Ignatian spirituality involves a collection of attitudes, customs, and values. These characteristics are embodied by a "way of proceeding" Master Ignatius paid attention to in the experience of the Spiritual Exercises and foundational documents of the Society of Jesus. As Fr. David Fleming, S.J. noted, Ignatius "prized a certain way of thinking, praying, and behaving."
Igniting the Fire: Introductory Principles of Ignatian Spirituality is a series of sessions exploring the somtimes hard-to-define characteristics of Ignatian spirituality. We begin by understanding Master Ignatius was more interested in the shaping of a whole-person in relationship with God than the expression of ideas and theories. The sessions will not offer a systematic analysis, rather offer an experiential walk into a way of living a life of faith, hope, and love - here and now. "Ignatian spirituality is not captured in a rule or set of practices or a certain method of praying or devotional observances. It is a spiritual 'way of proceeding' that offers a vision of life, understanding of God," (Fleming) and who I am and we are in relationship with God and others.
The Igniting the Fire sessions are offered on various dates throughout the fall of 2019. Each session meets two hours on the indicated Saturday morning and will be facilitated by Jesuits and ISI team members. ISI asks an offering of $20 per two hour session, though we also offer a discount the more sessions you register to attend. Register Here for the sessions you would like to attend.
Here is a little info about each session:
- Sat Sept 14 - Spirituality of Heart: In Ignatian spirituality "heart" refers to our inner orientation, the core of our being. This sessin explores questions like - How am I to understand Jesus' meaning of "for where your treasure is, there also will be your heart." (Matthew 6:21)? What is Jesus after when he invites to love the Father with all our 'heart"? How am i to listen to the language of the 'heart' and allow it to guide my daily living?
- Sat Sept 28 - Spirituality of Vision: Our vision is impacted by our perception. We often see what we expect to see and we say "I'll believe it when I see it." Master Ignatius encouraged a vision rooted in the heart of God. He thought our relationship with the Lord impacts everything. His view might be more accurately respresented by "When I believe it, I'll see it." This session explores questions like - what vision of life, work, love does Ignatian spirtiuality offer? How does one come to this vision?
- Sat Oct 26 - Spirituality of Reflection: Ignatian spirituality presents a busy, active God -always creating, always loving, always working toward the better outcome. We are free to choose to unite ourselves with God and God's action, or not. If we choose to join with God in active work in the world, we simultaneously choose "what better leads to God's deepening life in me." These choices mean our active lives rest on a foundation of reflection, beginning with a daily Examen and proceeding from there. This session will explore questions like - how do I find God in relationships, challenges, frustrations and feelings in my everyday life? When I reflect, what am I reflecting about? How can the Examen help me live the life I want to live?
- Sat Nov 16 - Spirituality of Relationship: Master Ignatius dictated his autobiography late in his life. Throughout, he refers to himself as "the pilgrim." In our day repleat with "seeker" spirituality the mindset of a pilgrim does not feel unique, but in Ignatius' day it was not common. Ignatius paid close attention to those with whom we was journeying, and to Whom the journey was taking them. Ignatius' pilgrimage was all about following Jesus - to know, to love in order to be more like Jesus. Being in relationship with Jesus and with others is core to Ignatian spirituality. This session explores questions like - What are key components of relationship? What does my relationship with Jesus looke like and what do I want it to look like? How does my relationship with Jesus impact my relationship with others, and my own self?
- Sat Nov 23 - Spirituality of Discernment: Each person makes hundreds of decisions every day. As Christian persons, we know we are not to do anything wicked and avoid the absurd. That leaves a lot of space, however, for all the other choices we face - large like carreer, state of life, relationships, demanding commitments, and smaller like how to spen our time today, how to keep priorities in the right order, and so forth. The follower of Jesus is always discerning and Ignaatian spirituality offers a way to approach the decisions we face. This sessions explores questions like - how do I make good decisions? What does Jesus reveal about making decisions? How does discernment help me live a more mature Christian discipleship?
- Sat Dec 14 - Spirituality of Gratitude: Ad majórem Dei glóriam is the Latin motto of the Society of Jesus. In Ignatian spirituality, our way of proceeding seeks always to be "for the greater glory of God." Why? Because it is an expression of deeply rooted gratitude. Ignatian spirituality recognizes God as a giver of gifts and our ownselves as receivers of abundance. Our response begins in gratitude, continues in gratitude, and concludes in gratitude. This session explores questions like - for what and to whom am I grateful? how is my gratitude expressed? What is the yeast of gratitude in the mature Christian disciple's life?