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A conversation with Father General Adolfo Nicolás SJ

I like the texts that speak of the life in the Spirit. I think Asia has helped me very much to discover that. Asian spirituality, Hindu as well as Buddhist, insists on this peace that comes from inside, that is overflowing, that surrounds you. My image of the Spirit is not as someone speaking in your ear, but something about the Spirit of God that fills you, inspires you, supports you. I like songs about the Spirit in which he is understood as consoler, relief, rest. I really feel that the Spirit is inspiring, for me, for all of us.

The Scripture texts on detachment show where you can identify the Ignatian influence, although it is also present within the Buddhist background with which I have lived for so many years. Those texts have inspired me from the novitiate: "If you win your life you will lose it" or, "What is everything worth if you lose yourself?" There I have seen a total confluence with Buddhism.

The core of Buddhist spirituality is detachment from the results of your efforts. And this is very meaningful; it is something that is very helpful to understand. It is not just detachment from things: I am attached, I like people, and I like working and many other things. But, you are detached from whatever happens. It could be close to this famous saying that is attributed to Saint Ignatius: "Do everything as if it would depend on you, knowing that it depends on God, and then relax." (There are different versions.) It is about detachment: you do your best and you are only a servant, so let the fruits take their own course, let God work. So when I see verses about this in the Gospel, it always touches something inside me; probably it is the Spirit.

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