Book Review – Freedom in the Spirit: An Ignatian Retreat with Saint Paul

17 July 2017
Freedom in the Spirit is Fr Brendan Byrne SJ's new retreat printed by St Paul's Press. Images: St Paul's Press and Wikimedia Commons.

Freedom in the Spirit: An Ignatian Retreat with Saint Paul

Brendan Byrne, SJ

216 pages   5-3/8″ x 8″ Paperback


Fr Brendan Byrne SJ has taught New Testament at Jesuit Theological College, Parkville (Melbourne), Australia, for over three decades, within the University of Divinity (Melbourne), of which he is now an emeritus professor. He is the author of twelve books on all four Gospels and the letters of St Paul.

Fr Brendan is a Jesuit priest and scholar of St Paul, so writing an eight-day retreat with St Paul’s scriptures in the spirituality of St Ignatius of Loyola, the Jesuit Order’s founder, is especially appropriate.

While the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius almost entirely meditate on mysteries in the Gospels, themes within St Paul are relevant, most obviously the Passion and Resurrection.

Based on previous retreats given by Fr Brendan, the book is aimed at people who have already made a retreat based on the traditional texts of the Spiritual Exercises.

This work offers a theological and pastoral discussion of key Pauline texts and topics, arranged in a format for an 8-day retreat along the lines of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola.

While the format is that of two talks a day for eight days of retreat, the collection is designed to serve as an introduction to Paul’s theology and spirituality more generally, with a particular focus upon those aspects that appear to be matched and stressed in Ignatian spirituality.

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