May
11
2017

"Canada 150 & Me" - Where did you learn to sing opera?"

Posted by Erik Oland, SJ in Our Daily Lives

For the "Canada 150 & Me" series, igNation asked writers what being Canadian means to them. Today's post find the writer - in some ways - " . . . amazed that we are still a country. We are almost too disparate and diverse for words and people tend to turn stereotypes into reality."

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Apr
20
2016

The Spiritual Exercises…. What An Experience!

Posted by Erik Oland, SJ in Our Spirituality

"One could fill a small library with all the books that have been written on the Exercises – their genesis, theology and spirituality, discernment, spiritual direction, psychotherapy – but for me there are two key elements that preclude any commentary: 1. the Exercises need to be experienced and 2. one needs to want to make them."

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Nov
5
2015

Charity and Justice

Posted by Erik Oland, SJ in Our Spirituality

Erik Oland, SJ writes" "I have had a few intense conversations over the past year about charity and justice. As the result, I've been mulling over the meaning of these two virtues so important to our Christian tradition (and to the traditions of all people of good will). My 'mulling' has gone something like this: people tend to use the terms loosely, indistinctly, and forget how they relate to each other."

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Jul
30
2015

My (insert name of city here) is ..... (11)

Posted by Erik Oland, SJ in Our Daily Lives

For over 400 years, Jesuits and their colleagues have had a presence in Canada. Today they work coast to coast - from Vancouver to St.John's. In this series igNation invites you to join us as we travel across Canada stopping at cities where there are Jesuit apostolates to read personal reflections about the city and the work being done there. Today we visit Montreal, Quebec.

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Jul
3
2015

How Does God Get My Attention?

Posted by Erik Oland, SJ in Our Spirituality

"'Finding God's will' or 'responding to God's call' is central to the Christian journey. It is also central to many of the Bible stories that we know so well. Still, one aspect of 'call' that we don't often speak about is "how does God get one's attention in the first place?" That is, God doesn't so much call directly as if to say 'Erik, I want you to become a Jesuit priest' but rather, God takes his time and allows one to wake up to the plans that he has for each of us. "

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Jan
2
2015

The Vows or Availability for The Mission Conferred.

Posted by Erik Oland, SJ in Our Spirituality

The vows of religion, also termed the evangelical counsels, are central to the engagement of those who desire to follow Christ in religious institutes. The three vows are poverty, chastity and obedience; three 'ideals' that today are considered either totally antiquated or absurdly countercultural. Still, men and women of today are entering religious orders, albeit in reduced numbers, hoping to find deeper meaning in their lives and greater connection with their fellow human beings.

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Oct
27
2014

Keyword: Jesuit, Genre: Autobiography - What Being a Jesuit Means to Me ... Erik Oland, SJ

Posted by Erik Oland, SJ in Our Daily Lives

This new series – "Keyword: Jesuit, Genre: Autobiography" – will explore what it means to be a Jesuit today – as told in their own words by Canadian Jesuits. The articles – written for igNation –are as different in expression and format as the men who wrote them. Today's posting is by Erik Oland, SJ

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Sep
3
2014

But What About The Crumbs?

Posted by Erik Oland, SJ in Our Daily Lives

I was a good eater as a kid but when it came time for first communion I had major trouble with the wafer host most commonly used in our parishes. It felt so strange on my tongue, so dry and unappetizing, that I had trouble swallowing. As the date of the celebration approached and I seemed to be getting nowhere, my mom had the smarts to ask Sister for a few extra 'practice hosts' so that we could rehearse at home. Luckily, by the time that the celebration came around I made it through without embarrassing myself.

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May
21
2014

Our Little Deaths

Posted by Erik Oland, SJ in Our Spirituality

The first time I ever got up to sing in public my heart was in my throat. I had left the quiet beauty of my home in Rothesay, New Brunswick for the uncertain excitement of full-time musical studies. Destined soon after, I was sure, for a life on the stage. The comfort and protection of family, friends, life by the river in Rothesay--I was eager to trade them all in for a career in the cosmopolitan halls of Montreal and beyond. The exacting judgements of directors and critics, the rigors of auditions, performances, and reviews: I thought I was ready for them. Bid good-bye to training in anonymity, I told myself. It was time to become a professional. Maybe even star.

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May
15
2014

Daydreaming and Discernment

Posted by Erik Oland, SJ in Our Spirituality

Mature adults don't just decide things, they discern. That is, if one desires to learn and grow from life's challenges it is imperative to spend time reflecting on experiences, discerning what is helpful, what is less helpful, and then deciding what action to take. This is nothing new in the Western tradition of decision making which can be traced back to the philosophical adage of Socrates (4th c. BC): "The unexamined life is not worth living."

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