The air of psychological penetration and fugitive stillness is often astonishing. In place of a reclusive style of spirituality, the kinetic Jesuits took up the humanist ideal of engagement in the world. Celebrated for their educational accomplishments, missionary exploits, and organizational inventiveness, the Jesuits became a model for many of the activist congregations founded after them. The dual feature of Jesuit spirituality—the combination of cura personalis and adaptability—suited the emerging individualistic culture of Renaissance Europe. Beneath the shifts—from visions of a tyrannical deity to the embrace of a compassionate savior, from cerebral appreciation of doctrine to more affective spiritualities, from acceptance of a prescribed tradition to the reconnoitering of alternative religious lineages—is an expanding respect for personal journeys, latent in Ignatian spirituality, which stretches and crashes up against the boundaries of Catholicism.
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