by Margaret Silf
Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.
In the words of Gerard Hughes: “Inner Compass looks at the most fundamental questions that concern every human being, whatever their race, culture, religion or state in life.” This is especially relevant in light of the Sixty Minutes show on Sunday that outlined for all viewers how our DNA can be tampered with in regard to what it means to be human. The use of algorithms in our society has become easy and fast and the topics vary from one issue to some very serious and ‘human’ changing issues. Silf helps us to stay true to the Ignatian spirituality and the teaching of the Catholic Church. In this book she helps us to find the will of God within our own hearts, a will that is never directed to only our individual benefit, but always to the well-being of all peoples and of all creation. This book becomes a companion for your inner journey. The author encourages us to take it gently and enjoy the landscape as you go.
Some people prefer to journey in groups. If you are using this book as the basis for a faith-sharing group, you will find that each chapter will give you material for the equivalent of one full day of reflection, with time to follow up some of the suggested exercises in a prayerful atmosphere. The sharing of your reflections is probably the best exercise of all. The facilitator should ensure that everyone in the group has an opportunity to share to the extent that they wish to do so. It is important that the material be used in the order given, since it follow the dynamic of the Spiritual Exercises and each chapter builds on the reader’s familiarity with what has gone before.
The author encourages us to be ecumenical. When people begin to share the deeper teaches of their hearts’ journeys, the denominational divisions fall away without any compromise of the genuine variety of riches between different traditions. This book is a gift of grace, an invitation to internalize something of the mind and heart of Christ in our struggle to love true to God’s dream within and beyond us. All that a book can do is point out some of the landmarks along the way and invite people to discover their own unique path into the fullness of life. The author hopes and prays that we may all move daily closer to that destiny, guided and empowered by the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth and assisted by the insights of his good friend Ignatius. The author is a retreat director and speaker on Ignatian spirituality. Devoted followers of Ignatian spirituality and spiritual seekers alike will find that where ever life has led them, Inner Compass offers renewed direction and purpose and helps them recognize the will of God within their own hears.