Monday, March 16, 2015
Book Review: Saint Ignatius Loyola The Spiritual Writings
Initially I was near incredulous that I was having such a tough time reading St. Ignatius Loyola's writings. Then I talked to a friend of mine who told me that he wasn't surprised because he had also arrived at the same conclusion a while back. That's when I told him that I was about to delve into Saint Ignatius Loyola The Spiritual Writings annotated by Fr. Mark Mossa. At that point he perked up and told me how awesome an annotated book St. Ignatius book sounded. I'm not exactly someone who likes bouncing back and forth between a passage and then commentary on the passage, so reading this book still wasn't easy for me. It took me a little bit of trial and error, as well as some emails to Fr. Mark asking his opinion of how I should best approach the book before I found what worked best for me.
Ultimately, I found that reading the complete selection from St. Ignatius first and then reading Fr. Mark's commentary was the best way for me to get the most out of this book. In many cases, I found myself rereading the selection a second time after reading Fr. Mark's take on the passage. His commentary was very helpful in alleviating the Saint Ignatius induced headaches.
My take aways from this book are simply that I like Saint Ignatius's approach to the spiritual life but I find his writing style difficult to digest. I had begun the task of delving back into his writings using this book after having just finished reading St. Francis de Sales' Introduction to the Devout Life. I feel like they're very similar in many ways, but I found St. Francis to be more approachable.
If you are looking to jump into the writings of St. Ignatius, I'd suggest picking up a copy of this book where you'll have excellent explanations of each of the selections. Reading this book made St. Ignatius's writings seem less daunting.
I was provided with a review copy of Saint Ignatius Loyola The Spiritual Writings Selections Annotated & Explained, by the publisher, SkyLight Paths, in exchange for my honest review. Visit Amazon to take a peek inside this book or to purchase a copy.