the gift of God in all things!

today, july 31st, is the feast of st ignatius of loyola. i thank God for this great saint and all the wonderful gifts he has left us; i thank the society of jesus– the jesuits– who continue to share ignatian tradition and spirituality. i especially thank the jesuits who helped shape my two nieces, jennifer and valerie, at seattle university. i particularly thank the society of jesus are at the jesuit school of theology in berkeley ca for my years of study there and its lasting effects on me in spite my limited talents.

there is so much to st ignatius that i will just highlight– in thanksgiving– a few aspects of his spirituality that have brought me through the various roadblocks, speed bumps and detours in my own journey of life and faith. on a broad level, ignatian spirituality helps us wed our faith with our actions: to walk in love/grace with God together.

God is in all things; is everywhere and therefore the world/universe is beautiful and good. we can see this in our moments of clarity and we can participate in it through our actions when we live in the Spirit. so all we are and all we do ought to be for the greater glory of God in the world. knowing this and responding is a dynamic of love

to live with this awareness, we need to sharpen our imaginations. scriptural prayer is one of the main ways to grow. so to personally enter into the scriptures to be shaped through the imagination– a gift of God– enables us to be in the world differently. the Holy Spirit can lead us through our imagination.

discernment is a key. how do we know God, God’s will and the invitations of the Spirit? we are strengthened through exercise! the spiritual exercises of st ignatius are the foundation of one’s relationship with God. these exercises can strengthen us too. as we sift through (discern) the experiences in life, we are formed into being people of thanksgiving; people striving to act in accordance with God’s will. primarily, this is about grace through the Spirit

the daily examen is one of the tools in ignatian spirituality that is quite practical in nature. at the end of our day as we reflect on the experiences and people of that day, we can give thanks for God’s presence, be contrite for our weaknesses, more aware of the Spirit and have a renewed hope for the gift of a new day.

so through all the aspects of ignatian spirituality, we are changed in order to love in the world. we live to give ourselves to one another in service– love unites us as one. as we grow in this understanding, we ought to strive toward loving one another as Christ loves us. the catholic social teachings are well understood in this framework. justice is intimately tied into this way of loving. the jesuits are often leading and enlightening us in these needed and often radical responses in our world.

as i enjoy playing the guitar and singing, ignatius’ prayer– the suspice– has been important:

Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. You have given all to me. To You, O Lord, I return it. All is Yours, dispose of it wholly according to Your will. Give me Your love and Your grace, for this is sufficient for me.

in song, it is beautiful in a different form:

there is much to st. ignatius and the society of jesus than this; i did it no justice in this brief reflection. i am thankful today in remembering these gifts and that our claretian spirituality has its roots in ignatian spirituality.

i ask st ignatius to pray for all of us as we seek to love authentically, joyfully, gracefully and thankfully in this glorious world that needs God’s light and healing.


  1. What a beautiful song, too!


  2. Nora says:

    Such peace. Thanks, Fr. Art for sharing!


    1. frarthurcmf says:

      nora– have a graced day! thanks for reading my fluff…


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