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From Men of Emmaus:

Fr. Avelino Gonzales came to the U.S. from Cuba as a young child with his parents. He grew up in the Washington suburbs in the post-Vatican II area. He attributes misunderstanding of Vatican II in the U.S. to a mal-formation of his (and many of his generation) Catholic faith. He was saved by the Holy Spirit, with the help of a priest. His path to a reawakening of his faith began after learning he, like most U.S. Catholics of his generation, misunderstood the Immaculate Conception, holding the common misconception that it referred to Jesus' conception.

Highlights of Fr. Gonzales. Talk

  • Self Mastery - insights into Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatious (click here for a short listen).
  • Click here to listen to the full recording of the event.
  • St. Ignatius was a Spanish soldier in the late 1500s who developed his concepts of Spiritual Exercises while recovering from a cannonball injury.
  • Fr. Avelino provided a proof of the existence of our soul via the image of a pizza (you had to be there). He talked about the three parts of soul,
    1. passion
    2. intellect
    3. will
  • He talked about the all too common occurrence of some passion overriding our intellect and subjugating our will, leading to our enslavement to our own passions (cigarette smoking being a good example).
  • He talked about our call to be prophet, priest and king, and one significant part of our kingdom being our body.
  • He talked about one key goal of the Exercises being self-mastery of our passions (freedom from passion enslavement) via our intellect, e.g., control of disordered desires and conscious acts.
  • He also pointed out that we are called to participate in the divine nature of God which is reflected in peaceful actions which are dependent on a peaceful interior state of being, another goal of the Spiritual Exercises.

What are the exercises? Ideally a 4 week program (but abbreviated versions exist):

  • Week 1 . The Purgative Way . self-examination and purging self of sin
  • Week 2 . Illuminative Way . study and learn the virtues of Christ
  • Week 3 . Walk the Path of Christ's scripture reading and contemplation on Christ's life
  • Week 4 . Unitive Way . a desire to imitate Christ

Biblical references and closing thoughts:

  • Hebrews 12: 1-2
  • Genesis 6: 5 Made in the image and likeness of God, but we need to work hard to develop the likeness. We need to fight the spiritual battle for our intellects (the suggestions of the devil vs the teachings of Christ) We are ineffective fighters of sin if we are slaves to our sinful passions.
  • Matt 20: 29-34
  • John 15: 1-5
  • Matt 13: 43

Ask of the Lord, search, read scripture; determine to be holy, fight to be holy.

1 comments so far:
    Anonymous November 13, 2007 at 8:00 PM , said...

    do you need a priest as a director for the exercises? Also, are there any priests offering the spiritual exercises online which would be great? Thanks so much, mary

     

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