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Wild Boys: Inigo, written and directed by Jonathan Moore, White Bear Theatre Kennington

I try to do some justice to Jonathan Moore’s extraordinary Inigo, on Vulpes Libris today.

Vulpes Libris

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NB: As this is a historical play, and closely follows the autobiography of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, there seemed no sense in avoiding spoilers. If you don’t want to know what happens to Ignatius, look away now.

Up to his twenty-sixth year the heart of Ignatius was enthralled by the vanities of the world.

The White Bear Theatre is a tiny place: a pub backroom with forty chairs in it. It isn’t a plush experience, or even a particularly comfortable one. I sit there in my barely-padded seat, horribly aware of my feet (and my coat, and my drink, and my programme), and wonder what on earth is coming.

Inigo starts with a clang. In the heat of the forge (I can feel it, with the light in my eyes) the child Inigo, the youngest Loyola, is learning about swords. A moment later and he is a boisterous young man, bursting onto the…

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Normal service will resume in 3… 2…

It’s been very quiet here on Project SJ – much quieter than planned. I’ve had some health problems (much improved now) which have necessitated running in bare-essentials mode for the last couple of months. However, I’m happy to say that we will be back with a bang in the New Year. Upcoming interviews include USF Jesuit and LGBTQ rights activist Donal Godfrey; Wolfgang Müller of Sankt Michael, Göttingen, and the Christian Life Community; and Anglican priest and radio/TV presenter the Reverend Richard Coles, who’ll be telling us about his experiences on a Jesuit vocations weekend at Osterley Park.

Tomorrow I’m off to London to meet Dominic Robinson SJ of Heythrop College and the Mount Street Jesuit Centre. Today, please accept my apologies for this long silence, and enjoy this reflection from James Martin SJ on Good King Wenceslas. Have a wonderful Christmas, and see you in 2015!

 

Peter McVerry on vocation

I’ve just completed an email interview with Peter McVerry SJ, which will be posted in full next week. Fr McVerry is a social activist, campaigner and founder of homelessness charity The Peter McVerry Trust.

One of the things that fascinates me in talking with Jesuits is their sense of vocation, and how they describe what to those on the outside can seem a strange and mystical sense of calling to a particular ministry. It’s something I want to get in about as much as possible. Accordingly I always ask interviewees: How did you experience the feeling of being called? Here’s what Fr McVerry has to say:

I didn’t experience “being called.” I think going into the priesthood is much like any other vocation. You decide how you would like your life to be lived, and you make a judgement that in the priesthood you can achieve what you would like to do with your life. I don’t think it is much different to deciding to be a doctor, or a lawyer or whatever, except that God is explicit in the decision. The decision is a belief that this is what God wants me to do with my life, which for many others might be implicit or non-existent, but in the case of priesthood, the belief that this is what God wants is at the forefront. But there is no big feeling of being “called”.

What do you think? How does this tally with your experience of vocation: to religious life, to a particular career or ministry or service, to a way of life or a relationship? Leave a comment and let me know.