Friday, January 10, 2003

Fr. Jim Speaks

Fr. Jim has posted some thoughts on "how to think about Heaven," in response to the post here, below, and the comments on it. He has promised some further thoughts about the crypto-universalism that often appears to emanate from the Church fathers. (In fact, I would say that it is not an appearance, but a fact that it emanates.)

Kathy the Carmelite noted a part of the liturgy of the hours that appears also to endorse the notion of universalism. And, quite by accident this morning, I discovered something in Ignatius' "Spiritual Exercises":


The one of Christ, our Commander-in-chief and Lord; the other of Lucifer, mortal enemy of our human nature.

Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.

First Prelude. The First Prelude is the narrative. It will be here how Christ calls and wants all under His standard; and Lucifer, on the contrary, under his.

This obviously does not say all people will be brought under either standard. But my first reflection on this is, if Christ wills something for all eternity, sooner or later He will get what He wills.

(By the way, I would caution readers against undertaking the spiritual exercises by themselves. They are designed to be administered by a spiritual director. I did not link directly to them, because anyone who has some interest in them should find a Jesuit retreat center. They work best when they unfold as intended. If you have read the book as theory in advance, some of the power is diminished. Try the US Jesuit Conference for info on where to get an Ignatian retreat. And please ignore all the Jesuit haters in St. Blog's. There are plenty of bad Jesuits out there, but you never hear about the good ones: usually because they are too busy doing good things to promote themselves.)


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