My Journey with Ignatian Spirituality – Part I
This week I am embarking on a nine month journey with a small group of guys to work through the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits.
I’ve had a taste of Ignatian Spirituality over the last number of years by regularly engaging in the examen and now with the facilitation of my spiritual director, I will be journeying with some guys through the exercises on a daily basis over the next nine months.
While our group meetings are done in full confidentiality, I hope to share some of my own personal discoveries with you as I take this journey.
What I appreciate about St. Ignatius and his exercises is that the focus is on intimacy with Christ – to be with Him, to be like Him and to live for Him. It is about finding God in all things, being more in touch with my heart. For in Ignatian Spirituality discernment is found as one grows in knowledge of God and knowledge of self. So the exercises help us to be more in tune with what is happening in our inner worlds and outer worlds especially as it relates to walking with God.
The purposes of the exercises is “preparing and desposing our soul to rid itself of all it’s disordered affections and then, after there removal, of seeking and finding God’s will in the ordering…”
So it is about a:
Vision of Life (how we see life)
Vision of Work (how we see the world)
Vision of Love (how we grow in Christ)
The nine months follow this three fold way of sanctification – purgative, illumination and union. The goal is to be in full union with God, in our affections, actions and contemplations. It is to consider what we are toying with in our lives, to listen freshly to our lives and God in order to see more clearly, love more dearly and follow more nearly.
We are following Joseph Tetlow’s approach to the exercises. The primary text is Draw Me into Your Friendship by David Fleming. And our secondary texts are What is Ignatian Spirituality? by David Fleming (which you can read for free on-line), and Inner Compass: An Invitation to Ignatian Spirituality by Margaret Silf.
I’m looking forward to sharing some of my journey with you.
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