A new book, Pathways to a Decision with Ignatius of Loyola by Jim Maher SJ, presents some of the key insights of St Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, into making good decisions. These are explained in a clear and informal way by the author, who introduces the reader to the Ignatian concepts of consolation and desolation, the practice of the Examen (a 15-minute prayer of reflection and gratitude), and the principle of agere contra.
“I wrote the book because I believe that Jesuit spirituality has a lot to offer people,” said Jim in an interview with Martin Mongan, journalist with the Limerick Leader newspaper. “Unfortunately, other books about spirituality use very technical language, and people are put off by them. My aim was to write a book that is straight-forward, acceptable and easy for people to relate to,” he said.
Whilst his book is based on the wisdom of Ignatius of Loyola, the principles can be adapted for people from other religions and all walks of life, according to Jim.
St Ignatius developed a spirituality that grew out of his own lived experience, so it is concrete and psychologically as well as spiritually based. It offers people the tools to identify God’s presence, Jim notes, and it helps them to make good decisions through the ordinary daily routine of their lives.
Ignatian spirituality has helped countless numbers of people down the centuries. Jim believes that his book offers a window into this spirituality which recognises that God’s presence can be detected through our feelings, desires, and actions, often in unexpected places and at unexpected times.
Jim Maher SJ was born in Limerick. He has spent most of his Jesuit life ministering at Crescent College Comprehensive SJ as a teacher of English and R.E. He managed the 5th Year Social Outreach Programme and led 6th Year pilgrimage retreats. He continues to provide pastoral support at Crescent College Comprehensive.
Pathways to a Decision with Ignatius of Loyola is published in Ireland and the UK by Messenger Publications ». Price: €12.95/£11.95.