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Invisible Contemplation: A Paradox In The Spiritual Exercises

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Chapter Summary

Italo Calvino belonged to a generation of authors and critics whose work helped generate a wave of interest in what came to be called visual culture. This interest, subsequently expanded to include other forms of sense perception, has also led to a renewed scholarly attention for Jesuit spirituality and for the artistic, theatrical, and literary endeavors associated with it. As Calvino discussed the concept of compositio loci, he noted that Ignatius distinguished between visible meditation and an invisible variant. In contrast, the invisible contemplation was appropriate, for example, for the meditation of sins. As confession became an ever more sophisticated art, other classification systems were introduced. The most important was the Ten Commandments, but there were others as well: the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the works of mercy, the occupational sins, and also those of the five senses.

Keywords: Italo Calvino; Jesuit spirituality; Spiritual Exercises; Ten Commandments



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