Ignatian spirituality is living the belief that God can be found in all things. St. Ignatius believed that we encounter God at every moment of our existence. For more than 450 years, the spirituality of Ignatius of Loyola, based on his own mystical insights and realizations, and worked out in his Spiritual Exercises, has drawn women and men into a deeper intimacy with God and a renewed energy in their service of others.
Ignatian spirituality has at its center the life, the teachings, the death and resurrection of Jesus, acknowledged as the Christ, and invites people to come to know, love and follow Jesus more wholeheartedly, as Ignatius did. This spirituality teaches us that while we live in a world of much darkness and brokenness, God is passionately involved with all creation, working to bring healing and reconciliation, justice and hope, forgiveness and love to everyone.
Ignatius taught that God could be found at work in every situation, relationship and experience of human life—in the daily stuff of working, raising children, caring for neighbors, seeking justice in civic life, protecting the earth and building the human community, as well as in experiences of friendship, of solidarity in a common cause, in times of rejoicing and great happiness, times of sorrow and grieving, and times of loneliness and fear.
Out of his own experience, St. Ignatius developed an original contribution to the practice of spiritual “discernment" in the Catholic tradition, a practice that enables people to understand more clearly God's movement in their hearts and God's purposes for their lives.
Those who adopt Ignatian spirituality—whether they be Jesuits, members of other religious orders, Christian Life Community or lay men and women—find themselves more and more being "contemplative in action," finding God in whatever they do, if they do it with their whole being; finding God in whomever they serve, if they are fully honest and attentive in their service. So too, in the Ignatian heritage, we seek to find God in friends and colleagues, with affection and gratitude; and in prayer, in song, in solitary thought, in periods of contemplation; and in working together with others for the transformation of the world and the liberation of all women and men from every kind of oppression.
Gerald M. Fagin, S.J. in Discovering Your Dream thinks that it’s possible to summarize the graces that the Spiritual Exercises offer in six short sentences:
We are loved.
We are gifted.
We are forgiven.
We are called.
We are invited.
We are sent.