watch this video for a brief look at the life of St. Ignatius
Ignatian Spirituality Reading List
New to Ignatian Spirituality? Pick up a couple of these titles to get you started.
The Ignatian Spiritual Life Center is grounded in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Catholic religious order the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits.
Ignatian spirituality acknowledges that although God is ultimately unknowable in God's majesty and mystery, God still longs to be known by us. In God's deep desire for communion, God constantly communicates with us in different ways, both directly in our hearts and through the people and circumstances of our lives. God is in all things, present and persistently inviting us to deeper intimacy and greater freedom to follow the Holy Spirit.
There are several keys to to Ignatian spirituality. One is the importance of discernment. Discernment is the nuanced process of being attentive to and sorting through the complex layers of movements and desires that arise in us when we encounter the many choices and experiences of our world. With practice, we can learn to identify more clearly the movements of God's Spirit which helps us to make better decisions, to live lives in greater joy and peace, and to cooperate more fully with God's plan of salvation for the world. A hallmark of Ignatian spirituality is the central role of discernment in one's spiritual life.
The foundational experience of Ignatian Spirituality is the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. We encourage Christians of every denomination to make this retreat. It offers a profound experience of love and connection, while inspiring us to die to the self so that God can ever more fully pour the Holy Spirit into our being. We strongly encourage that you do this retreat with a director rather than on your own.
The examen is another cornerstone of Ignatian Spirituality. This is a prayerful method of reflection in which we carve out time to reflect upon our day. As we review the day we ask, "How was God active in my day? What thanksgiving do I wish to offer God? Where did I miss God? What contrition do I desire to share with God?" This holy time of reflection gives us the chance to step out of our busy day to savor how God was at work, and apologize for where we failed to accept God's invitation to loving-kindness. There are many different ways to pray the examen. For some examples, visit IgnatianSpirituality.com.
For more information on Ignatian Spirituality, visit IgnatianSpirituality.com, an excellent resource from the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus.
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Ignatian Spiritual Life Center
A Ministry of St. Agnes Parish
1611 Oak Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
A ministry of St. Agnes Parish in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center has a three council structure that discerns the programming we need to live an Ignatian life of devotion and service. Our areas of focus are Church Justice, Global Justice and Spiritual Life. Each council offers programming aimed at mobilizing the larger community to love the world the way God intends. Programming includes adult education and faith formation, the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, spiritual direction, opportunities for prayer and retreat, and an ongoing commitment to dialogue and service in our Church and world.