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

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Fr. Rodney Kissinger, S.J. has been a Jesuit for over 75 years and a priest for over 64 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 Liturgical Year - The Good Shepherd

“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” These words of our Lord refer to the Paschal Mystery which we celebrate at Easter. It is most appropriate then that this Fourth Sunday of Easter be celebrated as Good Shepherd Sunday.

The image of the Good Shepherd is one of the most primitive, the most enduring and the most endearing images of our Lord. It is found first of all in the Old Testament. “For thus says the Lord God: I myself will look after my sheep...As a shepherd tends his flock, so will I tend my sheep...the lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal.” (Ezekiel 34:11) It is also one of the most beloved Psalms, “The Lord is my shepherd there is nothing I will want.” (Psalm 23)

In the New Testament, Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd, fulfilling God’s oath to his people. His mission is to the lost sheep of Israel. He will leave the ninety-nine in the flock in search of the one lost stray. He will lay down his life for his sheep. He will be the shepherd at the last judgment who will separate the sheep from the goats.

We saw last week how Jesus commissioned Peter to be his successor as Shepherd of the flock. (John 21:15) Today the symbol of the shepherd, the shepherd’s crook, the crosier, is used by Pope and Bishops, successors of Peter and the Apostles, at Liturgical functions. The symbol of the shepherd is also present on the Parish level in the Pastor, which in Latin means shepherd.

The people of Israel and the early Christian community cherished this image of the Good Shepherd. In Biblical times sheep were very important. They provided both food and clothing. The pastures available were such that they imposed on the shepherd the nomadic life. He had to travel with his sheep from one region to another as the seasons changed. This created a close rapport between the shepherd and his sheep. The Shepherd cares for his sheep, calls them by name, leads them to pasture and water, finds shelter for them in inclement weather, defends them against bandits and wolves, and willing lays down his life for them. The sheep have great confidence in the shepherd. They recognize his voice, obey his commands, and they follow wherever he leads them. The people of Israel and the early Christian community understood the rapport between the shepherd and his sheep. This image of the Good Shepherd does not move us as it did the people of Israel, and the early Christians. But if we really want to understand the Scriptures and to know our true relationship with God we must understand the image of the Shepherd and his sheep. 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