NigheanDubh
Clan Fraser
Joined: 3:16 AM - Sep 17, 2009

12:19 AM - Apr 20, 2016 #61

Chapter 11: Surrendering to the Future: Obedience, Acceptance, and Suffering

The chapter on obedience is a challenge for most people, I'd say. It would be difficult for me; I suppose that is why I'm not a religious. I can't imagine someone telling me I have to go somewhere, especially if it were a place I did not want to go. Knowing that about religious is why I respect the call so much.

I think the chapter was helpful in terms of suffering and how to accept it.
Fr. James points out examples of people who really suffer greatly.

Reading about some of the Ignatian perspectives on suffering, I thought of the poem "Footprints." This poem captures the idea of God accompanying the sufferer in pain.
The retreat Father mentions is quite intense. What an experience that must have been.

Thoughts on this chapter?
"'I wish to God,' said Gideon with mild exasperation, 'that you'd talk--just once--in prose like other people.'"
--Game of Kings
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NigheanDubh
Clan Fraser
Joined: 3:16 AM - Sep 17, 2009

12:35 AM - Apr 22, 2016 #62

Chapter 12 "What Should I Do?"

How often have we wondered what to do in a given situation? Agonized over the decision. At the moment I am not confronted with a making a crucial decision, but how often I have found myself in this situation. Although prayer was pivotal for me, I wish I had had this book. I would have had a process to follow.
This chapter can be so helpful in arriving at a decision.

St. Ignatius was very in tune with people's feelings and he understood the human heart.

The indifference seems to be quite challenging.

I also liked that Fr. said that one did not have to choose a particular method but one which worked for them, a combination maybe.
I feel good to have this book, that I can open up and use one of the methods to come to a decision. Just knowing that makes me feel better.

Also, I realized, and I felt this important to acknowledge, that no one decision will be perfect-- that there will be mixed blessings.
"'I wish to God,' said Gideon with mild exasperation, 'that you'd talk--just once--in prose like other people.'"
--Game of Kings
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DLT
Clan Fraser
DLT
Clan Fraser
Joined: 7:06 AM - May 26, 2012

4:44 AM - Apr 25, 2016 #63

NigheanDubh wrote:Chapter 11: Surrendering to the Future: Obedience, Acceptance, and Suffering

The chapter on obedience is a challenge for most people, I'd say. It would be difficult for me; I suppose that is why I'm not a religious. I can't imagine someone telling me I have to go somewhere, especially if it were a place I did not want to go. Knowing that about religious is why I respect the call so much.
I have only read the first part of this chapter, but I can see how (for some people) a life of poverty and obedience takes away many of the daily worries, allowing you to focus on what you are doing. When you think of it, those of us able to make choices are still constrained by our responsibilities, to family, work etc.
I thought it was funny that he escaped the corporate rat-race and then treated his vocation as a series of hurdles to be overcome in order to attain the ultimate goal. I did not like the anecdote about the man who had to teach chemistry for a year, even though he knew nothing about it, because his superior would not admit to making a mistake. That has bugged me all day, as I can't help thinking of the poor students, and wondering how they managed to get through a year with a chemistry teacher who knew no chemistry.
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NigheanDubh
Clan Fraser
Joined: 3:16 AM - Sep 17, 2009

11:57 PM - Apr 25, 2016 #64

DLT wrote:I did not like the anecdote about the man who had to teach chemistry for a year, even though he knew nothing about it, because his superior would not admit to making a mistake. That has bugged me all day, as I can't help thinking of the poor students, and wondering how they managed to get through a year with a chemistry teacher who knew no chemistry.
That made me cringe. I can't imagine teaching German, say. I think I'd know more about German than the poor fellow who ended up with Chemistry. Thankfully, that was back in the day.
"'I wish to God,' said Gideon with mild exasperation, 'that you'd talk--just once--in prose like other people.'"
--Game of Kings
Quote

DLT
Clan Fraser
DLT
Clan Fraser
Joined: 7:06 AM - May 26, 2012

6:04 PM - Apr 30, 2016 #65

NigheanDubh wrote:Chapter 11: Surrendering to the Future: Obedience, Acceptance, and Suffering

I think the chapter was helpful in terms of suffering and how to accept it.
Fr. James points out examples of people who really suffer greatly.
Reading about some of the Ignatian perspectives on suffering, I thought of the poem "Footprints." This poem captures the idea of God accompanying the sufferer in pain.
The retreat Father mentions is quite intense. What an experience that must have been.
Thoughts on this chapter?
Accepting suffering has to be one of the hardest tenets of any religion. It was humbling to read that even after twenty years of dedication Fr. Martin still struggled with some aspects of his faith.
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NigheanDubh
Clan Fraser
Joined: 3:16 AM - Sep 17, 2009

10:16 PM - Apr 30, 2016 #66

I saw a beautiful film with my 87 year old neighbor today. It was entitled St. Giuseppe Moscati: Doctor to the Poor. St. Giuseppe had first thought of joining the Jesuits but then turned to medicine as his call. The saint's life (he was canonized in 1987) was partly fictionalized but it's a beautiful film nonetheless and it captures the compassion that St. Giuseppe Moscati had for the poor and suffering in Naples Italy. I think you would love it. It aired on EWTN. It was my mother's favorite movie and one she had watched with this same neighbor I visited today. It is a long movie but it is broken up in two parts.

I'll be back to post about chapter 13. Fourteen is very short.
"'I wish to God,' said Gideon with mild exasperation, 'that you'd talk--just once--in prose like other people.'"
--Game of Kings
Quote

DLT
Clan Fraser
DLT
Clan Fraser
Joined: 7:06 AM - May 26, 2012

10:10 PM - May 02, 2016 #67

NigheanDubh wrote:Chapter 12 "What Should I Do?"

How often have we wondered what to do in a given situation? Agonized over the decision. At the moment I am not confronted with a making a crucial decision, but how often I have found myself in this situation. Although prayer was pivotal for me, I wish I had had this book. I would have had a process to follow.
This chapter can be so helpful in arriving at a decision.

St. Ignatius was very in tune with people's feelings and he understood the human heart.

The indifference seems to be quite challenging.

I also liked that Fr. said that one did not have to choose a particular method but one which worked for them, a combination maybe.
I feel good to have this book, that I can open up and use one of the methods to come to a decision. Just knowing that makes me feel better.

Also, I realized, and I felt this important to acknowledge, that no one decision will be perfect-- that there will be mixed blessings.
Yes, Ignatius was obviously a very smart man.
I wonder if you end up with the same decision, no matter which method you choose?
I am guilty of frequently making decisions with my mind already made up, and then I just persuade myself that this is the right decision to make.
I have learned that if I am inclined to make a decision on the spot, it is usually the wrong one, and that I should take time to think it over more. The "no good" part of me then tries to urge me to make the decision right away, so that I won't have time to reflect.
Talking through issues with other people is good advice; I hope I will recognise when somebody tries to talk something through with me, and that I will not just brush them off saying I don't have the time to listen.
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NigheanDubh
Clan Fraser
Joined: 3:16 AM - Sep 17, 2009

2:11 AM - May 07, 2016 #68

DLT, that's an interesting question about the outcome of a decision based on the method one uses. I imagine that there is always a method which is preferred over the others. I have to believe that in prayer, the method I gravitate to is the one that I was led to use. It must be the one that will lead me to make the best decision. I have to believe that it's the right one because it's the one I want to use over the others. I'm fine with that.

Chapter 13: Be Who You Is. This chapter seemed to sum up quite a bit of the book, imo.
One remark that stayed with me in this chapter was this one: "Compare and despair." How true is that?
Fr. says: "The primary difficulty in accepting ourselves and valuing our individuality is the false belief that to become holy, or useful, or happy, we have to become someone else--or become perfect." 381 I just love that. It's okay to not always measure up to someone else's standard. It's okay to be who you are. I liked that.
"'I wish to God,' said Gideon with mild exasperation, 'that you'd talk--just once--in prose like other people.'"
--Game of Kings
Quote

DLT
Clan Fraser
DLT
Clan Fraser
Joined: 7:06 AM - May 26, 2012

3:55 AM - May 12, 2016 #69

NigheanDubh, I agree that I like the idea that we are each loved for who we are, not for who we try to be. I felt sad when I read about the picture that James Martin remembers colouring in as a child, with the married couple depicted as being second best. That was the subliminal message that I received in my early education. I guess the proponents of that idea did not stop to think of the consequences, were everybody to follow their suggestion.
I'm comforted with the idea that it is OK to be me, but I still think that I can do better at all the things that I do, whether humble housework or complex data analysis. I suppose the real message for the reader is to find what your path is and do your best at everything.
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repoman
Clan Fraser Veteran
Joined: 9:47 AM - Feb 16, 2011

3:37 PM - May 17, 2016 #70

Sorry to be late to the discussion.

I will also apologize for drawing on my military experience again. However, Father Martin apparently had no awareness of how military members obey orders every day and often to send them to far places under danger. And, they don't have the option to appeal the orders. I am pleased that there seems to be more public awareness today of how this military duty also affects spouses and children.

Acceptance of suffering is certainly a difficult aspect of human life, although I don't think unique to followers of Christ. In this "modern" age, we are often led to believe that we can control disease and suffering of any type. While we have (thank God!) found cures for some illnesses, we are constantly humbled by those we cannot cure. We also could control other suffering caused by humans, but have not. Is that the human condition, only to change in the next life?

Back to my reading...
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NigheanDubh
Clan Fraser
Joined: 3:16 AM - Sep 17, 2009

11:42 PM - May 20, 2016 #71

repoman wrote:I will also apologize for drawing on my military experience again.
No apologies needed.

I like the fact that Ignatius was a military man before he heard the call from the Lord. He knew what it meant to want a woman, to fight for causes and how to follow commands, or give them.

There is a movie on youTube of the Saint's life which you may have seen.
"'I wish to God,' said Gideon with mild exasperation, 'that you'd talk--just once--in prose like other people.'"
--Game of Kings
Quote

DLT
Clan Fraser
DLT
Clan Fraser
Joined: 7:06 AM - May 26, 2012

8:49 AM - May 21, 2016 #72

I finished this book, and am ashamed to say that I have forgotten many of the ideas, even though I was very conscious of the points at the time of first reading. I guess I will have to buy my own copy of the book and keep going back over it. I'm glad to have read it, and will follow up with some of his other titles, so I hope that eventually something will stay in my brain. Thanks for initiating this group read, NigheanDubh.
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repoman
Clan Fraser Veteran
Joined: 9:47 AM - Feb 16, 2011

12:49 PM - Aug 16, 2016 #73

I am back to reading the rest of this book. I just finished Ch 13. Sorry, I guess that I had to get back in the mood. I agree with your summary ND. It is interesting that we are counseled to work with who we are rather than trying to become a totally different person. Good advice. I also agree that this chapter seemed to bring together many of the separate discussions in the book.

I agree with the discussion of the impression that married life is somehow a lesser vocation. I had heard that many times also. Might this be because much of the literature about vocations is written by religious people? Would they naturally judge their vocational choice to be the best?
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NigheanDubh
Clan Fraser
Joined: 3:16 AM - Sep 17, 2009

4:01 PM - Aug 16, 2016 #74

:clap: repoman. Happy to see you.
repoman wrote:I agree with the discussion of the impression that married life is somehow a lesser vocation. I had heard that many times also. Might this be because much of the literature about vocations is written by religious people? Would they naturally judge their vocational choice to be the best?
Good questions. I think every religious has an opinion as much as a lay person does about marriage and whether it matches their life choice. Officially? I'm not sure. In my eyes both Marriage and Holy Orders are sacraments/vocations.

I was curious about how the impression has truly changed and found this. You may have seen this article.
I did notice that Pope Francis has a lot more to say about Holy Orders. Even so, he proclaims that marriage and religious life are both great paths to make the gift of love.
"'I wish to God,' said Gideon with mild exasperation, 'that you'd talk--just once--in prose like other people.'"
--Game of Kings
Quote

repoman
Clan Fraser Veteran
Joined: 9:47 AM - Feb 16, 2011

12:25 AM - Aug 17, 2016 #75

No discussion beyond Ch. 13?

We lost power for 2 1/2 hours over supper time and the news. Thankfully it has been cooler since the rain. And, we mostly cook with gas, so we didn't starve.(Ya, fat chance!)

Chapter 14 did give us all hope that we are on the path to our Goal. And, none of us have achieved perfection.

I did read a few of the items after the "End". It is the kind of book that might be referred to later for more reflection.
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