Rodney Kissinger, S.J. has been a Jesuit for over 74 years and a
priest for over 63 years. His seasoned spirituality is the fruit
of more than 60 years of making and giving the Spiritual Exercises
in all of its formats to priests, religious and laity. It is presented
not in the jargon of academia but in a language that everyone can
understand. He is neither “old breed” nor “new
breed,” he is just “half breed.” Having studied
both the old theology and the new theology he is convinced that
the continuity is so great that you cannot understand the new until
you have mastered the old.
week's featured reading is from Fr. Rodney's essay, Loneliness
is not only the Maytag repair man that is lonely. Psychiatrists
tell us that loneliness is the most common complaint they hear today.
What a strange phenomenon it is in a world concerned with over-population
and equipped with the most sophisticated communication media ever
devised by man!
be human is to be lonely. It is one of the deepest and most profound
experiences we have. It clearly reveals that our most radical need
is to love and be loved. But despite its universality most of us
are reluctant to admit our loneliness, even to ourselves. And even
when we do admit that we are lonely it is with a feeling of shame
and weakness. The cost of this self-deception is very high. But
loneliness can also be a very creative and humanizing force. If
it is accepted it can make us compassionate, sympathetic and understanding
and move us to a greater depth of openness to God and others and
lead to a fuller life.
is not just being alone. It has to do with feeling lonely, feeling
the absence of a meaningful human relationship. The fact that loneliness
has something to do with feeling lonely suggests a remedy. Our feelings
are amoral, that is, they are neither moral nor immoral. Therefore,
we can acknowledge them and talk through them instead of keeping
them bottled up within. Our feelings change quickly and constantly.
It is our faith that is constant. Therefore, we should live by our
faith and not by our feelings. Our faith tells us that we are never
really alone. God is closer to me than I am to myself. “In
him we live and move and have our being.” We are all
members of the Communion of Saints and each one of us has a guardian
angel. We have the greatest support group in the world.
cause of our feeling of loneliness is rooted in our culture. We
live in a highly competitive society in which everyone is striving
to be number one. This generates rugged individualism, independence
and isolation. Even if we succeed we discover that it is very lonely
at the top. But loneliness is rooted essentially in the human condition.
We are social beings who live together in society. We are all interdependent,
no one exists alone. This is very evident in the beginning and the
end of life. The newborn infant left to itself dies, and the very
old person left to himself dies. And in between the entrance and
the exit there is more of the same. Assisted living is not reserved
for the beginning and end of life but for our whole lives. It is
by these relationships that we identify ourselves, mature and become
the unique person God gave us the potential to become.
we isolate ourselves from these relationships we feel lonely. One
of the things that isolates us from these personal relationships
is a negative self-image, an inferiority complex which generates
a fear that we will be rejected, a fear that we are not loveable.
is absurd. To be a person is to be loveable because a person is
an act of the love of God. Each person is created in the image of
God and has an intrinsic, core goodness that nothing can destroy.
Each person is unique, unrepeatable, indispensable and gives God
a praise, love and service that no one else can give. In spite of
their faults and imperfections each person is loved unconditionally
by God, so they are loveable. And paradox of paradoxes, it is our
very vulnerabilityhat makes us acceptable and loveable to others.
It is our weakness that unites us not our strengths.
creatures we are essentially dependent on the Creator. To experience
this transcendent neediness is to experience loneliness. From the
moment the umbilical cord is cut I am a separate person, I am alone.
I stand alone even in a crowd. The experience of loneliness comes
also from our uniqueness. No two people are alike. Each person is
a mystery, even to himself. The unique mystery of our person is
incommunicable. No one else experiences the world as I do. Therefore,
no other person can understand me. But we all have this need to
be understood and accepted for the person that I am. Only God understands
and accepts me as I am.
HERE for the entire chapter.
Rodney now has three Kindle EBooks available
NOTE you DO NOT NEED a Kindle Reader to read these books.
HERE to download FREE Kindle
software/apps that allow you to read Kindle books on
PCs, MACs, iPads, Tablets, iPhones, SmartPhones, and Internet
Sense of Humor and Sixty Other Homilies is a collection
of homilies that have been delivered by Fr. Rodney Kissinger,
S.J. over the years to address many of the issues faced by Christians
in contemporary society. This
document is available as a Kindle EBook that can be purchased
at the Kindle store for $2.99.
HERE to purchase the EBook at the Amazon Kindle Store
Rodney has spent most of his priestly life giving the Spiritual
Exercises, as a preached retreat, a guided retreat, the personally
directed retreat, the 19th annotation retreat and the email retreat.
The Joy of the Spiritual Exercises is
the fruit of these retreats condensed into a single EBook. As Fr.
Rodney states, "Pope Francis exhorts us to proclaim “The
Joy of the Gospel.” The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
is a proclamation of the joy of the Gospel." This document
is available as a Kindle EBook that can be purchased at the Kindle
store for $2.99.
HERE to purchase the EBook at
the Amazon Kindle Store
compilation of many of his booklets in a single document named Divine
Simplicity. This document is available as a Kindle
EBook that can be purchased at the Kindle store for $2.99.
HERE to purchase the EBook at the Amazon Kindle Store