Sent into the Lord’s Vineyard: Explorations in the Jesuit Constitutions
Brian O’Leary SJ
Publisher: The Way Ignatian Book Service
Ignatius of Loyola spent the last sixteen years of his life in three small rooms in Rome governing the Society of Jesus, the religious order he had founded. Central to his project was the composition of the Jesuit Constitutions.
He wanted a document that was flexible enough to support men in vastly different societies and cultures, and yet sufficiently uniform to offer a recognisable identity to the hundreds of new recruits flooding into the new Order.
For nearly five centuries the Constitutions have, without change, continued to guide the Society of Jesus and its apostolic works. Indeed their underlying spirituality inspires and energizes not only Jesuits but many other religious women and men in the Ignatian tradition.
Brian O’Leary is an Irish Jesuit who has been writing and lecturing on the Jesuit Constitutions for the last three decades. In this book he demonstrates how the personal experience of the Spiritual Exercises, a keystone in the formation of each individual Jesuit, is supplemented by the corporate outlook of the Constitutions.
He then explores their developmental programme that leads from the novice’s first tentative steps to the full-blown life of the discerning apostle. At a time when spirituality is often criticized as being too individualistic and ‘me-centred’, this book explores a classic text that enables a personal spiritual experience to help transform the world.