Sister Anne Arabome spotlights women of St. Ignatius’ life in new book

Sister Arabome sitting with her book.
Sister Anne Arabome sits in the Faber Center with her recently published book “Why Do You Trouble This Woman?”

Somewhere between Sister Anne Arabome’s own experience with St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises and her journey with women who were on their own pilgrimage to discover God, the associate director of the Faber Center found inspiration for her recently published book, “Why Do You Trouble This Woman?”

Ultimately, Sister Arabome’s book is the outcome of her unending journey of prayer, reflection and contemplation, she says.

“The inspiration for it came from the spirit who guides and leads me on the life-changing adventure of the Spiritual Exercises with women,” Sister Arabome says.

The book’s main theme asserts that the Spiritual Exercises are a gift for women inspired by the formative women in St. Ignatius’ life.

Sadly, Sister Arabome says, the Spiritual Exercises are coated in a language and mindset that women often find off-putting.

“To overcome this barrier, it is not enough to deconstruct the text and attempt to construct it according to our contemporary mindset,” she argues. “The way to go about it is to begin to discover and retrieve the stories of women in the life of St. Ignatius. These are the women who influenced and shaped his religious consciousness.”

Sister Arabome says she imagines that people who read her book would find reasons to deepen their experience with God and find a reason celebrate who they are as Imago Dei — someone beautiful for God and the world.

“When I encounter the divine, I do so as I am — a woman,” Sister Arabome says. “I can only pray and tell my story as a woman. This realization allows me to connect with other women, to hear their stories and to honor their journey. It is absolutely important for us as women to tell our story as we see, feel, hear, taste, smell and pray it.”

“Why Do You Trouble This Woman?” is available from her publisher’s website or any major online book retailer.

RELATED CONTENT: Read Arabome’s Marquette Bookshelf Q&A.