John McNeill was hounded of the Society of Jesus for his writing, but while you can take the man out of the Jesuits, you cannot take the Jesuit out of the man. I revelled in the obvious framework of Ignatian Spirituality in which this book is couched, with its emphasis on ‘finding God in all things’; ‘trust; and ‘thanks be to God.’ I also liked his emphasis on developing a mature faith life, as opposed to the automatic following of rules that we were too often brought up to. The Vatican party line has left many of us feeling weary, bludgeoned and defensive. We all need some form of spiritual self-defence – this book goes a long way to providing it.
What I like especially about this book, is the emphasis on the positive. McNeill frequently reminds us that the Christian experience above all should be one of joy – notwithstanding the impression often created by the institutional church.
Taking a Chance on God
Beacon Press, Boston. 1998, 1996.
Growing Up in Our Faith: Spiritual Life and the Gay Experience
Intro: Lesbians, Gays and the Spiritual Life
Ch 1: Developing a Mature Faith life
Ch 2: The Challenge of Gay Atheism
Ch 3: Pathological Religion and Healthy Religion
Ch 4: Spiritual Maturity: A Challenge for Lesbian and Gay Christians
Intimacy with God
Intro: Feeling the Presence of God.
Ch 5: Dealing with Anger
Ch 6: Liberation from Fear
Ch 7: Lifting the Burden of Guilt, Shame and Self-Hate.
Releasing God’s Power
Intro: Say the Word and I Shall Be Healed.
Ch 8: Trusting in God
Ch 9: Thanks be to God
Ch 10: Reconciliation and God’s Presence
The Gay Virtues
Intro: Hospitality and the Sodom Myth
Ch 11: The Spirit of Hospitality
Ch 12: The Virtue of Compassion
Intro: The Freedom to Play
Ch 13: The Freedom to Play
Ch 14: This is My Body
Ch 15: Sex as Play
Ch 16: The Relationship Between Mary, the Mother of God, and the Gay and Lesbian Community.
Unto Dust You Will Return
Intro: AIDS and the Acceptance of Human Mortality.
Ch 17: The Christian understanding of Death, Resurrection, and Time.
Ch 18: Reflections on Judgement.
Ch 19: Reflections on Mourning.
The Necessity of a Gay Spiritual Community.
Intro: Lovers Gather Round
Ch 20: The Role of a Gay Christian Community
Ch 21: Conversion and the Gay Christian Community
Ch 22: The Future of the Gay Christian Community
A Liberation Spirituality Based on Gay and Lesbian Experience.