I continue with the series of spiritualities in the history of the church. Today I want to share with you a brief summary of the spirituality of Saint Ignatius of Loyola or also known as Ignatian Spirituality. Saint Ignatius was born in Spain in 1491. As a soldier he fell wounded on one leg during a battle. During his convalescence he was reading cavalry books in which he had a passion over them. One day there were no more cavalry books to read and his sister gave him to read the books of "The Imitation of Christ" and "The Christian Year". From there the process of conversion arose and led him to say that if in the past he had been a soldier to defend the causes of the world, now he would dedicate himself to being a soldier of Christ to defend his kingdom. Ignatius seriously sought a life of holiness and God took his desire seriously and responded with many spiritual graces. Ignacio founded a religious congregation called the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), which is the largest in the Catholic Church and of which our current Pope Francis was a member.
Within the great spiritual wealth of this spirituality I would like to highlight two elements.
The first is the emphasis on discernment to seek the will of God in our lives by making a fundamental and radical choice for Christ and for his cause. Ignatius elaborated the 30-day spiritual exercises which are known as the Ignatian exercises. In these exercises the Christian has a deep experience of encounter with his reality of sin, but above all an experience of feeling unconditionally loved by God. The purpose of these exercises, in the mind of St. Ignatius is for the Christian to make a conscious and radical choice for Christ and for his kingdom after having met misery, but above all for experiencing forgiveness and love by God. Once the person experiences himself loved by God it is easier to discover His will.
A second element that I want to highlight about Ignatian spirituality is that Saint Ignatius of Loyola had a motto that is the following: "Ad Majore Dei Gloriam" or "All for the greater glory of God". This motto is very strong spiritually speaking since it contains the deep desire of Ignatius and his Jesuit disciples so that everything in their life, everything they did, all the works they undertook, everything in them should seek to give greater glory to God. Ignatius also said that the purpose of all his efforts and all his projects was “that God be better known, better loved and better obeyed".
This summary of the Ignatian spirituality is only a brushstroke of the great richness of this spirituality. May Saint Ignatius of Loyola intercede for us so that we too may seek in everything to give greater glory to God.