The Poor in Spirit - The Witnesses to A New Advent

12/01/2013 Comments (7)


What is the secret of joy in these days of Advent? Even before apostolic action, the Holy Father’s latest teaching invites us to a deeper contemplation — a prayerful gaze that sees the poor from God’s perspective.

Pope Francis wants a Church that is “poor and for the poor.”  He believes the poor have much to teach us, that we need to be evangelized by them, and that they should be in the heart of the Church’s pilgrim way.

“We are called to find Christ in them, to lend our voice to their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen to them, to speak for them and to embrace the mysterious wisdom which God wishes to share with us through them,” writes the Holy Father.

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Francis’ Mystical Light

10/03/2013 Comments (4)

Recently, a theologian and spiritual director shared an important insight into the spirituality of Pope Francis. Father Raymond Gawronski, like the Pope, is a member of the Society of Jesus. The interview in America magazine had just come out, and I was curious about his take on the Pope’s assertion that St. Ignatius was a mystic.

To Father Gawronski, this assertion finds justification in the very first paragraph of the saint’s Spiritual Exercises, which, paraphrased, could read: “Spiritual exercises indicate every method of examination of conscience, meditation, contemplation, vocal or mental prayer ... any means of preparing and disposing our soul to seek and find God’s will.”


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About Anthony Lilles

Anthony Lilles
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Anthony Lilles is founding faculty member of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, Colo. where he served as Academic Dean for nine years and is a scholar and author in the field of spiritual theology. His recent book Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden: A Theological Contemplation on Prayer, is a compilation of discussions with seminarians, students and contemplatives about the spiritual life. Lilles is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville. He completed his graduate and post-graduate studies in Rome at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas. Read more from Anthony here.