Thursday, December 05, 2002

Seven Principle Elements of Ignatian Spirituality

This is reproduced from the pages of a Jesuit High School I know. It is meant to give a little balance to the esoteric ruminations of Dominicans and Carmelites found elsewhere.

1.God in All Things. God is present in all of human existence. The world and all it contains reveals God to us. It was out of this conviction that Ignatius became known as an “incarnational mystic,” a “contemplative in action.”

2. The Consciousness Examen. If God indeed can be found in all things, then human beings can discern God’s presence in the world. The examen is a prayerful reflection on one’s day in order to notice where God was present in one’s behavior, thoughts, feelings, actions, relationships, work, play, etc, so that one may respond with grateful generosity.

3. Two Standards: The Standard of Christ and the standard of Satan. We ought not to be naïve about the presence of evil in the world. We are called to discern and reject what is evil and to do battle against evil, serving Christ under the standard of the cross.

4. AMDG, Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam. For the Greater Glory of God; and Magis, more. For most people decisions involve a choice from among various goods. AMDG reminds us that we are called to seek that which will give greater glory, i.e. what is most especially conducive to the praise, worship, and service of God?

5. The magis is not a question of doing more, but of carefully discerning what is especially fitting in the service of God.

6. Ignatian Discernment. God’s voice can be discerned most clearly by a careful examination of one’s deepest, most authentic desires. God’s voice can also be discerned in a group setting: prayerful consideration of the movements of the Spirit in the groups ongoing work, conversation, prayer, etc.

7.Cura Personalis. This term can be paraphrased with: “ The person in front of me is the most important person in the world.” Cura Personalis is the attentive concern given to each individual, taking into consideration that person’s whole self: body, mind, and soul. No aspect of what it means to be human ought to be neglected. This principle also implies that a human being must never be treated as a means to an end, but is always to be treated with respect as an individual man or woman, made in God’s image and likeness.


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