Anthony de Mello: On fire

I have read one book by Anthony de Mello and found it very challenging.  This is a long article but it certainly gives a good outline about this author.  He is another one of those whose books you want to read to just find out why the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, especially under Joseph Ratzinger, silenced them.  I read recently that while he was in charge of the CDF, over 100 theologians, those who keep the spirit of the church growing by challenging it, have been silenced……Reyanna

By Karen Eliasen, June 19, 2014, Thinking Faith (the Jesuit on-line publication in Britain)

The first time I came across Anthony de Mello’s name was not through his writings themselves, but rather through the Vatican’s official response to those writings. This response appeared in 1998, almost ten years after de Mello’s death, in the form of a Notification[1]  put out by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under the helm of the then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Going through a phase of curiosity about just whose writings in my own times the Church finds objectionable, I found myself reading a brief entitled ‘Concerning the Writings of Father Anthony de Mello, SJ’. I assumed that the issues so affronting the Vatican – too abstract an image of God, too little weight given to Jesus, too deep an undermining of authority – were coming from yet another hard-core but institutionally suspect theologian. But within a week of reading the Notification, the odd coincidence of a small article in a pastoral review magazine coming my way convinced me otherwise – and I was hooked on de Mello. The pastoral article, transcribed from one of de Mello’s unpublished lectures on the Spiritual Exercises  given in the mid-1970s, had the title ‘Quieting the Mind’[2], but it was the heading in bold immediately underneath that made me want to read on: Prayer is fire. (To continue reading, click here.)

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