Spirituality is the way our experience of God shapes our way of seeing the world, as well as our way of interacting with the world.
Women and Men who embrace an Ignatian spirituality have an Ignatian world-view and a spirituality based in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.
Ignatius uses many images of God in the Exercises—but within all of Ignatian thought God is at once both immanent and transcendent. God is above and beyond and God is the heart.
For Ignatius, everything comes from God in Jesus and everything returns to God in Jesus … more wonderful still, God invites us to have part with Jesus in that same cycle of creation and redemption. This is how God labours in creation … and we, sharers in the mission of Jesus, are partners in that labour.
God is not just outside and beyond all God made; God is in and through all of creation. God is the centre, the heart of creation, and from there God shares God’s own glory with us. God is in all things, in every bit of our life experience.
The Spiritual Exercises involve a web of relationships … our relationship to all of creation, to the Church, to the things we use, to Mary Mother of God, to the angels and saints—the heroic women and men whose journeys precede ours. We are not just to see, but to be in relationship to God’s love totally poured out, utterly given. We are to be aware of the relationships in our life stories, past and present. We are to be in relationship to ourselves.
Basic to the experience of the Exercises is a firm conviction that God reveals God’s self in and through our life experience. Ignatius saw himself as a pilgrim and his life-project as a pilgrimage.
There is no right place to be on such a journey; there is no place where God will not be. The wonder is that the journey is never done, the story is never fully told, the adventure is never at an end. There is no wrong history to have; there is only our life story … and God revealing God’s self there.
For Faithful Companions of Jesus, whose Constitutions are primarily the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, the sense of Ignatian Spirituality deepens and permeates all aspects of our lives. The single end which the Society seeks is the end for which Jesus came into the world, the greater glory and service of God’s divine Majesty.
When asked by Cardinal Bertazzoli on behalf of Pope Leo XII about the Constitutions, Marie Madeleine replied that they were dearer to us than life.
AMDG — Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam
The magis of the Exercises is evident through the Constitutions; all is for the greater glory, service and praise of God. We are to seek a greater knowledge and love of God, to discern our ministry so as to have greater devotion and security in God, to respond to the greater need.