosmic society. But the "glory" of Christ and. lowers. is. all. his fol-. to share in that selfless pattern of existence with full. awareness and intent Furthermore, such an exalted. ethical ideal,. curiously enough, aligns Christianity with the highest aspirations of. many. of the other world religions. Buddhism, Hinduism,. ism, for example,. all strive. in different. ways. for. and Tao-. union with or ab-. sorption into a transcendent reality through selfless behavior, entail-. ing practical recognition of the basic "unreality" of the empirical self. with. its. narrow ego-centered worries and. erly interpreted, the Ignatian meditations. Two. Standards do not impede dialogue. desires.. Thus, prop-. on the Kingdom and the. among. the world religions. with respect to the nature of salvation or the deeper shared values of. human. life,. as seemingly. had been. implied. Rather, these. meditations allow the retreatant to reach that deeper level of. hood in which the empirical self willingly surrenders to become part of an all-embracing cosmic reality.. The. Two. its. same self-. autonomy. Election and Discernment of Spirits. other features of the Spiritual Exercises which the author of. "Foundational Issues" finds problematic are the Election, insofar as this is a decision. oneself,. made. and the Rules. in conformity with. for the. Discernment of. God's. specific will for. Spirits, insofar as. they. are thought to illuminate God's specific will for oneself in the Election.. I. will treat. both of these "problem areas" together, since they.

(33) Jesuit Sprituality. from a Process Perspective. address basically the same theoretical issue, namely, whether. human. has a specific will for each. indeed the. difficult to believe that this is. pressed,. God. message of. Jesus.. 23. God. earlier essay finds. it. case. Rather, as there ex-. human. has a general will for. of certain well-defined goals. The. being.. /. history, the realization. and values manifest. in the. person and. But the individual human being must make her or. his personal choice with respect to those. same goals and. values.. One cannot shift responsibility for one's concrete ethical choices to God on the grounds that one has "discerned" God's specific will for oneself in this situation. Likewise, this choice should be based on. "objective moral. and. ethical reasoning" such as. formed by any conscientious human being text, culture,. Here line of. I. and value system.". would be "per-. in his or her given con-. 24. find myself in basic disagreement For. I. believe that this. thought inadvertently undermines much of what Ignatius. saw as the real meaning and value of the Exercises for the retreatant and his or her spiritual guide. One need only recall Ignahimself. tius's definition of "Spiritual Exercises" in his. tions:. introductory observa-. "For just as taking a walk, journeying on. are bodily exercises, so. we. call Spiritual Exercises. paring and disposing the soul to rid. itself. of. all. foot,. and running. every. way. of pre-. inordinate attach-. ments, and, after their removal, of seeking and finding the will of. God. our. in the disposition of. Simply from the wording of conclude that. God. for the salvation of our soul." 25. this definition,. one would naturally. has a specific will for each individual and that. the individual can learn. by making the. life. what. that intent of. God. for. him or her. is. Exercises.. Furthermore, as. I. see. it,. it is. not necessary to make such a. claim about the nature of divine providence in order to sustain the basic point here, namely, that ty for their. own. human. beings must take responsibili-. decisions even after the effort to discern God's will. for themselves in a given situation. For, at least within the modified. 24. "Foundational Issues/'. 25. Spiritiml Exercises, no.. 1.. 37..

(34) 24. / Joseph A. Bracken,. S.J.. version of the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead which. presented in this essay,. ways/'. One. it is. possible, so to speak, to. can legitimately speak of God's. and yet assume. at this point in one's life. decision once. made. For the Father,. it is. it. both. full responsibility for. the. be remembered, does. will. sub-. all finite. moment will decide in terms of giving present moment The Father simply offers. possibilities for that decision, thus giving the. Son and. sub-. all finite. experience the freedom to actualize whatever. want The. it is. they. Son, of course, always conforms His decision to what the. Son sees as the optimal is. it. experience at that. shape to the world of the. jects of. have. specific will for oneself. not determine in advance what the divine Son and jects of. "have. I. possibility. proposed by the Father. But. this. As noted. certainly not the case with finite subjects of experience.. above, they regularly deviate from the intent of the Father for. themselves and their world at this particular. they bring disorder and. an antecedent divine plan. is. In this. thereby never compromised in favor. for the salvation of the world.. Furthermore, these promptings of the Father (or divine aims, as. Whitehead. and. desires. initial. them) manifest themselves primarily, not. calls. through "objective moral and feelings. way,. But their power of. evil into the world.. spontaneous self-constitution of. moment. ethical reasoning,". on a precognitive. but in terms of. level of experience.. White-. head, accordingly, for purely philosophical reasons would be pro-. foundly in accord with Ignatius in the ideal time to. make an. ally impelled,. by the. election. felt. is. tatter's insistence that. when one. is. deeply moved, virtu-. presence of the Spirit of. (and only one) choice. 26 Naturally, there. is. election. may be. God. to. make one. considerable danger of. self-deception here. Hence, Ignatius provides for. when an. the. profitably made. But. two other "times". it is. significant that. two the preferred time is when one is moved more by one's feelings than by an objective line of thought Similarly, Whitehead argues that what all finite subjects of experience, human and subhuman alike, have in common is that they receive the divine of the. 26. Ibid., no. 175..

(35) Jesuit Sprituality. prompting or. "initial. aim" through feelings rather than images or. As he comments. ideas.. means the. from a Process Perspective / 25. in Process and Reality, "the. by the process. entity constituted. gent from. head. its. own. feelings.". is. the unity emer-. Thus, for both Ignatius and White-. (albeit for different reasons), the. subject of experience. is. 'subject'. and includ-. of feeling,. ing this process. The feeler [subject of experience] 27. word. human. a creature of feeling. being as a conscious. more than a mind or. ongoing process of reasoning. This. not to deny, of course, that both Ignatius and White-. is. head placed high value on the sciousness.. rational functions of. Whitehead distinguishes four. ence, the highest of. which. is. human. con-. levels of subjective experi-. "conscious knowledge," shared to. some extent by higher-order animals and, above all, by human beings. He then adds pointedly, "The growth of reason is the increasing importance of critical judgment in the discipline of imaginative enjoyment" 28 Thus, rationality can and should add to human beings' enjoyment of life because it enables them to entertain a range of possibilities for decision. which would be impossible. phisticated subjects of experience,. tion" in the choice. reason. is itself. itself.. grounded. in feeling. Similarly, Ignatius from his. objective reasoning both in. and. to feel deeper "satisfac-. But even here, obviously, the exercise of. understanding of the spiritual third "time". and then. for less so-. life. recognized the importance of. making an. election according to the. in assessing the results of. one of the other two "times.". 29. an election according. is. 28. 29. Whitehead, 88 Ibid.,. and. indicative of the preeminently rational ap-. proach of Ignatius to the. 27. to. Likewise, the very structure of the. Exercises, with the orderly sequence of points for meditation. suggested colloquies,. own. spiritual. life.. 30. But. in the end,. on the ba-. (136).. 178 (270).. Spiritual Exercises, nos. 178-88.. 30. cises. Harvey Egan in his book Christian Mysticism mentions that the Exerhave been spurned by many experts on prayer as too "discursive," (continued...).

(36) 26 / Joseph A. Bracken,. sis of his. own. S.J.. mystical experiences, he recognized that feelings. rather than discursive thought patterns are a. one's relationship to Prayer, Action,. God and. more accurate index. basic orientation in. and the Contemplation. of. life.. to Attain the. Love of God. In "Foundational Issues" the final point of disagreement with the classical interpretation of the Exercises. ship between prayer. and. action in the. has to do with the relationof a Jesuit, especially as. life. brought to focus in the concluding meditation of the Exer-. this is. the Contemplation to Attain the Love of God. Here, too, that. cises,. many. essay makes. excellent points. Noting, for example, that Igna-. did not specify the amount of time to be spent each day in. tius. formal prayer,. proposes that formal prayer should provide the. it. vision or "conscious horizon" of behavior for Jesuits in their to. promote the Kingdom of God, but that. end is. in. itself.. 31. sought for. On. its. the contrary,. own. sake,. it. if. it. should not become an. union with God through prayer. rapidly becomes. sterile,. the concrete imperatives of the Gospel message.. important, therefore, "because in the end. God,. is. the kind. and. work. it. divorced from. What. is. absolutely. determines union with. quality of action in the sense of practice that. makes up the whole of a Jesuit life." 32 While I agree in principle that prayer should be contextualized, adapted to the concrete situation of the one who is praying, I am uneasy with the implicit proposal that many Jesuits would be more efficient. prayer.. workers for the Kingdom. My own. 30. they spent less time in formal. experience in the Society. exceptions Jesuits pray too. be "workaholics". if. who. all. little,. tells. me. that with rare. not too much. Most of us tend to. too readily sacrifice prayer time to the. (...continued). suitable only for beginners in the spiritual. life.. In this connection see Har-. vey D. Egan, S.J., Christian Mysticism: The Future Pueblo Publishing Co., 1984), 31. 31. 32. "Foundational Issues," Ibid.,. 41. 39-42.. of a Tradition. (New. York:.

(37) Jesuit Sprituality. demands felt. need. the. like.. prayer. is. of our job, the needs of other people, or simply our. own. for a "break" in terms of necessary sleep, recreation,. and. In. many. cases,. such a decision to forgo times of formal. unavoidable. But each time that. sion to skip a prayer period,. my. in. from a Process Perspective / 27. judgment,. is. we weaken. we. give ourselves permis-. the habit of prayer which,. so important for our spiritual well-being and. apostolic efficiency.. The. solution, of course,. Ignatius himself I. to. is. be a "contemplative in action," as. recommended. But how. myself would suggest. scheme proposed. is. that to be accomplished?. one took seriously the metaphysical. that, if. in these pages,. it. would be within. one's grasp,. given a basic good will and desire to be led in this direction by. God. For according to every conscious to. make. this. moment. scheme the Father. present to us at. in terms of divine promptings, inspirations. this or that concrete decision,. might seem. is. at the time. All that. however. we have. trivial that. do. to. is listen. decision. for those. promptings or inspirations. This listening for the divine word. is. already the most fundamental form of prayer. Moreover, one does. not have to interrupt one's normal activity in order thus to. By. definition, the divine. promptings or. en to guide one in those same better,. "initial. activities, to. listen.. aims" are being giv-. enable one to do them. with greater efficacy for the Kingdom of God. Certainly,. some informal use. of the Rules for the Discernment of Spirits. is. necessary in order to distinguish the different "voices" which one. hears in the depths of consciousness from. Some. of those "voices". may. behavior for ourselves at. moment. to. moment.. counsel a patently self-centered form of. this particular. moment. But,. I. would sug-. with practice one can learn to discern divine inspirations from. gest,. what. clearly are. not. Periods of formal prayer, of course, allow us to listen far more perceptively than. my. would be. judgment, that. stress. is. on the examens. as they are. now. possible in the course of a busy day. In. at least implicitly. of conscience (or. called) than. word and responding. is. Ignatius laid greater. examens. upon periods. For, in the final analysis, prayer. divine. why. of consciousness,. of formal meditation.. not thinking but listening for the. to it Furthermore,. examens of con-.

(38) 28. / Joseph A. Bracken,. S.J.. sciousness allow us to review the decisions of the day and note the. and action emergent out of them. Thus, even if we were too busy to do much active listening in the course of the patterns of thought. day, the opportunity. present in the examen at day's end. The. is still. meditation period, especially or the end of the day,. is. located at either the beginning. likewise well suited for a review of one's. and a quiet. decisions over a day's time. and. if it is. listening for divine guidance. inspiration.. In brief, then, while. "theandric," characterized. man. activity,. 33. I. agree that. I. all. human. by a dynamic union. believe that. my own. action should be. of divine. and hu-. modified Whiteheadian. vi-. sion of the God/world relationship provides a better theoretical. framework. for realizing that ideal in one's. life. than the scheme of. "Foundational Issues" based on the philosophy of Maurice Blondel.. my. no radical division between prayer and work. At literally every waking moment, we experience the divine presence, although perhaps not consciously so. The whole point of formal prayer, then, is to alert one to what is already happening in most cases below the level of explicit consciousness. Then, as one gradually becomes more aware of the divine presence and activity in the activities of the day, one will be, in fact as well For in. overview of things there. is. as in desire, a contemplative in action,. God and. tries to. Jesuits to find. do God's. God. in the. will.. The. one. habitually lives for. earlier essay clearly. appealed to. world about them, a world so much in. need of reform and renewal. Without. in. any way denying the. imacy and, indeed, urgency of that appeal. would. who. respectfully submit that the deeper. to. legit-. contemporary Jesuits,. need. I. for Jesuits today is. and accept their own limited but important role within the communitarian life of the triune God. That is, with Jesus as their role model, they should listen for and wholeheartedly respond to recognize. to the inner lives.. 33. promptings of the Father. For only in. Ibid.. this. way. at every. moment. will they with all their fellow. of their. human.

(39) Jesuit Sprituality. from a Process Perspective / 29. God. beings truly bring about the Kingdom of. for this. moment. in. history.. CONCLUDING. The. SCIENTIFIC POSTSCRIPT. Finite Subject of Experience. The philosophically trained or noted that. have employed. I. interested reader. may. already have. in this essay the expression "finite sub-. ject of. experience" in a variety of different contexts. Most of the. time. has been used to designate. it. however,. I. human. have made vague reference. to. beings. At other times,. subhuman. subjects of ex-. and in several places I have even suggested that the ultimate components of inanimate objects, such as tables and chairs, perience;. was done. quite. deliberately to avoid entering into a technical discussion of. what. are likewise finite subjects of experience. While this. Whitehead terms "actual. entities" or "actual occasions,". time to define more precisely what experience,. how. it. comes. meant by. is. how. subjects of experience coalesce so as to form. Afterwards,. "societies.". I. will explain. why,. in. is. the. a finite subject of. into existence in virtue of. self-constituting "decision," and, finally,. now. an immanent or. groups of such. what Whitehead. my judgment,. finite calls. White-. head's system or some other event-oriented ontology similar to. may. eventually prove to be crucial for a. new and. it. richer under-. standing of the God/world relationship.. What, then, experience". most. is. or, in. briefly,. to. be understood by the term. Whiteheadian language, "actual occasion"?. ring below the level of direct. for, strictly. This. is. why. is. it is. a. called a "subject of experience";. speaking, only subjects of experience are self-constitut-. ing. Yet, as a self-constituting subject of experience,. a. Put. momentary energy-event occursense perception and in some sense. an actual occasion. self-constituting.. "finite subject of. moment The most. it. exists. only for. obvious example of such a momentary subject.


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