Habits of Freedom
5 Ignatian Tools for Clearing Your Mind and Resting Daily in the Lord
by Fr. Christopher S. Collins, SJ
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Pub Date 22 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 21 Jun 2022
Do you feel exhausted, anxious, or distracted? Do you want to free your mind from mental clutter?
Popular retreat leader and spiritual director Fr. Christopher Collins, SJ, says that if you turn your heart to God you will find clarity and spiritual peace. In Habits of Freedom, Collins offers you five practical tools to help you develop a habit of daily discernment that will lead to inner calm.
Drawing on the wisdom of St. Ignatius Loyola and his renowned Spiritual Exercises, Collins offers practical spiritual exercises for incorporating five tools into your daily life to help you de-stress, organize your thoughts, and experience the calming presence of Jesus. These are:
· allowing God to show you the signs of oncoming anxiety and mental breakdown;
· developing the ancient practice of spiritual discernment to help analyze your moods and perceptions;
· interpreting life events with an eye toward personal growth and resiliency;
· practicing detachment from negative influences; and
· engaging in interior sensitivity to how God works to bring you peace.
Habits of Freedom is an excellent resource for spiritual directors and individuals, as well as for use in prayer and parish groups seeking practical material that can speak broadly to members from a variety of backgrounds and seasons of life. The book can be easily adapted for small groups and retreat use. A free small-group guide is available at AveMariaPress.com.
A Note From the Publisher
Collins is the author of Three Moments of the Day and The Word Made Love. He regularly gives retreats around the country based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
“For most of my life, I thought that indifference was a bad thing. When I ran across the Ignatian concept of ‘holy indifference,’ however, my eyes were opened in a new way. I learned of the peace that comes from accepting God’s will in all things. It was a life-changing revelation. In Habits of Freedom, Fr. Christopher Collins does a great job presenting the teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola to a new generation. I'm grateful for this book and I'll benefit from it for years to come. I know you will too!”
Gary Zimak Author of Give Up Worry for Lent!
“If you are seeking ways to hear God’s voice in the busyness, Habits of Freedom is the book for you. Weaving storytelling, practical advice, and exercises for prayer, Fr. Christopher Collins breaks down St. Ignatius’s discernment wisdom in a relatable and easily digestible way. This is a book I will be sharing with the people I accompany in spiritual direction!” Becky Eldredge Spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and author
“St. Ignatius’s writings on the Principle and Foundation, the Examen, and especially on the Rules for Discernment are rich and profound but not always easy to understand and apply. Habits of Freedom cracks the code, teasing out the ways these sixteenth-century texts can guide us today.” Mark E. Thibodeaux, SJ Author of Going Deeper
"With a personable style and profound spiritual depth, Fr. Chris Collins leads us in navigating the terrains of uncertainty, belovedness, Ignatian discernment, and Christian discipleship."Virginia Herbers Author of Gifts from Friends We’ve Yet to Meet
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 3 members
I think most of us remember the start of the Covid lockdowns and the stresses of those early days of not knowing what was coming and the feeling of impending isolation. We were forced to figure out how to find opportunities for community an in environment many of us had never experienced before. Habits of Freedom took me back in some ways to those early days and offered a vision for how Ignatian spirituality can offer us moments for freedom and reflection in inhospitable times.
Habits of Freedom is a success because it realizes that it doesn't need to offer anything new and instead leans into what Brother Íñigo gave us centuries ago. It is grounded in Ignatius's Exercises and offers it's readers a new opportunity to reflect on those and revisit them in the chaos of the present. Fr. Collins uses personal anecdotes and writings from other scholars such as Pope Benedict to create an atmosphere where this is possible and ultimately has created a remarkable and useful text for aiding us in the process of finding freedom in the stresses and anxieties of our daily lives.
I think this book would be helpful in both personal and group devotional settings, both Catholic and Protestant. I found myself trying to figure out how to use these for in my college age Sunday School class in a protestant Weslyan denomination and found that I think it could be adapted to that setting with very few alterations. This is one of those books that I truly wish I had a physical copy of.
I highly recommend this book and am thankful to the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.