Spiritual Exercises

In a 1996 review in Commonweal, Lawrence Cunningham writes concerning Joseph Fitzmyer’s Spiritual Exercises Based on Paul’s Letter to the Romans:

It may not be out of place to note that his choice of Romans is a rather audacious one. The standard text(s) for an Ignatian retreat would be, and in the Exercises are, the Gospel narratives vividly “imagined” through the “composition of place. ” Nonetheless, Fitzmyer makes the cogent argument that Pauline materials are neglected in Ignatius (in reaction to the Lutheran emphasis on Romans?), and he attempts to right that imbalance. This is a rich and underutilized resource for meditative and contemplative study, especially Fitzmyer’s superb three chapters on Romans 8.

This is the sort of book that I, for one, love to see come along. Written for an intelligent reader, it seamlessly blends learning and piety, and is a welcome relief from the steady but thin stream of what often passes for “spirituality.”

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