The author presents a theoretical-practical training manual with effective tools for everyone, especially counselors to improve their spiritual growth. The Speed Method, integrating Lonergan’s theory with the practice of counseling, becomes a concrete opportunity in view of a new spiritual springtime for the Church and human care.
Barbara Marchica is didactic director of the Higher Education School, Milan Insight School (MIS), with the patronage of the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences of Milan (Italy).
First Section: The Theory
1.The Questions of Conscience in Order to the Practice of Pastoral and Spiritual Counseling
2.The Dynamics Experienced by Consciousness in the Path of Selfknowledge: The Contribution of the Theologian Bernard Lonergan
Second Section: The Practice
3.The Speed Method: Awareness in 4 Steps
Third Section: The Experience
4.The Interaction between Lonergan’s Doctrine and the Practice of the Speed Method
Summary of the Path: Seven Acquisitions and Four Open Questions
About the Author
The rigorous search for a working method, that corresponds to a coherent Christian anthropology of this proposal, gives great hope. B. Lonergan’s lesson proves valuable, both as to the idea of the method itself, and the notion of self-awareness, stretched between self-appropriation and self-transcendence. The work of counseling thus becomes a convincing foundation and it also identifies a space of its own within the sphere of ecclesial action, living up to the new challenges of secularization and postmodern culture. But above all, the successful articulation of theory, practice and experience is most convincing. This circularity allows for the unification of different dimensions of believing experience, community life and theological research.
The book represents the fruit of an original investigation, which made two areas not easy to master, interact: the North American matrix of pastoral counseling and the complex thought of the Canadian theologian B. Lonergan. Lonergan’s analysis of consciousness - in the fourfold dimensions of experience, intelligence, judgment, decision - shows its constitutive intentionality, which is expressed through the dialectic between self-appropriation and self-transcendence. This undoubtedly offers a valuable theological contribution to the development of the helping relationship. The author hints at a “pastoral springtime”, in the evocative final passages, wishing for a renewal of practices and gestures that translate the Gospel message into pastoral care, or rather “taking care” of every human reality.
The mail reason of interest of this original work is the original approach to the more ambitious goal of modern history of consciousness: to activate a reflective and dynamic path of openness to the transcendent Sense, holding the link with the singularity and depth of the personal Self. The model developed by the accurate theoretical and practical research presented in this book is an instrument perfectly adherent to the current conditions of existential and religious orientation problems in the contest of the connection between the individual and the community in the secular age. The “Speed” model exploits the theory of the reciprocal integration between psychological dynamism and spiritual quality of the Self that comes from the anthropology of the Canadian thinker Bernard Lonergan. The verification of this model is not produced only through its practical experimentation within the community of faith, but also in the context of academic training. As a structured and open model of research-action, “Speed” represents an unprecedented perspective for the correlation between the existential theology of faith and the pastoral mediation of the community.
The importance of spirituality for psychological well-being is now validated in the scientific literature. Indeed, a close relationship between the two dimensions is given. By treating the former well, it is often possible to improve the latter. For this reason, spiritual counseling is now inescapable. In this splendid book such a crucial node is addressed in a systematic, well-founded and comprehensive way.