EDITOR’S CHOICE: INSPIRATIO – OSMAR LUDOVICO
Mentor. Advisor. Spiritual guide. Osmar Ludovico is deeply renowned among those who inspire themselves in his teaching, such as authors Ed René Kivitz, who forewords this work, and Maurício Zágari, the editor, who calls him the pious thinker. After O Caminho do Peregrino, written in partnership with Laurentino Gomes, and Meditatio, a hymn to intimacy with God, here is his third book – Inspiratio.
Not claiming to be a writer himself, Osmar presents in an exemplar manifesto (anti-credo) that by which he guides his conscience and character. He is faithful to reclusion and contemplation, to the discrete service for the community, and to the sharing of friendship and affection.
Through Inspiratio – with the double meaning of “source of creativity” and “breathing action essential to live” – we are spurred towards a deep quest for spirituality based on simplicity, prayer, silence and meditation.
This book of reflections is divided in four subjects: God, the Church, Faith and Society, and Spirituality. In Divinatis, we find the greatness of God’s love in our midst, while Ecclesia highlights the legacy of Christianity’s foundations that helped prepare the movement spearheaded by Jesus throughout the last two millennia. In the chapter Fide et Societas are addressed such subjects that deal with each and every one of us: money, marriage, worship, among others. Osmar Ludovico saves Spiritus for last, where his intimate compassion becomes evident, inviting the reader to contemplative immersion and to hear God’s voice, reading the Bible, exposing all his vulnerability and taking the reader from repentance to devotion to Him.
From the Greek koinonia comes the word “communion,” which Ludovico states is not a mere gathering at the temple of people who share a common social and cultural context, nor is it restricted to the mystic communion among members of the Body of Christ. To be present, to know
your neighbor and develop a true spiritual relationship – to live true Biblical koinonia – requires time, tolerance and love.
Regarding classical spirituality (i.e. pre-Reformation), the author states that the Holy Spirit has manifested throughout the first 1,500 years of Church history through the “contribution of saints and Church elders in the movements of priesthood, monasticism and medieval mysticism.” Such is his interest in classical spirituality that acclaimed contemporary thinkers such as Protestants Hans Burki, James Houston or Eugene Peterson, and Catholics Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen and Anselm Grün, seek to restore the good in that tradition and fuse it with today’s spiritual quest.
Instead of a “mystical, alienating practice, (…) the emphasis on silence, solitude, meditation and contemplation is not an end in itself, but a means to a life of holiness and service to our neighbor. With the lectio divina, we Evangelicals can rescue Biblical reading with our heart!”
PAULO SÉRGIO GOMES