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Dean Brackley


by Brian Flagg,

Some people might like to think that a 30 day silent retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius might have a pacifying effect on me.

Not so!

That is because I read Dean Brackley’s book on the Exercises and learned about FALSE HUMILITY and MAGNANIMITY!

I feel that doing the Spiritual Exercises gave me the tools to become a much more conscious hombre.

This consciousness is based in knowing the God who created me and came to earth in human form in a much more profound and personal way. And so, that relationship is more and more my identity, how I see and know myself and my calling.

I know that my calling is to be an instrument to be used in the struggle for the liberation of God’s people and God’s creation. This is fact.

So I’ve got no excuses. Practice my calling daily or be a hypocrite.

I feel that in the retreat I experienced humiliations which provided a glimpse of true humility for me.

False humility is when one gets sidetracked from practicing liberation for reasons like I’m too stupid, or people hate me or don’t like me or resentments about the perceived shortcomings of comrades and co-workers, etc, etc.

Being free and practicing liberation daily, hourly, ideally all the time, based on access to the power of the Holy Spirit is the antidote to false humility.

To the extent I or anyone can move down that path, one exudes magnanimity! That means that you can become a great-souled individual, with an expansive spirit, able to think and pray big!

Dean Brackley says that magnanimity is the other side of the humility coin, and that true humility and magnanimity lay the foundation of love, with its indispensable option for the poor.

He also says that (p.123) “each of us is called to make history in our own way, to speak and act with boldness, as the early Christians did, and that cultivating magnanimity should leave fewer guilty bystanders on history’s sidelines”. The challenges we confront surely ought to inspire humility – but the authentic humility that leads to bold, creative action.

So this awareness, this Christian, Catholic, Ignation discipline is the key to me and others fomenting revolution, a revolution of tenderness among brothers and sisters and also a concrete New World Order based on Love and Justice!

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