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Guest: Meredith Gould, PhD
is the author of a number of books. She helps writers write, and helps non profits and ministries use digital tools to build community, support activism, and enhance spiritual life. Meredith also has her PhD in Sociology. Today, we talk about her latest book. (click here for more book info)
Her other book, also mentioned: Desperately Seeking Spirituality
Carol Howard Merritt is an award-winning author, speaker, and minister who often speaks and writes on the topic of ministering in a new generation. Besides the book we will discuss today, Carol is the author of Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation and Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation and writes for Christian Century.
For more information and show notes for today’s show, click here!
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of Episode 91, that features my guest Alan Fadling, the author of the book An Unhurried Life, and the founder of Unhurried Living Inc.*
[The cost is $1 and includes the Show Notesfor all episodes released in the month of December.]
• Show Notes are time-stamped and include important links to websites, books, articles mentioned, and other related episodes or information, and resources.
*During this episode, I mentioned a book by John Ortberg, but at the time, I could not remember the name. Full details and a link to the book that speaks to the theme “hurry sickness’ are in the Show Notes! It’s an excellent resource. Check it out HERE.
ENJOY THE SHOW!
91- Finding an Unhurried, Peaceful Life–free of Burnout, Guest Alan Fadling
Right now, one of the most powerful and influential men in the world is undoubtably Pope Francis.
Pope Francis is the first Jesuit Pope, but too few people know the specific qualities of his Order (The Society of Jesus-Ignatian spirituality). His spirituality and training powerfully and uniquely guide his worldview, philosophy of vocation and work, and themes of his prominent, worldwide administration especially when compared with his predecessors.
Through his decisions, he influences Roman Catholics internationally (a staggering 1.1 billion people) and his ideas influence and inspire many of the 2.2 billion people who consider themselves Christian (specifically: a follower of the way of Jesus), including me.
What is most influential to Pope Francis?
His training in the Society of Jesus (the Catholic Order founded by Ignatius of Loyola 400 years ago). This is what guides how he see the world and makes all his important decisions that direct the Catholic Church and influence others worldwide.
Today, we will learn more about these teachings that often come out-of-sync with the ways and structures of established institutions of religion, politics, and power.
Today, you will hear from my spiritual director, Jeanine Breault, a Roman Catholic who is formally trained in the Ignatian tradition. We converse about some of the salient characteristics of the Ignatian spiritual teachings and traditions.
Thus, you will find out the manner in which Pope Francis is directed spiritually by his own spiritual director within this 400 year old spiritual tradition; learn how Ignatian spiritual directors (and the current Pope) see the world and how God works in it, and more.
SHOWNOTES: EPS 24: The (Ignatian) Spirituality of Pope Francis
Answering: What is Ignatian Spirituality?
Finding God in all things. We are invited to notice how God is at work. More than head knowledge but an experiential knowledge.
God is always at work for the good in my life and in my world and growing in that awareness. How can I respond to God’s call?
3:30 An Intimate relationship with God SO THAT I can labor with God.
Now that there is a Pope who is a Jesuit (the first in history) how does that shift the role and the the way he see the world as the head of the church.
On Pope Francis’s new letter “The Joy of the Gospel” and the Jesuit flavorings contained within and the influence on his life.
On the massive changes at the Vatican.
Who was Ignatius of Loyola?
The story of the man who founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits)
Born in 1491 and his message continues to changes peoples lives.
His war injury and what changed his life.
The mystical experience he had.
He work in the discernment of spirits (his work called the Spiritual Exercises) and how these forces work in our lives.
Discerning and choosing between two goods.
The rules for discernment that can be applied to anyone at anytime.
The basic of the rules of discernment.
When a person is oriented to God and desires to please God, then God confirms that and gives graces of peace, joy, and comfort. The opposite feelings do not come from God (fear, anxiety, discouragement, despair, etc).
Through the Ignatian spiritual exercises, one can figure out what is of God and what is not.
People coming to direction for the first time are really grappling with a sense of God’s love for them (and not really believing it.)
Coming to a spirit-led decision and grace is involved.
Overcoming the obstacle of unworthiness.
Working at cultivating people’s awareness. Asking questions that create space for inquiry, discovery and discernment.
We forget that God loves at at some level and it’s a continual process of remembering.
Her experience with guilt in prayer because of a lack of focus. Apologizing to God about being preoccupied. And the amazing thing God seemed to say in response.
The part of affirming the goodness of God and what God is doing in that person’s life is the job of the director.
The answer won’t expect to my question: “What do you say or do when people can’t see or sense God, or they have a blindness and are unaware?” (Maybe an “image of God problem”)
The “director” is not a good word. The Spirit of God is the actual director and it’s God’s business.
The parallel with gardening and patience for growth.
“God loves that person more than you do.”
On not “fixing” things and solving problems.
Compassionate listening and getting out of the way for God to work better.
What supervision of a spiritual director looks like so that good listening can keep happening for those directed.
Finding a director that is properly prepared to direct others is crucial.
Asking Jeanine, “What happens in your mind and heart when you find yourself wanting to solve problems and rescue someone?”
Remembering the kind of ministry direction is. A prevailing ope that God is at work and in control ultimately. It’s sacred time and time to stay focused. Setting aside things when they come up.
Do people expect you to be their counselor? And what happens when that happens during direction?
Helping people know what to expect from direction and how to find someone who is properly trained.
The international listing of trained directors. sdiworld.org
Director will work with people from any tradition.
The connection of Buddhism and Christian Mysticism in practice. Seeing the goodness in other traditions.
John O’Donohue and his comments of what Buddhism can brings to Christianity and vice versa.
Noticing the “now”.
Coming to a vibrant faith where (you realize) God is working in this very moment.
Relationships are the ways we become tuned to God and working out our salvation in real life and ordinary experiences.
Resources to continue on this path.
Ronald Rollhieser The Holy Longing and Prayer: Our Deepest Longing
Carmelite nun Ruth Borrows. Guidelines for Mystic Prayer
Shownotes: PART II
A conversation with Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality, author Tom Reynolds
Tom joined the Emmanuel College (part of the University of Toronto) faculty in 2007. He is committed to an interdisciplinary, practical, and relational vision of theology, and his teaching and research address a range of topics related to constructive theology (particularly the doctrine of God and theological anthropology), theological method, intercultural and interfaith engagements, contextual theologies and globalization, philosophical theology, disability studies, and the thought and influence of Friedrich Schleiermacher.
Who sinned? (disciples of Jesus thinking of blindness as a curse)
So the glory of God can be revealed. (What might that mean that we haven’t understood yet. [Lisa])
The story is less about curing the disabled and more about reveal Jesus’ power and legitimacy as the Messiah.
NT Wright author of Evil and the Justice of God
(on the Problem of Evil)
• God as the Incarnation steps into human suffering as a means to assuage it and also, in that, provides us a model for how to encounter it in the world ourselves, practically speaking.
The answers to suffering can become “incarnational”, not cerebral and (held) at a distance.
The why questions signal a (good) unsettledness which can be productive…
1. God is bigger than our questions and we should feel free to engage in dialogue with God and each other about God.
2. And because it calls us to live into the world and the lives of people will engage who ask, “Where are you?” and we can be there in presence and not (just) with answers.
(The heart of Incarnational living.)
In many cases God’s own presence is us to each other.
“Care isn’t so much “doing for” but “being with”.”
1 in 5 families regularly encounters a serious disability of some kind.
We (as a family) chose to continue to come to church even though it was sometimes messy so he (and everyone) could figure out how to make it work. (Lisa)
How can people in Christian Communities or leaders in Christian communities do better when it comes to being truly hospitable and caring well for people with disabilities.
Training ministers to come along side is important.
In his mission and intro to Theology class, what is framed is practical wisdom lived out in relationships of caring regard with other people. (not in the academic halls or in isolation).
On developing the perception to see/understand differently and to see places where people have been harmed by certain ways of seeing these…like the healing narratives…illness as curses from God, or metaphors of seeing and hearing language and attitudes (able-ism) for example.
How to show consideration:
Asking before you assist someone. Or asking how you can best help and not presuming that you know (or know better).
Listen first, then do.
Ministry doesn’t have to be deficit-focused to the “needy”…but rather possibility focused.
As all people of resources and gifts [are] welcome among the community…this turns things upside-down.
Think of people as sites of wisdom that help a community of belonging.