SEASONED SPIRITUALITY
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ccccccccccaaFr Rodney Kissinger, S.J
AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAMhomily

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Fr. Rodney Kissinger, S.J. who is 103 years young, has been a Jesuit for over 76 years and a priest for over 65 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.

This week's featured reading is from Fr. Rodney's booklet, The Church is Changing and Changeless - Chapter 2: The Church is Human and Divine

The Church is not God. The Church is the People of God. The Church is not Jesus. The Church is the Mystical Body of Jesus. In other words, the Church is human and divine. It is divine in its founder, Jesus Christ, true God and true man. It is divine in its purpose which is the salvation of souls. It is divine also in the means it uses, particularly the Mass and the Sacraments, all instituted by Jesus. But it is human in its members and in its leaders. It is the Church of great saints and notorious sinners. Jesus illustrated this fact in the parable of the wheat and the weeds. Both will be present until the end and then they will be separated. This is confirmed in Jesus’ description of the last judgment.

The 12 apostles were personally chosen by Jesus, after he had spent the night in prayer. They were a motley crew to say the least. Some were simple fishermen who left all to follow a perfect stranger who passed by and simply said, “Come, follow me.” Another was a tax-collector who was despised by the Jews. Another was a zealot, a fanatical revolutionary who wanted to overthrow the Romans by force. Two of them were called “the sons of thunder,” hot heads who wanted to call down thunder on those who would not welcome them. Another was a traitor who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Of the others we know nothing but their names, which says a lot about them.

All of them were slow to understand. They were baffled by Jesus’ parables. They were selfish and ambitious, always arguing who was the greatest. Two wanted the best seats in the Kingdom. One wanted to walk on water. The leader of the group, after telling Jesus that he would willingly die for him, denied 3 times that he even knew him. When Jesus was arrested they all fled. They were very human. And so are their successors. All of which points up the fact that our faith is not in any human being but in Jesus, true God and true man, “the way, the truth, and the life,” “yesterday, today and the same forever.”

In an ideal world those who celebrate Mass and the Sacraments should be holy, and sinless. But we do not live in an ideal world; we live in a world that is tainted by sin from the very beginning. The Church is a work in progress. “The Bride of Christ without stain or wrinkle” comes only at end, and we still have a long way to go. We are all sinners, actually in the past, potentially in the future and always carrying this treasure in a very fragile vessel. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the “Immaculate Exception,” or in the words of the poet “our tainted nature’s solitary boast.” John tells us, “If we say we are without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1 John1:8) Pope John XXIII said that he called the Second Vatican Council because he said “ecclesia semper reformanda,” the Church is in constant need of reformation. Pope John Paul II in his book, “When a Pope asks Forgiveness,” asks forgiveness for all of the sins committed by the humanity of the Church through the centuries. CLICK HERE for the entire chapter.

 Fr. Rodney now has three Kindle EBooks available

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God's 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.

CLICK HERE to purchase the EBook at the Amazon Kindle Store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fr. 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.

CLICK HERE to purchase the EBook at the Amazon Kindle Store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A 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.

CLICK HERE to purchase the EBook at the Amazon Kindle Store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Fr Rodney Kissinger, S.J. all rights reserved