The origin of this spirituality is rooted in The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits.
Ignatian spirituality is geared towards action. St. Ignatius writes, “love is shown more in deeds than in words.” Ignatian spirituality embraces the world as good and embraces it as a source of joy, aware, of course, of the reality of sin in that same world. The apostolic challenges of Ignatian spirituality can be heard in Vatican II’s call to every person to holiness and to action.
Ignatian spirituality is an incarnational spirituality, which, through Christ’s coming, experiences the divine presence in other persons, in the world, and in creation. God can be found in all things. As the Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote, “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”
It is a discerning spirituality in which choices and decisions are carefully made in the Spirit. At the center of this discernment is reflection on experience, leading to action. In the action (the good works), God is transparent. Finding him there facilitates finding him in regular prayer. Thus, there is an empowering cycle of action and contemplation, and contemplation and action.
Ignatian Spirituality is a Christocentric spirituality. Centered on Christ, Ignatian spirituality follows “the Way” through the Paschal Mystery into discipleship and friendship with Christ. In Christ, we become co-creators and co-redeemers as we labor for the transformation of the world. Through him we are led to the mystery of the Trinity.
Interested in more?
- Visit our Ignatian Spirituality blog, Contemplations, to read reflections from Jesuits, Ignatian Volunteers, Spiritual Reflectors and others on service and spirituality, and finding God in all things.
- See our list of Ignatian Spirituality Resources
3-minute “Primer” on Jesuits and Ignatian Spirituality from Fr. Jim Martin, SJ