It is less a matter of searching for God than of allowing oneself to be found by him in all situations.
- Fr Peter Hans Kolvenbach.
The heart of the Jesuit ethos is Ignatian spirituality – the way of Christian growth developed by St Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. At the heart of this spirituality are the Spiritual Exercises in which Ignatius makes available to others what he discovered in his own journey with God. By sharing these Exercises, Ignatius attracted others to join together as companions of one another, as ‘friends in the Lord’.
The Exercises offer a school of prayer and a means of finding that most precious gift, freedom, through recognition of the fact that God loves us, wherever we are and whatever we have done. Such prayer enables us to overcome any preoccupation with self and to give our energies to serve others.
Today, an integral part of the ministry of the Jesuits is in opening up Ignatian spirituality to everyone. The Centres of Ignatian Spirituality offer people from all backgrounds the opportunity to experience the Spiritual Exercises, while outreach teams from these centres conduct retreats in rural and remote dioceses across the country. This spirituality is also an important aspect of our schools, parishes and other institutions.
Ignatian Spirituality is engagement with the world rather
than flight from it.
Ignatian spirituality is finding God in all things.
Ignatian spirituality is a spirituality for everyday life.
It starts from God in our world and active in our lives.
It is a pathway to deeper prayer,
the grace of spiritual freedom,
good decisions by keen discernment,
an active life of service to others.
Specific to Ignatian Spirituality is the unitive and mystical
way proposed by Ignatius, a "Mystical Act of Election"
proceeding from the life of God in me, converting my
human existence into a permanent "election", that results
in an ongoing search and discernment of God's loving will
- Javier Melloni sj.
Ignatian spirituality is not captured in a rule or set of
practices or a certain method of praying or devotional
exercises. Ignatian Spirituality is a spiritual " way of
proceeding" that offers
a vision of life,
an understanding of God,
a reflective approach to living,
a contemplative form of praying,
a reverential attitude to our world,
and an expectation of finding God daily.
- David Fleming sj (2008).