During this Ignatian year, here's how you can benefit from the treasures of Jesuit spirituality.
Ignatian spirituality has changed countless lives for the better in the past 500 years, and this year, it’s in the spotlight all over the world.
From May 2021 until July 2022, the Church is celebrating an Ignatian Year. The spiritual family of Pope Francis, the Society of Jesus founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, is leading the Church in celebrating 500 years since the conversion of its founder.
But what is Ignatian spirituality, exactly? It can be summed up in the phrase, “Finding God in all things.” There’s even a specific process to follow for finding God in all things, which St. Ignatius laid out in the Jesuit Constitutions:
In his advice to young Jesuits about how to be contemplative in the midst of activity, Ignatius has provided such a process (Constitutions, No. 250). First, he says that there has to be a focus, an ability to stand before another reality in ways that center your interest, orient your senses and organize your own interior so that you really look at, hear and are present to that reality. Then Ignatius offers three levels of presence: attention, reverence and devotion.
This three-part formula is applied in the following way:
- Attention: “I allow the reality of the other to be present to me on its terms so that I stand before another in mutuality.”
- Reverence: “Then I reverence what I have given attention to; that is, I hold the other, precisely as other, as different from me yet present to me, in esteem and in care.”
- Devotion: “Devotion is the discovery of how God dwells within this reality—for example, this person, this poem, this experiment, this place—long before I come on the scene. For Ignatius the resolution of every human encounter should be the discovery of God’s presence.”
It’s a profound and transformative approach to the world that God has given us.
This special year is the perfect time to dive deeper into the treasures of Ignatian spirituality. Here are 5 ways to bring Ignatian spirituality into your ordinary life.