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Gregorianum 2021 - Fasc. 3

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05 - PAVULRAJ MICHAEL, S.I. - Contemplativus in Actione. A Profound Insight of the Ignatian Spirituality

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PAVULRAJ MICHAEL, S.I.

Contemplativus in Actione. A Profound Insight of the Ignatian Spirituality

ABSTRACT

Contemplativus in actione translates a profound intuition that is perhaps Ignatius’s most original contribution to apostolic spirituality. It is not that he introduced a new method into spirituality. He rediscovered a very ancient but forgotten dimension: contemplation as a search for God’s presence in creation, in Scripture, in the Church, in the sacraments, in the liturgy and, finally, in the heart of human beings. Contemplatives in action seek to find God in all things by looking at the world in an incarnational way, and, in their quest, they realize their desire for freedom and detachment, which helps them move even closer to God and the will of God. A life of explicit prayer is necessary, but it is not an end in itself. It is an exercise or means to an end and focused on this end: action performed with a pure intention for the love of God. Without action, contemplation becomes sterile and obscure. But without contemplation, action cannot reveal the mystery of grace. In the dialectical interplay of action and contemplation, the person has a contemplation that incarnates itself in the history of life and an action that illuminates itself through searching for and finding the will of God. A genuine progressive integration of prayer and action leads the human persons an increasing serenity in their work, the serenity of Christ who lives in the Father and acts with them. Ignatian spirituality conceives human existence as the point of encounter with God, who is to be found in all things – in action, therefore, as well as in prayer. The Spiritual Exercises does not rest on a dichotomy between action and prayer; rather, envisions the entire activity of the human person as a continuous practice of service proceeding from prayer and vice-versa.

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PAVULRAJ MICHAEL, S.I.

Contemplativus in Actione. A Profound Insight of the Ignatian Spirituality

ABSTRACT

Contemplativus in actione translates a profound intuition that is perhaps Ignatius’s most original contribution to apostolic spirituality. It is not that he introduced a new method into spirituality. He rediscovered a very ancient but forgotten dimension: contemplation as a search for God’s presence in creation, in Scripture, in the Church, in the sacraments, in the liturgy and, finally, in the heart of human beings. Contemplatives in action seek to find God in all things by looking at the world in an incarnational way, and, in their quest, they realize their desire for freedom and detachment, which helps them move even closer to God and the will of God. A life of explicit prayer is necessary, but it is not an end in itself. It is an exercise or means to an end and focused on this end: action performed with a pure intention for the love of God. Without action, contemplation becomes sterile and obscure. But without contemplation, action cannot reveal the mystery of grace. In the dialectical interplay of action and contemplation, the person has a contemplation that incarnates itself in the history of life and an action that illuminates itself through searching for and finding the will of God. A genuine progressive integration of prayer and action leads the human persons an increasing serenity in their work, the serenity of Christ who lives in the Father and acts with them. Ignatian spirituality conceives human existence as the point of encounter with God, who is to be found in all things – in action, therefore, as well as in prayer. The Spiritual Exercises does not rest on a dichotomy between action and prayer; rather, envisions the entire activity of the human person as a continuous practice of service proceeding from prayer and vice-versa.

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