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Sacred Story: An Ignatian Examen For The Third Millennium Paperback – December 28, 2012
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Praise for Sacred Story
William Watson's Sacred Story is an exceptional work. It masters the difficult task of integrating spirituality and psychology and creates an original, rigorous, brilliant and scholarly book. It is an excellent contribution to Ignatian Spirituality and spirituality in general. The author has the ability to take the classic Ignatian Examination of Conscience and recreate it with great originality and scholarship. It illuminates with brilliant insights and accuracy the fields of both psychology and spirituality. Books like this rarely come along once a decade.
Javier Melloni, S.J., Th.D. - Author-- The Spiritual Exercises in the Western Tradition
Professor-- Faculty of Theology of Catalonia--Member--Center of Spirituality Manresa, Spain.
William Watson's Sacred Story is a huge undertaking. It is a new, enlarged and redeveloped book of Ignatius' Examen. Sacred Story probes profoundly into the dynamics of Ignatius's personal journey--into his sacred story--and the discernment of spirits that embellish and enlighten it. He uncovers a paradigm of the Examen in the Autobiography with the two conversions of Ignatius, which is very insightful. Despite my familiarity with the Autobiography, I had never thought of this before. Also, I can see now after reading Sacred Story that the key insight of Ignatius' surrendering his scruples over confessing past sins was the most important decision of his life--a tipping point for him personally and a defining element of Ignatian Spirituality.
George Aschenbrenner, S.J. - Washington, D.C.
William Watson's Sacred Story is a seminal, brilliant tour de force--erudite, well researched and deeply pondered. It is a passionate book, full of the urgency of one who is speaking of what he knows and of what he lives. It is a book born not merely from well-grounded scholarship but from deeply personal experience and struggle. Read it and be amazed, as I was.
Watson does for the Examen what Jerome Nadal did for the Jesuit Constitutions (when Nadal explained the Constitutions to the Jesuit communities he visited in the very early days of the Society of Jesus). Watson links any proper and full appropriation of the Examen to the experiences of St. Ignatius' life, particularly to his conversion, and to the programme of the Spiritual Exercises. This is a novel approach, and one, in my opinion, which is holistic, rich, fertile and fruitful.
David Keith Townsend, S.J. - Director, The Seven Fountains Spirituality Centre, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Making St. Ignatius' practice of the Examen meaningful in the 21st century, useful for self-knowledge and self-transformation, and respectful of the complexities of each individual psyche immersed in modern culture seems at best to be daunting and at worst, impossible.
Yet that is precisely what Fr. William Watson, S.J. has accomplished in his fresh, clear, interdisciplinary and contemporarily relevant approach to the Ignatian Examen - Sacred Story - An Ignatian Examen for the Third Millennium. But he does so much more. His real quest is to find a practical, usable approach to a profound relationship with the Lord which avoids superficiality in its practicality and needless complexity in its profundity. By taking the time he needs to develop his insights into the human psyche, the stories he needs to illustrate his points, and the scholarship that underlies a deep understanding of the spirit of St. Ignatius Loyola, Watson weaves a rich unified tapestry of practical, sage instruction on how to find the Lord in the depths of self-examination and the sacred story that emerges from it.
Sacred Story is a "must read" for those seeking knowledge of the spiritual and psychological obstacles that may present themselves in our individual spiritual quest - along with the tools for discernment and authentic reflection needed to overcome them.
Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.--President, Magis Institute
Author of Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life
In Sacred Story, Bill Watson retrieves the heart and soul of Ignatian Spirituality. In this timely work on the prayer of the Examen Watson demonstrates that the ancient practice of this essential prayer can enrich and sanctify contemporary lives. Aptly identifying the millennial sin of narcissism, Watson's book offers an attractive paradigm that makes the Spiritual Exercises accessible and mobile. This book pushes the boundaries of our understanding of the Examen and challenges all who embrace an Ignatian way of life to deeper transformation. Bill Watson has done a profound service in giving us Sacred Story!
Damian Zynda, Th.D.
Author of Archbishop Romero: A Disciple Who Revealed the Glory of God
Director of Formation, Church of the Transfiguration, Pittsford, NY
Faculty, Christian Spirituality Program, Creighton University, Omaha, NB
The need of a thorough re-consideration of Ignatius of Loyola and his teaching about our direct relation to God has been obvious for some time. The insight and thoroughness of this book is to be commended. Father Watson has given us a chance for an in-depth second and third look at the great Examen tradition of Ignatius and his "thinking with the Church."
James V. Schall, S. J. Georgetown University
Author: A Philosopher in Society: The Political Philosophy of Maritain
St. Paul describes the mystery of the Christian life as a confluence of divine grace and human effort in his admonition to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling...for it is God who works in you to desire and to accomplish His good will." (1Phil. 2:12-13)
Sacred Story is invaluable for anyone sincerely interested in understanding the Examen as Ignatius used it: to follow Christ in the most concrete details of day-to-day life. What we have through Fr. Watson's Sacred Story is a new roadmap to achieve St. Ignatius' Magis in our own day.
Rev. Thomas Sherman, S.J.--Professor of Philosophy
Arrupe College of Philosophy, Harare Zimbabwe
As a Jesuit for 50 years, I now appreciate the Autobiography in a completely new light and understand for the first time St. Ignatius' unique version of the Examination of Conscience. In a creative, fresh, and very accessible fashion for contemporary Catholics and Christians, Watson unlocks the personal, daily life spiritual tool of the Examen. I highly recommend Sacred Story for anyone who desires a greater intimacy with God and a better self understanding through this practical, holistic, and experiential spiritual growth method."
John Mossi, S.J., Santa Clara
Spiritual Director and Retreat Guide
"The Examen Prayer as taught by Fr. Watson grounds the new evangelization in the gift of discernment of spirits. When practiced faithfully the New Jerusalem is seen, and the Church enjoys living in an on-going culture of Pentecost."
Fr. John Horn, S.J.
Rector, Kenrick Seminary; Co-Founder Institute for Priestly Formation
The "Narrow Gate" of the Ignatian Examen offers a path to spiritual growth that is missing in today's dominant culture. This is an age when the search for God and hunger for spiritual life is longed for, but often lost in spiritual, psychological and moral confusion. Fr. Watson's work offers a new, more accessible approach to the Examen that is a valuable and needed resource for people today."
Mary Cross, Ph.D.
Director of Adult Spiritual formation, Seattle Archdiocese
How can we filter the noise of the world and invite into our lives the authentic voice of God's word? Sacred Story can help any practitioner accomplish this. It will be a tremendous blessing for laity, priest and religious who are seeking a more integrated spiritual and psychological life in Christ.
Dr. Christina Lynch: Director of Psychological Services, St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, Denver CO
About the Author
Fr. William Watson, S.J., D. Min., has spent over thirty years developing Ignatian programs and retreats used by Georgetown University, Seattle University, Santa Clara University, Gonzaga University and Loyola College in Baltimore. He has collaborated with Fr. Robert Spitzer in the last fifteen years on Ignatian retreats for corporate CEOs. In the spring of 2011 he launched a non-profit institute to bring Ignatian Spirituality to Catholics and Christians of all ages and walks of life. The Sacred Story Institute is promoting third millennium evangelization for the Society of Jesus and the Church by using the time-tested Examination of Conscience of St. Ignatius. Fr. Watson has served as: Director of Retreat Programs at Georgetown University; Vice President for Mission at Gonzaga University; and Provincial Assistant for International Ministries for the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. He received his Doctor of Ministry degree in 2009 from The Catholic University of America (Washington D.C.). He also holds Masters degrees in Divinity and Pastoral Studies, respectively (1986; Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge Massachusetts). He is a specialist in Ignatian Spirituality and the Ignatian Examination of Conscience.
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Besides, the used copy I purchased was a signed copy. Nice bonus!