A twenty-first-century woman and a sixteenth-century saint are about to cross paths and be transformed by their unlikely friendship. A series of thought-provoking conversations, Just Call Me López helps us realize that our human faultscan reveal the God within us and the path before us.
What do we have in common with a man from the sixteenth centuryor even more so, a saint from the sixteenth century? Probably a lot more than you think. St. Ignatius of Loyola wasnt always the heroic and holy figure that you hear about today; he was a flawed, fallible, and relatable man named Íñigo Lopez. In Just Call Me Lopez, a twenty-first-century woman, Rachel, meets the man who becomes the saint, and both are transformed by their unlikely friendship and series of thought-provoking conversations.
Their worlds literally collide when Rachel is struck by a hit-and-run driver, and Lopez is there to help her. They realize that this chance accident is actually an act of God that allows Rachel and Lopez, through the medium of their friendship, to come to terms with their personal struggles. Lopez shares his life with Rachel, describing the obstacles he faces during his unbelievable conversion from a womanizing soldier to a man of God. While Rachel keeps mostly silent about her personal struggles, she observes and is astounded by Lopezs metamorphosis from mess to mystic. Rachel finally faces her troubling situation, and Lopez gently guides her through the process of discernment to make a difficult, but inspired, life choice.
Just Call Me Lopez helps us realize that our very human faults and imperfect behavior do not prevent us from receiving Gods grace; rather, knowing our weaknesses and giving ourselves over to the Holy Spirit can create a new way for us to live.
Margaret Silf is a popular retreat director and the best-selling author of many Loyola Press books, including The Other Side of Chaos, Inner Compass, Close to the Heart, and Simple Faith. She lives in Scotland.
"...In [Just Call Me López], the premise of two people intersecting across the centuries really works, because it underscores a key point: that the spiritual journey of López is one that is universal. Its as if López and Rachel are a Venn diagram... and the overlapping part of their circles is that deep core of the human heart that longs to find the sacred and the true. Throughout the book, we get a first-hand look at Ignatian spirtuality, at his way of seeing the world and finding God in every bit of it."
-- Ginny Kubitz Moyer, author of Mary and Me: Catholic Women Reflect on the Mother of God
"Would your world be changed if you had regular coffee (and wine) dates with the 16th-century Spaniard Ignatius Loyola? Thats the implicit question posed in this intriguing time travel experiment by Silf, whose previous book, Inner Compass, explored the fundamentals of Ignatian spirituality in a modern context. In a series of fictional encounters between her narrator, Rachel, and the Jesuit founder (never mind the initial premise, which is a bit awkward), the writer introduces readers to the biography of a Christian mystic whose writings and methods continue to have an outsize influence on contemporary Christian spiritual practices. Using accessible language and inviting vignettes, she also explores topics that include praying with the Scriptures, the use of the imagination, and suggestions for how to follow in the footsteps of Christ. Though Silf asserts that her heroine Rachel is a work of fiction, theres a fascinating and persistent critique of ecclesiastical hierarchy that raises its own questions. Come have a drink with Ignatius. You wont be disappointed. (Aug.)"
-- Publishers Weekly
"In this unlikely tale of a 16th-century soldier-turned-saint and 21st-century woman, we see what happens when one person opens herself to a real-life, real-time experience of the communion of saints. The two are as different as pen-and-ink and laptops are as writing instruments, but their conversations show us that lifes really important questions dont change with the times and technology."
- Steve Givens, Faith, History and the Creative Life