Issue 1909

Facing an Unjust System: The widow in the Second Book of Kings

On a cool evening in early spring 2014, a group of 50 people donned blue t-shirts and assembled on the sidewalk outside the main entrance to the headquarters of a well-known U.S. bank. The group held candles, and several customers told stories of predatory lending, disorganization and negligence that resulted in increasing debt and unjust foreclosures, especially in communities of color. Verjie, a nurse’s assistant, spoke through a megaphone. He has lived in the Cambria Heights neighborhood of Queens, New York, for nearly 20 years. An immigrant from the Caribbean, he speaks English as a second language. When he and...

By: Luke Hansen, SJ

The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius: An enduring, effective practise

A useless experience? It is a common opinion that the spiritual life and the hours spent in retreat, as in the case of the Spiritual Exercises, are basically a waste of time and energy that could be better devoted to more useful and profitable activities. On the other hand, some try to use it for “well-being,” to obtain the serenity promised in vain by drugs or by a carefree life. They soon abandon it when results of a completely different kind come to light. But those who have tried their hand at this experience, following the instructions of Saint Ignatius,...

By: Massimo Marelli, SJ

Mozambique and the National Peace Process

Mozambique lies on the east coast of Africa and “looks out” toward Madagascar and the Indian Ocean.[1] It is a member of the Southern African Development Community, a group of nations with a combined population of 250 million people. According to demographics experts this will become almost half a billion in the next 20 years.[2] Mozambique’s ports provide a trade gateway for several sub-Saharan African nations, making it very important in the region from a strategic-commercial point of view. Until 1975 Mozambique was a Portuguese colony. Even today the official language of the country is Portuguese. They arrived on the...

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

Reconciliation and Relationship, a Fruitful Pairing

Anthropological relevance of reconciliation The term reconciliation offers a splendid insight into our relational character as humans. Reconciliation always presupposes a preceding relational rupture. It is well known that contemporary philosophical reflection, thanks above all to personalism, has widely re-evaluated the notion of relationship, putting it in connection with that of identity and thus making a decisive contribution to overcoming interpretations of identity uncritically based on modern individualism and subjectivism, which understandably struggled to account for the anthropological relevance of reconciliation. That is why we must first of all focus on this decisive aspect of relationships. Only in the light...

By: Mario Imperatori, SJ

There is Hunger in the World Today

In the summer of 2015, three-year-old Alan Kurdi was found dead on a Turkish beach. His Syrian family had fled their war-torn homeland. The image of that drowned child in the arms of a soldier disturbed us all. In the fall of 2018, seven-year-old Amal Hussain died of a deadly disease: hunger. Her photograph appeared in The New York Times: undernourished, she lay waiting for death, without even the strength to cry. Amal was in a health center where the nurses gave her milk every two hours. It was useless. She could not keep it down and also had severe...

By: Fernando de la Iglesia Viguiristi SJ

Primo Levi and the Poison of Auschwitz

A century ago, on  July 31, 1919, Primo Levi, writer, witness and “martyr” of the Holocaust, was born in Turin.[1] After graduating in chemistry, he worked in that profession before and after his dramatic experience of the concentration camp. He was also a partisan, and was captured as one, sent to the camp of Fòssoli, near Modena, because he was a Jew, and then was sent to Auschwitz in March 1944. He was 24 years old and remained there for 11 months until it was liberated in January 1945. He was one of the very few who survived the tragedy...

By: Giancarlo Pani SJ

Prophetic Solidarity for Our Common Home

Many individuals and communities want to protect the environment from unlimited exploitation and unjustified destruction. Their commitment is not appreciated by all. They often face strong and violent resistance.  Martyrs in the cause of protecting our common home In Africa, a tragic example is Ken Saro-Wiwa (1941-95), Nigerian writer, television producer, environmental activist and member of the Ogoni people in the Niger Delta. In that area, from the 1950s onward, Shell’s oil extraction has caused serious environmental damage. Spokesman and president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Saro-Wiwa led a non-violent campaign against the environmental...

By: Andrea Vicini, SJ
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