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Comedian Frank Skinner reveals his love of Ignatian spirituality

By on Thursday, 11 July 2013

Frank Skinner on stage at the Royal Albert Hall (Photo: PA)

Frank Skinner on stage at the Royal Albert Hall (Photo: PA)

The British comedian Frank Skinner has spoken of his love for Ignatian spirituality.

In an interview with Jesuit and Friends magazine Mr Skinner, who attends the Jesuit Farm Street church in Mayfair, central London, said he had developed an interest in silent reflection after practising yoga.

“Through short periods of time, I developed the ability to stop thinking and clear my mind,” he explained.

“Afterwards you feel peace. You start to feel very centred and that starts to inform the rest of your life. I feel that God is in that – in everything – and it’s like that silence can make you feel it in yourself.”

Mr Skinner, 56, who is best known for hosting the programme Fantasy Football League and his ITV chat show, reconnected with Catholic faith in his 20s having lost touch with it in his teens.

His son was baptised at Farm Street last year and he says being a father has also helped deepen his connection with God.

“When you’ve got a child, the love that you feel is like nothing else you feel in the rest of your life,” he said.

“And I think for the believer – certainly the parent – it gives you the clearer view of what a big painful, awful sacrifice that was. When they become your primary concern, ahead of yourself – for me, it’s helped me to understand that sort of love of God, that selfless, forgiving love.”

  • paulpriest

    Ignatian Spirituality is intrinsically contemplative…it’s not emptying, centring prayer.
    Maybe this aspect has been lost through journalistic chinese whispers but Ignatian is not some silent or mantra-repetitive John Cassian-type thing…it’s a Spiritual exercise – not a lie-in!

  • Kevin

    I seem to remember Frank Skinner refusing to agree with former Miss California Carrie Prejean’s defence of marriage when it was brought up as a topic on BBC’s Have I Got News For You.

    “You are right to refute Miss California”, said Skinner, after Conservative MP Alan Duncan had said he disagreed with the “silly bitch” (but before Duncan notoriously joked about murdering her).

    I pray that Skinner will publicly apologise to Prejean for her treatment on the show and Skinner’s own failure to publicly back her in accordance with the teaching of the Church.

  • Karl Josef Von Ottersdorf

    Did you hear the one about the Basque soldier who got his leg shot off? Ho Ho! it’s the way I tell ‘em.

  • Frankie and Benny

    Silence is not bad as long as it lets you hear Christ.

    Silence that lets you hear anything else is anathema.

    We suppose the Holy Spirit chooses which things you hear.

    Encourage the Holy Spirit, stay away from sin, our children.

  • Dorotheus

    Neither is meditation a lie-in! In fact it is one of the most demanding forms of prayer, as those who practise it will know. Nor is it a emptying – a common misconception. It is letting go of our thoughts in order to know the Spirit of God within – taking attention off the mind, not emptying it (something impossible for human beings to do). This is what is usually called contemplative prayer. Ignatian imaginative “contemplation” is in fact discursive prayer, following the flow of our thoughts and imaginings. It has its own value, of course, but why set one form against another? All forms of prayer have their value, meditation as much as any, but only those who practise the latter can know that.

  • 1Maccabeus

    Most amusing.

  • richjohnston

    I doubt it. Plenty of Catholics do not back this teaching of the Church.

  • nicholas

    Well said. It sounds like he’s referring to New age meditation not Ignatian