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The Spiritual Masters of Pope Francis: Hugo Rahner, Miguel Ángel Fiorito, Gaston Fessard

Santiago Madrigal, SJ - La Civiltà Cattolica - Fri, Nov 11th 2022

The Spiritual Masters of Pope Francis: Hugo Rahner, Miguel Ángel Fiorito, Gaston Fessard

Spirituality occupies a primary role in the project of missionary reform promoted by Pope Francis. As early as in his first apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, in which he set out his priorities, he called attention to the urgent task of our time, namely, that the entire people of God prepare to undertake “in  the Spirit” a new stage of evangelization.[1]

Pope Francis’ Ignatian roots: ‘Our way of proceeding’

These pages aim to trace the spiritual roots of the reforming work that Jorge Mario Bergoglio has sustained over time, first as a simple Jesuit, then as a provincial superior, then as a pastor in a megalopolis like Buenos Aires, and finally as bishop of Rome. Undoubtedly, the Spiritual Exercises (SE) of St. Ignatius are the foundation of this work. In 2006, the then-Cardinal Bergoglio gave the Spiritual Exercises to the Spanish bishops. His meditations were later published in a book entitled En Èl solo la esperanza [In Him alone is hope] which we will refer to in order to assess his specific way of making Ignatian spirituality his own. In the book, Bergoglio wrote, “The Lord sends us to a spiritual combat,  a fight to the death that He carries on. We are invited to find our definitive role  in the battle, aware that the war is God’s. The war is against the ‘mortal enemy of our human nature,’ as Ignatius calls the Devil. Therefore it is the war of the ‘friend of our human nature,’ of the Lord Jesus who wants to conquer us for God and recapitulate in himself all the good of creation to offer it to the Father, for his glory.”[2]

This passage summarizes Francis’ Ignatian heritage in line with one of the most characteristic contemplations of the Spiritual Exercises, that of the Two Standards (cf. SE 137-147). In this article we will try to show how Bergoglio the Jesuit has received and assimilated the spiritual legacy of Saint Ignatius since the years of his theological formation. As we will see, his process of appropriation of the main source of the Ignatian charism has been marked by three great teachers: Hugo Rahner, Miguel Ángel Fiorito and Gaston Fessard. 

Saint Ignatius planned a luminous path to relaunch the mission of the Catholic Church at a difficult time, when the foundations of modern civilization and culture were being laid. This project, which manifested what he had already experienced as an interior conversion, included the formation of children, the promotion  of  scientific and university culture, the evangelization of the distant East  Indies, social work among the poorest, and the struggle for Catholic unity in the face of the complex cultural and religious phenomenon of the Reformation.[3] Everything that Ignatius perceived as the will of God for evangelizers at that moment in history was summed up in this expression: “Our way of proceeding.” This is the project that Jorge Mario Bergoglio assumed and in which he was formed after  he entered the Society of Jesus on March 11, 1958.

Let us start from the beginning. What prompted the current pontiff to take the decision to enter the Society of Jesus? Bergoglio had entered the seminary in Buenos Aires, in Villa Devoto, entrusted to the Jesuits. Speaking about his own life, he confessed that he chose the Jesuits, despite being attracted to the Dominicans. He was struck by three things about the Society of Jesus: missionary spirit, community and discipline.[4] Asked what aspect of Ignatian spirituality best helps him live out his Petrine ministry, Pope Francis responded without hesitation, “Discernment.” He added , “Discernment is one of the things that St. Ignatius worked on most inwardly. For him, it is a tool of struggle to know the Lord better and follow him more closely.”[5]

This idea of discernment as an instrument of struggle not only is heard  frequently on the lips of the pope,[6] but anticipates the core of his understanding of Ignatian spirituality. Who directed him to this interpretation of the Ignatian charism? His biographers have noted that during his studies of theology, the young Jesuit was impressed by “the work of renewal of the Ignatian charism carried out by his professor of philosophy, Father Miguel Ángel Fiorito,”[7] a tireless researcher working toward  the return to the original and founding charism of the Society of Jesus.

Ignatian charism and the pastoral style of Francis: Maestro Fiorito

On December 13, 2019, Francis spoke at the seminar celebrating the writings of Miguel Ángel Fiorito (1916-2005) held in Rome at the General Curia of the Society of Jesus.[8] On that occasion, he said, “‘Maestro Fiorito’ – as he was called in the Argentine Province of the Society of Jesus – was the one who taught us the ‘way of discernment’.” Recalling personal experiences, he added this testimony: “I met Fiorito in 1961 when I returned from my juniorate in Chile. He was Professor of Metaphysics at the Colegio Máximo de San José, our formation house in San Miguel, in the province of Buenos Aires. From then on I began to confide in him; he became my spiritual director. He was going through a profound process that would lead him to give up teaching philosophy in order to devote himself wholly to writing on spirituality and giving the Spiritual Exercises. Volume II of his writings, dealing with the years 1961-62, contains the article: ‘The Christocentrism of St. Ignatius’ Principle and Foundation.’[9] It inspired me profoundly. There I began to discover some authors who have accompanied me ever since: Guardini, Hugo Rahner[10] and his book on the historical genesis of the spirituality of Saint Ignatius, Gaston Fessard[11] and his Dialectic of the Exercises.”[12]

On the basis of  this information, we can note a few things. First, biographers of Pope Francis have pointed out that his reading of Romano Guardini contributed to the formulation of the four well-known Bergoglio principles. Bergoglio was inspired by the theory of “polar opposition,” the guiding idea of the Italian-German theologian’s work, Der Gegensatz [Contrast] (1925).[13]  Some  passages of the encyclical Laudato Si’ are also inspired by Guardini’s work La fine dell’epoca moderna. Il potere [The End of the Modern Age. The Power].[14] Meanwhile, under Fiorito’s influence, Bergoglio had also shown interest in other works by Guardini, such as The Lord. Reflections on the Person and Life of Jesus Christ (1937), The Essence of Christianity (1938) and, especially, The Image of Jesus Christ in the New Testament (1936). According to Francis, “Fiorito pointed out […] the convergence between the image of the Lord, especially in Saint Paul, as Guardini explains it, and the image of the Lord as we in turn believe we find it in the Exercises of Saint Ignatius.”[15]

Pope Francis acknowledged that Fessard (1897-1978) also had a great influence on him. He said he read his work, La dialéctica de los Ejercicios espirituales de san Ignacio de Loyola (1956) several times. His first contact with the French Jesuit must date back to the years 1962-64.[16] Besides, as we will see, there is a great convergence between Fiorito’s and Fessard’s interpretation of the Exercises, so that both have a decisive importance in Bergoglio’s intellectual and spiritual development.

The Belgian Jesuit Jacques Servais has insisted on this point in his study of the theologians who have influenced Francis’ reading of the Spiritual Exercises. It was Fiorito who initiated the young Jesuit Bergoglio in the study of the Ignatian Exercises. He also promoted and sponsored Fessard’s interpretation with his idea of the dialectic, that is, the tension between grace and freedom, which – unlike Hegel’s approach – finds reconciliation in the mystery of God acting in history. To the names of Romano Guardini, Henri De Lubac and Hans Urs von Balthasar, Servais adds that of Erich Przywara, and  his monumental work Deus semper maior, a theology of the Spiritual Exercises, the abridged synthesis of which Bergoglio quotes in Teologúmeno español (1962).[17]

In addition  to the biographical testimony mentioned above, this list should be completed with the name of Fr. Hugo Rahner (1900-68). In fact, Bergoglio highlights the role of this German Jesuit, who influenced Fiorito’s conversion to spirituality and who also marked “a stage in the life of our Province and marks what in my pontificate concerns discernment and spiritual accompaniment.”[18] Rahner, Francis explained, caused these three graces to take their place in the souls of the master and his disciples: “that of the Ignatian magis, which was the seal and stretch of Ignatius’ soul within  the unlimited boundary of his aspirations; that of discernment of spirits, which enabled the saint to channel that ability without unnecessary experiments and without stumbling; and that of discreta caritas , which surfaced in Ignatius’ soul as a personal contribution to the ongoing struggle between Christ and Satan and whose battlefront was not external to the saint, but took place  within his soul, divided as it was into which were the only two possible alternatives to  his fundamental option.”[19]

In Rahner’s Ignatius von Loyola und das geschichtliche Werden seiner Frömmigkeit (Graz – Salzburg – Wien, A. Pustet, 1947)[20] Fiorito rediscovered the fundamental elements of Ignatian spirituality, showing that its deepest dynamic is summed up in the maxim Non coerceri a maximo, contineri tamen a minimo, divinum est. “While not being frightened by great things, one should be  concerned with the smaller ones […]. Or, to put it another way: “Always tending to the things that are further on, one deals with those close by.”[21] The German scholar had identified the true origin of this maxim: it is not, as Hölderlin thought and wrote, a maxim engraved on the tomb of Ignatius in the Gesù church in Rome, but a fragment of the Elogium sepulcrale S. Ignatii, by an anonymous author, included in the monumental work Imago primi saeculi, published in Antwerp (1640) to commemorate the first centenary of the Society of Jesus.

On the other hand, Fiorito affirmed that in the “Principle and Foundation” of the Exercises there is a true “Christology in embryo,” because, “when Saint Ignatius uses the expression ‘God our Lord,’ he is speaking  about Christ, the Word made flesh, Lord not only of history, but also of our practical life.”[22] Therefore, Fiorito was part of that group of interpreters of the Exercises who tried to develop the Christology of the “Principle and Foundation,” wanting to show that election is the guide of every spiritual experience.

Bergoglio, who declared himself a disciple of “Maestro Fiorito,” fully accepts his Christological interpretation of “Principle and Foundation” (cf. SE 23). We can see this from the text of the Spiritual Exercises that he gave to the Spanish bishops and in which he uses the characteristic expression “looking to the Lord.” His interpretation  echoes Fiorito, Rahner and Guardini: “In this Principle and Foundation, when he speaks to us of what our attitudes should be as saved creatures who seek salvation, Ignatius offers us the image of Christ, our creator and savior. And when he presents us with the program of indifference and discreta caritas  to choose “what leads us best,” he presents us with the “ever greater Christ,” the Deus semper maior, the intimior intimo meo. This image of the Deus semper maior is  most typical of Ignatius;  it is the one that takes us out of ourselves and elevates us to the praise, devotion and the desire for more generous following and better service. By this Lord and through him ‘the person is created’.”[23]

The Deus semper maior, highlighted by Przywara, resonates in this passage. Bergoglio takes the same line, considering this to be the image of God “most typical of Ignatius.” Confirming this are his other reflections from when he was superior which indicated what aspect of the Ignatian legacy should be transmitted to future generations of Jesuits: “The God we have inherited is Jesus, the manifestation and concealment of the ‘ever greater God.’ In Him the divine transcendence has married our immanence. In Him the focus of the Jesuit finds its foundation: Non coerceri a maximo, contineri tamen a minimo, divinum est.”[24]

Fessard and the discovery of the spiritual dialectic

In the article “Teoría y práctica de los Ejercicios espirituales según Gaston Fessard” (1957), Fiorito made an extensive and detailed review of Fessard’s work, pointing out that his Dialectic of the Spiritual Exercises is actually an exegesis of these three texts: the Book of Exercises, the Elogium sepulcrale S. Ignatii and the Ignatian Sentence by Gabriel Hevenesi, am 18th-century Hungarian Jesuit.[25]

Fessard was able to place St. Ignatius’ spirituality within the framework of a theological interpretation of history and of the relationship between human freedom and divine grace. His study of the Exercises, which combines theory and praxis, focuses on their main point, namely,  the “election” (the choice) of life or state of life, “as the point of coincidence of human freedom and divine freedom, and an act whose dialectic constitutes the history of humans on earth.” In this context, one understands how special attention was paid to the “Rules for the Discernment of Spirits.” The other key point is the consideration of “election” as “the characteristic focus of human freedom.”

The centrality of election determines the subdivision of the Exercises into four weeks, dedicated respectively to meditation on sin, contemplation of the mysteries of the Lord’s public life, the passion and cross, and contemplation of the resurrection and glory. The election is strategically placed at the end of the second week. The mysteries of Christ are set out before and after the personal election, so as to constitute the objective texture of the Exercises. Thus, Fessard adopts the dialectical scheme of election with its two preliminaries (first and second weeks) and two sequels (third and fourth weeks).[26] He believes that Saint Ignatius discarded the traditional scheme of the three ways – purgative, illuminative, and unitive – in order to adopt the original division of the four weeks. Fiorito commented: “The temporal scheme of the four weeks seems more practical than the spatial scheme of the three ways; and it is also more convenient in the spiritual direction of all kinds of souls, because it does not create the false problem of the stage toward perfection at which one has arrived – purgation, illumination or union – but always proposes the real problem of the point of perfection toward which one must strive.”[27]

This explanation fits well with the God that Saint Ignatius wants to make present in the spirit of the exercitant, the Deus semper maior. There is a strict internal unity, a circularity of the Spiritual Exercises that goes from the “Principle and Foundation” to the “Contemplation in order to attain love,” because it is a matter of arriving at the fullness of grace in a single act of human freedom, in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

In this sense, Fessard offers a synthetic vision of the Exercises, whereby they are reduced in their internal dialectic to an instant: the encounter of human freedom with the will of God, which intervenes in my personal history. This instant is not limited to the time of the Exercises, but is actualized in daily life.

In the conclusion of the volume, dedicated to “The Contemplation in order to attain love,” Fessard reflects on the Elogium sepulcrale, to establish a historical link between Saint Ignatius and Hegel and to explain how this maxim summarizes the supreme objective of the Exercises and synthesizes Ignatian spirituality in its dialectical tension: “Non coerceri a maximo, contineri tamen a minimo. This twofold seemingly contrary impulse animates, in every  moment, the Exercises, because the problem of my free decision – id quod volo – is its center, as it was in the most intimate part of Ignatius’ charism.”[28] “Divinum est. Ignatius is not content to show this divine  synthesis of opposites in the immense panorama enclosed in his four weeks. His pedagogy is inspired by it down to the smallest details, always taking care to balance one with the other: our infinite impulse toward transcendence and our no lesser need for immanence.”[29]

Before moving on to Pope Bergoglio’s use and application of this maxim, let us recall the Ignatian Sentence of Gabriel Hevenesi, which is examined in the concluding reflection of the Dialectic of the Exercises: “This is the first rule that we must observe in the works that God asks of us: ‘Trust in God as if everything depended on you, and nothing on God. Yet put everything into action, as if nothing should be done by you and everything by God alone.’”[30]

In the Sentence of Hevenesi the complete life of the Exercises is concentrated in all its intensity. Just as in the meditations and contemplations grace and freedom intertwine and interpenetrate, so the living circularity that follows from their inexhaustible dynamism is revealed: “That of God becoming human so that humans might become God.”[31] Therefore, the relationship between grace and freedom, between divine action and human action is always manifested in the form of an open question, of an inexhaustible interrogative, called to be continuously actualized in the relationship between God and God’s creature within the horizon of history. This is the logic that guides the discernment of spirits and that animates the other maxim that we will now analyze to show how it is part of the spiritual and intellectual repertoire of the current pope: Non coerceri a maximo, contineri tamen a minimo divinum est.

‘Non coerceri a maximo, contineri tamen a minimo divinum est’

Bergoglio has made various uses and applications of the Ignatian sepulchral eulogy. We have already mentioned an explanation that follows Fiorito and Fessard, on the one hand,  to emphasize that the foundation of the Jesuit maxim is Christological, because Christ is “the manifestation and concealment of the ‘ever greater God’” and, on the other hand, to give a very precise indication of “the work of discernment: a decisive way to discover, without confusion, the One who is distinguished by always being beyond all flesh, taking refuge precisely in the humility of this same flesh, the Word of God ‘just made flesh’ (SE 109).”[32]

This maxim was glossed by Bergoglio in a spiritual reflection (originally published in 1981), entitled “Guiding in Big Things and in Small Things”. On that occasion, he interpreted  it this way: “Do not be constrained by what is greatest, be contained in what is smallest;  this is divine!” First of all, he asserted that the maxim  transcends the boundaries  of a norm of conduct “to place itself in a way of feeling the things of God and with the heart of God.”[33] Bergoglio investigated the mind of St. Ignatius and appealed to the criteria of government that he proposes in the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, namely, that the great principles must be applied  to  different “times, places and persons.” This is possible because the ambiguities of life can only be redeemed by discernment. This maxim teaches us that, when making a decision, we must face  a paradox: we must not be frightened by the scope  of great undertakings, but at the same time we must not despise small things. Otherwise, we would draw up great plans without paying attention to the steps that make it possible to carry them out, or we would be caught up in the limits of each moment, without being able to transcend them in moving toward God’s plan. For this reason, whoever leads a group of people must know how to value “small things” in the context of the vast horizons of the Kingdom, and must encourage growth and apostolic boldness.

This maxim appears in the text of the Exercises given in 2006 to the Spanish bishops by the then-Archbishop of Buenos Aires.[34] It is interesting to place it in its precise context. It is framed by the presentation of the contemplations on the life of Jesus, which begin with “the meditation on the Kingdom,” following the outline of the “call” of the Lord, who invites us to “follow him.” According to Ignatius, who is a realist with regard to spiritual combat, the way of following is marked by the Beatitudes. To follow Jesus in the invitation of the Kingdom is to follow him in apostolic work: “I want and desire and it is my deliberate decision…” (SE 98).[35]

This desire is opposed by the anti-apostolic vice of acedia, which Bergoglio describes as “a failure to come to terms with the ‘circumstances of time, place and people’ in which our pastoral action is inserted […]. On some occasions it appears in the elaboration of grand plans without worrying about the specific decisions that lead to their realization; or, on the contrary, being tangled up in the banality of each moment without transcending them in the horizon of God’s plan.”[36] Consequently, the mission of pastors in the midst of the faithful people atrophies.

From a biographical point of view, the reflection Francis made in his interview with Fr. Spadaro in August 2013 is interesting. When they focused on the theme of discernment and the ministry of the successor of Peter, the maxim we are considering surfaced: “I have always been struck by a maxim in  which Ignatius’ vision is described: Non coerceri a maximo, sed contineri a minimo divinum est. I have thought a lot about this maxim  in order to govern, to be a superior: not to be restricted by the largest space, but to be able to be in the smallest space. This virtue of the large and the small requires  magnanimity, which from the position we are in makes us always look at the horizon. It is engaging in the small things of every day with a big heart that is open to God and to others. It is valuing small things within great horizons, those of the Kingdom of God.”[37]

As we have seen, Bergoglio transforms the sepulchral epitaph into a criterion of fundamental discernment that is particularly useful when one must exercise authority. We must realize that, when we always seek what leads us most to God, we cannot identify it with either the greatest or the smallest things. According to St. Ignatius’ style of governance, we must know how to incarnate the great principles in the circumstances of “places, times and people.” Francis is wary of decisions made instinctively and is convinced that changes and reforms need this time of discernment: “Discernment in the Lord guides me in my way of governing.”[38] This is a true pillar of Pope Francis’ spirituality, an expression of his identity as a Jesuit.

Theory and practice of the Spiritual Exercises according to Bergoglio

Having arrived at this point, by way of recapitulation, we present the text of the Exercises given by Bergoglio to the Spanish bishops, In Him alone is hope. First of all, it is appropriate to recall that, as a Jesuit, he was master of novices (1972-73), provincial (1973-79) and rector of a house of studies for Jesuits (1980-86) at San Miguel. These tasks required an intense dedication to and familiarity with Ignatian spirituality. However, we are not so much interested here in detailing the contents as in establishing what underlying structure reflects the style proper to those who give the Exercises in carrying out the task entrusted to them by St. Ignatius: to propose “a method or procedure for meditating” (ES 2). Let us take this text as a testing ground to try to answer the following questions: how is the reading of the masters perceived in theory and practice? Can we identify the principles of a “dialectical” reading of the Spiritual Exercises?

A first consideration concerns the characteristic approach of the “Principle and Foundation,” which shows, under the influence of Rahner and Fiorito, a clear option for its Christological focus, reflected already in the title: “The Lord Who Founds Us.”[39] In this sense, Bergoglio explains  elsewhere that “at the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises Saint Ignatius confronts us with this true God, God our Lord, Jesus Christ, the witness of truth. And he makes us consider some truths about our lives, those basic truths to which he will make us turn in the most decisive moments of choice (cf. SE 170; 184-185).”[40] Bergoglio insisted on this point: “The Lord, in entrusting us with the mission, founds us. […] Jesus founds us in his Church, in his holy faithful people, for the glory of the Father.”[41] That same Lord who founds us reminds us of “the image of the Lord semper maior that Saint Ignatius proposes to us in the Principle and Foundation.”[42] Christ our Lord is, in the Exercises, the central point of personal history and of the history of salvation.

From here we can take an overall look at the sequence of the chapters, where the most surprising thing is that the statements of the main sections always refer, except once, to the same subject: “the Lord.” Is there perhaps a reference here to Guardini? Let us see the sequence in connection with the fundamental themes of the Exercises: 1) The Lord who founds us (“Principle and Foundation”); 2) The Lord who takes us back and forgives us; 3) The spirit of the world or the “anti-kingdom” (meditation on sin); 4) The Lord who calls us and forms us; 5) The Lord who gives us form (meditation on the Kingdom); 6) The Lord who fights for us and with us; 7) The Lord who sends us on mission (the Two Standards); 8) The Lord who reforms us (the Three Categories of Persons); 9) The Lord who anoints us (the Three Degrees of Humility); 10) The Lord, our death and resurrection; 11) The Lord who transforms us with his love (“Contemplation to Attain Love”).[43]

These statements of themes allow us to go through the four weeks of the Exercises in their  essential stages: sin; contemplation of the Lord’s public life beginning with meditation on the Kingdom; passion, cross and death; Easter and contemplation in order to arrive at love. Apart from the taste for contrasts – the Lord who takes us back and forgives us; the anti-kingdom and the Kingdom; the Lord who fights for us and with us – the structuring of the chapters places particular emphasis on typically Ignatian contemplations: the Kingdom, the Two Standards, the Three Classes of Persons, the Three Degrees of Humility. The underlying reason lies in the importance given, in the footsteps of Fiorito and Fessard, to “election” as the center of the spiritual experience of the Exercises. However, if we are looking for a fundamental element, the observations that Bergoglio, as the guide of the Spiritual Exercises, makes toward the end, when he believes that the decisive moment of the experience has passed, are decisive: “Once we have made our election or decision to reform our life, let us go to the feet of the Lord by the tree of the cross to ask him to strengthen us to carry it forward, following the ancient adage about the dynamics of the exercises: deformata reformare, to reform that which has been deformed by sin; reformata conformare, to conform that which has been reformed with the life of the Lord; conformata confirmare, to fortify that which has been conformed,  before the Passion and Cross of the Lord; confirmata transformare, to transfigure that which has been confirmed  in the light of the resurrection.”[44]

It should be noted that “the ancient adage about the dynamics of the Exercises” with its four classical oppositions is assumed and explained in Fessard’s Dialectic of the Spiritual Exercises.[45] According to him, as we have seen, Ignatius takes the fundamental decision to abandon the traditional scheme of the three ways (purgative, illuminative, unitive) to adopt the division of the four weeks, which mark these four movements: deformed – reformed – conformed – confirmed. Consequently, following Fessard, Bergoglio makes his own the dialectical scheme, which establishes “two preliminaries and “two sequels” with respect to the election: the “two preliminaries ,” prior to the act of freedom, correspond, in sequence, to the spiritual time of the first week (reforming what has been deformed by sin: The Lord who takes us back and forgives us) and of the second week (configuring what has been reformed to the life of the Lord: The Lord who calls us and forms us); the “two sequels,” subsequent to the election, go in the double direction that establishes, first, the third week (confirming what has been configured by the Lord’s passion and cross: (The Lord, our death and resurrection) and finally the fourth week, transfiguring what has been confirmed in the light of the resurrection (The Lord who transforms us with his love).

Let us add one final observation. The four meditations – Kingdom; Two Standards; Three Classes of Persons; Three Degrees of Humility – make up the structure that accompanies the contemplation of the mysteries of the Lord’s life and death. The three degrees of humility summarize the process that the exercitant has followed so far, and the third degree of humility, in specific terms, summarizes the before and announces the after. Francis gave it this title: The Lord Who Anoints Us. One anoints that which is to be perfected; to be anointed is to participate in the wisdom of the cross of Christ.[46]

In this reconstruction of the theory and practice of the Spiritual Exercises made by Jorge Mario Bergoglio, one can see how assiduously he has read Fessard. It is also interesting to note how, in the Exercises given to the Spanish bishops in 2006, a continuing source of inspiration was the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi of St. Paul VI. From there comes the expression that Pope Francis willingly uses in his program of ecclesial renewal: “the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing.”[47]

DOI: La Civiltà Cattolica, En. Ed. Vol. 6, no.4 art. 6, 0422: 10.32009/22072446.0422.6

[1].               Cf. S. Madrigal, “Aproximación a una mística eclesial: evangelizadores con Espíritu desde el espíritu del Vaticano II”, in Id., El giro eclesiológico en la recepción del Vaticano II, Santander, Sal Terrae, 2017, 455-477.

[2].      J. M. Bergoglio (Pope Francis), In Lui solo la speranza. Esercizi spirituali ai vescovi spagnoli (15-22 gennaio 2006), Milan, Jaca Book, 2013, 61, note 44. Cf. S. Madrigal, “El combate espiritual. Las raíces ignacianas de Francisco”, in Id., De pirámides y poliedros. Señas de identidad del pontificado de Francisco, Santander, Sal Terrae, 2020, 237-276.

[3].               Cf. J. M. Bergoglio, “Chi sono i gesuiti? Origine, spiritualità, caratteristiche proprie”, in Id., Cambiamo!, Milan, Solferino, 2020, 251-268.

[4].               Cf. A. Spadaro, “Intervista a Papa Francesco”, in Civ. Catt. 2013 III 452.

[5].               Ibid., 453.

[6].               Cf. J. M. Bergoglio, Nel cuore di ogni padre, Milan, Rizzoli, 2014, 162-165.

[7].               M. Borghesi, Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Una biografia intellettuale, Milan, Jaca Book, 2017, 30. Cf. A. Ivereigh, Tempo di misericordia. Vita di Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Milano, Mondadori, 2014.

[8].               Cf. M. Á. Fiorito, Escritos I-V, edited by J. L. Narvaja, Rome, La Civiltà Cattolica, 2019.

[9] .              Cf. M. Á. Fiorito, “Cristocentrismo del Principio y Fundamento de San Ignacio”, in Id., Escritos II, 27-51.

[10].             Cf. Id. , “La opción personal de S. Ignacio: Cristo o Satanás”, in Id., Escritos I, 164.

[11].             Cf. G. Fessard, La dialéctica de los “Ejercicios espirituales” de san Ignacio de Loyola, Bilbao – Santander, Mensajero – Sal Terrae, 2010. The original edition is La dialectique des Exercices spirituels de saint Ignace de Loyola, Paris, Aubier, 1956.

[12].             Francis, “Father Miguel Ángel Fiorito: Pope Francis’ Spiritual Director”, in Civ. Catt. English Ed., December 2019,

[13].             Cf. R. Guardini, L’opposizione polare. Saggio per una filosofia del concreto vivente, Brescia, Morcelliana, 1977.

[14].             Cf. M. Borghesi, Jorge Mario Bergoglio…, op. cit., 117-153. M. Sievernich (ed), Papst Franziskus. Texte, die ihn prägten, Darmstadt, Lambert Schneider, 2015, 115-130.

[15].             Francis, “Father Miguel Ángel Fiorito…”, op. cit. Cf. M. Á. Fiorito, “Cristocentrismo del Principio y Fundamento”, in Id., Escritos I, 51, note 88.

[16].             Francis, audio recording (January 3, 2017), in M. Borghesi, Jorge Mario Bergoglio…, op. cit., 33.

[17].             Cf. J. Servais, “Jorge Bergoglio and the theologians who shaped his reading of the ‘Spiritual Exercises’”, in Gregorianum 99 (2018) 488.

[18].             Francis, “Father Miguel Ángel Fiorito…”, op. cit.

[19].             Ibid., 110f. Cf. M. Á. Fiorito, “La opción personal de S. Ignacio: Cristo o Satanás”, in Id., Escritos I, 163f.

[20].             This work appeared in English as The spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola, an account of its historical development (Westminster – Maryland, Newman Press, 1953). In Italian, it was first published under the title La mistica del servizio: Ignazio di Loyola e la genesi storica della sua spiritualità (Milan, Selecta, 1959), then under the title Come sono nati gli Esercizi. Il cammino spirituale di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola (Rome, AdP, 2004).

[21].             M. Á. Fiorito, “La opción personal de S. Ignacio: Cristo o Satanás”, op. cit., 175.

[22].             Francis, “Father Miguel Ángel Fiorito…”, op. cit.

[23].             J. M. Bergoglio (Pope Francis), In Lui solo la speranza…, , op. cit., 7; 16.

[24].             Id., Nel cuore di ogni padre, op. cit., 29.

[25].             Cf. M. Á. Fiorito, “Teoría y práctica de los Ejercicios espirituales según Gaston Fessard”, in Id., Escritos I, 235.

[26].             Cf. G. Fessard, La dialéctica de los “Ejercicios espirituales” de san Ignacio de Loyola, op. cit., 33-53.

[27].             M. Á. Fiorito, “Teoría y práctica de los Ejercicios espirituales según Gaston Fessard”, op. cit., 239.

[28].             G. Fessard, La dialéctica de los “Ejercicios espirituales” de san Ignacio de Loyola, op. cit., 221.

[29].             Ibid., 223.

[30].             Ibid., 383-456.

[31].             Ibid., 427.

[32].             J. M. Bergoglio, Nel cuore di ogni padre, op. cit., 30.

[33].             Ibid., 91.

[34].             Cf. J. M. Bergoglio (Pope Francis), In Lui solo la speranza…. , op. cit., 34; 49f.

[35].             Ibid., 32; 47.

[36].             Ibid., 34; 49f.

[37].             A. Spadaro, “Intervista a Papa Francesco”, op. cit., 453.

[38].             Ibid., 454.

[39].             Cf. J. M. Bergoglio (Pope Francis), In Lui solo la speranza…. , op. cit., 6; 15f.

[40].             Francis, Cambiamo!, op. cit., 39. This volume was originally published in Argentina in 2013 under the title Reflexiones espirituales sobre la vida apostólica.

[41].             J. M. Bergoglio (Pope Francis), In Lui solo la speranza…. , op. cit., 12; 19.

[42].             Ibid., 14; 20.

[43].             Cf. ibid., 6-9.

[44].             Ibid., 73; 91.

[45].             Cf. G. Fessard, La dialéctica de los “Ejercicios espirituales”, op. cit., 52f; 245-259.

[46].             Cf. J. M. Bergoglio (Pope Francis), In Lui solo la speranza…. , op. cit., 71; 88f.

[47].             Ibid., 55; 75.

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