Fr. Lewis finds writing meditative, yet challenging

  • October 26, 2011

TORONTO - For Jesuit Father Scott Lewis, writing is a dominant part of his ministry.

A columnist for The Catholic Register for the past eight years, Lewis is the author of the recently published God’s Word on Sunday: Liturgy Reflections from Year B.

“You have to open yourself up to the Spirit when you go to write,” said Lewis on where he gets his inspiration from when he sits down to write his weekly columns. Drawn from his Register columns, God’s Word on Sunday examines the Sunday readings of the 2011-2012 liturgical calendar, a year that focuses on the Gospel of Mark. It follows on the heels of last year’s book on Year A.

Born in Honolulu, Lewis became a Canadian citizen this year.

“I moved all over because my dad was in the military and then I was in the military a number of years myself, so I continued to move around,” he said.

His travel continued after joining the Jesuits, so he’s at a loss when people ask where he’s from. Before coming to Canada in 1997, he taught and gave retreats in Jerusalem for two years.

“It looks like I’ll be here for a while,” he said.

Currently on sabbatical from teaching at Regis College at the University of Toronto where he’s an associate professor of New Testament, Lewis is getting some writing done as he prepares a book on the Bible and violence until he returns in the winter term. He is also director of the Manresa Jesuit Spiritual Renewal Centre in Pickering, Ont.

Lewis said writing his Register columns is sort of like a meditation for himself.

“To sit down and write something in 700 words really makes you think and focus and put it in terms that will be meaningful for everyone is a great discipline,” he said, with his columns typically taking about three hours to write.

And, at times, writing his reflections on Scripture can be a challenge, he said.

“Some of the readings are rich and they’re easy to write on. Sometimes you have to kind of stand on your head to find something so it’s varied.”

But Lewis enjoys sitting down to write and hopes that readers engage themselves in his columns.

“I would ask people when they read it to continue the process of reflecting on it,” he said. “It’s merely supposed to be a contribution to people’s thinking and if they would continue that process themselves, I would be very satisfied.”

He said he receives occasional letters to the editor, with some being complimentary and others, not so complimentary.

“Some people call me up at work and want to argue with me, but I’d say most of the feedback I get from people is very, very positive,” he said. “It’s used in some RCIA groups, it’s used by some priests in preparing their homilies and it’s used by some people in their own spiritual life.”

God’s Word on Sunday: Liturgy Reflections from Year B ($13.99) is published by Catholic Register Books. It can be purchased online here or by calling (416) 934-3410.

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