Film and the Spiritual Exercises
Finding God In The Dark: Taking The Spiritual Exercises Of St. Ignatius To The Movies, is a book written by two Canadian Jesuits, John J. Pungente, SJ and Monty Williams, SJ, to be used in a Spiritual Exercises retreat.
First, a little about the authors ...
John J. Pungente, SJ is the host of a monthly TV show, Scanning the Movies seen on Bravo! Canada. Fr. Pungente is also the director of the Toronto-based Jesuit Communication Project and is Sessional Lecturer, Media and Theology at Regis College in Toronto.
Monty Williams, SJ is the Director of the Loyola/Regis College Internship Program in the Ministry of Spiritual Direction and a Sessional Lecturer in Spiritual Theology at Regis College.
Now, about the book ...
The movies chosen for Finding God in the Dark are easily available and not what you would normally call "spiritual" in a strict sense ... Lost in Translation, Big Fish, Bowling for Columbine, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Bend it like Beckham, Mystic River, The Lord of the Rings, etc. ... but they deal with our deepest fears and hopes.
Fr. Pungente had this to say ...
This book intends to present the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola using film. For most people, the opportunity to do the full exercises of 30 days is impossible. They have neither the time nor the opportunity. Yet most people crave a spiritual life and a spiritual life that integrates the different elements of their daily lives. This book offers the opportunity to do so without leaving their home or work. It presents a practical way to make the Exercises using contemporary popular film, where watching the film becomes the act of contemplative prayer. The book is designed to be used by individuals or by groups. Besides daily life, it can be used in retreat, pastoral, academic or parish settings. It can then provide the basis for a television series. Such a broad range is possible because the Exercises of Ignatius focus on the imagination as embodying spirituality. Imagination does not exist in particular contexts; it is the context out of which we live our lives and the context in which the Incarnation occurs - that is where God encounters us, communicates with us, and transforms us.
I see there's now a later edition of the book as well - Finding God in the Dark II: Taking the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to the Movies
But back to The Gift of Spiritual Intimacy - you can read the rather long preface online here.