Finding God in all things,
Listening with a discerning heart,
Choosing to live for the greater glory of God
Jesuit Spirituality is Ignatian; that is, it seeks to incorporate the insights and methods of prayer discovered by the founder of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatius learned how important it is to look for God in the stuff of his everyday experience; he learned that God was shaping and forming him to be a companion of Jesus. Through his long personal conversion, he discovered a method that others could follow to arrive at such self-knowledge. This method of prayer and reflection is contained in his Spiritual Exercises.
Following the example of St. Ignatius, Jesuit spirituality centers on the imitation of Jesus… focusing on those priorities which constitute Christ’s mind, heart, values, priorities and loves. What are those values, priorities and loves? Ignatius would encourage us to consider what Jesus said and did. At the foundation of Jesus’ life was prayer, a continuous search for how best to live as an authentic human being before a loving God. Jesus preached forgiveness of sins, healed the sick and possessed, and gave hope to the poor, to those socially and economically outcast. Jesus spoke of joy, peace, justice and love; he summoned men and women from all classes of society to continue to follow his way to God and his commitment to helping people become whole and holy.
The Society of Jesus attempts to incorporate these same gospel values into all its works. Jesuits stress the need to take time to reflect and to pray, in order to find out how God wants us to serve in our ministries. This active commitment to seeking God’s leadership is called discernment. As Jesuits, the overriding characteristic we see in Jesus is loving obedience, an open-hearted desire to find and pursue what God wants other men and women to be forgiven, to be free, to utilize all their talents and opportunities in ways which build up this world as a place where faith, justice, peace and love can flourish. This kind of spirituality is incarnational. It views the world as a place where Christ walked, talked and embraced people. It views the world, therefore, as a place of grace, a place of being able to give life to others.