What is Ignatian Spirituality? At its core, it is a set of spiritual principles and practices founded on the experiences of the sixteenth century theologian Ignatius of Loyola.
God is in all Things
I used to use the phrase “I see God in the bath bubbles.” That was my way of saying I look for signs of God everywhere. Ignatius says it in a more respectful and even broader way. “God is in all things.” In the Reformed tradition, we call that sanctification.
Self-awareness and Discernment
Ignatian spirituality teaches that God is continually forming and creating me. Two of the greatest contributions of Ignatian spirituality is the examen prayer and the discernment of spirits, to awaken our inner sensitivity to our actions, desires and spiritual state and to better discern God’s prompting. While the focus on discernment is helpful for the individual it can quite simply transform church boards in their leadership as discernment is learned as a community process as a way of conducting ministry.
Contemplative in Action
Ignatius taught that we live under the loving gaze of God. When a person can grow in the understanding of this truth, they can better live actively in the world, but with a heart that is always open to the Lord. It is said of those who attempt to live with a heart formed by Ignatian spirituality, that they are Contemplatives in Action.
One of the beautiful parts of Ignatian Spirituality that I have come to appreciate is its versatility. The Ignatian practices can transform the individual whether a teacher, banker, physician, farmer, retiree, minister, or sales person. All can benefit from the intentional spiritual focus of Ignatian spirituality.