Just to let you know that I won’t be posting any entries for new films until November. Right now I am in Rome and will begin the Spiritual Exercises, a 30-day retreat, on September 29th. This is a silent retreat, including electronic silence. For the members of my religious community, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, though we do make a week long spiritual retreat once a year.
If you are interested in reading up more on the Spiritual Exercises as designed by St. Ignatius of Loyola in the 1600’s, google the term “Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.”
Our publishing house, Pauline Books & Media (www.pauline.org) is publishing a book soon called Finding God in the Dark, that puts together popular film and the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. Here is the announcement; be well and pray for me as I will for you.
Film can be profoundly spiritual. This stunning new book uses fifty-two popular films to engage the reader on a significantly personal and transformational journey through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, which have, since their establishment in the sixteenth century, influenced countless millions to discover a personal, passionate, and intimate spirituality transforming their lives and cultures. This invaluable resource shows us how to make watching a movie a deeply contemplative experience.
People today are shaped by film and television. When we watch a film, we are not just being entertained; we are exposing ourselves to narratives that define what is possible for us, and we often incarnate those possibilities. In Finding God in the Dark, John Pungente SJ and Monty Williams SJ guide you through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius as you watch 52 popular films that are available at your local video/DVD store
Watching these films “the Ignatian way” becomes an act of contemplative prayer and self-reflection. St. Ignatius lived 400 years ago, but his approach to spiritual growth has transformed history and culture to the present day. Ignatian spirituality uses the imagination to present our world and ourselves to us in new ways by revealing the dynamic presence of God that is constantly communicating with us.<o:p></o:p>
Finding God in the Dark offers a rooted approach to developing a spiritual life and a personal intimacy with God, providing an easy-to-follow format and various options for using the material.
Key Featureso The book’s introduction includes a concise and helpful explanation of what the Spiritual Exercises are, and how to make them, as well as a reflection on “Cinema as Church.”
· The book is divided into four parts corresponding with the Four Weeks of the Spiritual Exercises:
o Part One: Discovering God’s love
o Part Two: Channeling energies into a personal relationship with Christ
o Part Three: Accompanying Christ’s love in the face of suffering and death
o Part Four: Celebrating the triumph of God’s love and working together to transform the world through acts of love<
· Within these parts, the readers are led through each “day” of the exercises, with scripture quotations, the “grace” to pray for, a reflection on the Ignatian theme, and questions for personal prayer and reflection.<
· Then, a movie is offered as a means for contemplating this theme. Movie sections include a film summary, questions about the movie itself, questions relating the movie to the day’s theme, and questions relating the movie to the reader’s own prayer experience