Brothers in Arms
Imprint: Messenger Publications
134 Pages, 4.35 x 6.7 in
- October 2023
The summer of 2022 saw an unprecedented heatwave in Spain and the author, a Jesuit priest was accompanying a Dublin taxi driver on a walking retreat on the Ignatian Camino to Manresa, near Barcelona. This book tells the story of that testing pilgrimage: trying to find a way through severe heat; the challenges of walking together, finding accommodation and negotiating unexpected hurdles; and the retreat that they did together that looked at faith, prayer and blocks to progress. On one level it is a story of friendship between two very different personalities, and also a story of two souls on a spiritual search for God.
As in his other books, Brendan highlights the Ignatian learning points (e.g. how to discern in a heatwave), outlines the spiritual journeys of the people they came across including a contemplative nun, and narrates the many adventures they went through to cope with exceptional circumstances. The pressure of the intense heat forces them to adapt their walking and find balance and discernment in making good decisions on the road. The pilgrimage took in some key Ignatian sites such as Montserrat and Manresa, but readers are given a unique perspective into the experience of St Ignatius Loyola through the eyes of these two pilgrims’ unique journey, as well as illustrating how a customised Ignatian retreat works. This is a pilgrimage story of finding God in the messiness of less than ideal situations, developing a heartwarming friendship, and finding a way through using Ignatian principles of reflection and flexibility.