Living with Purpose

In my freshman seminar yesterday, my class and I were discussing Plato’s Republic, and specifically his strong focus on thinking about the good of the city over the good of the individual person.  As usual, my students found this focus somewhat confusing—they (like us) think as free individuals and so are unaccustomed to thinking about their lives being constrained for the purpose of an abstract “common good.” I suggested that the best analogy for our […]

What the Spiritual Exercises Do

The Exercises give us the confidence that grows from personal experience, says Jim Conroy, SJ, on Busted Halo.  “It gives to men and women who have that experience of God the ability to speak out of that truth of their experience. It’s not what Father said or what Sister said; it’s what I know from my own relationship with God. Now that’s all informed by our theology and by our faith, but to have legitimate […]

The Spiritual Exercises in High School

Religious educators with an Ignatian bent take note. A young Jesuit named Anthony Borrow has been using the Spiritual Exercises in his classes at Dallas Jesuit College Prep school. He has developed 31 exercises for classroom sessions that include periods of reflection and writing. The purpose is “to help the student develop the skills needed to pray with the Scriptures in a creative, personal and dynamic manner.” Borrow has posted his materials on the web […]

What Does it Mean to "Serve"?

“Service” is a central idea in Ignatian spirituality. But what does it really mean? Here is an excellent article by David Fleming, SJ, that unpacks the Ignatian concept of service. Service is humble. Ignatius spoke of being helpful–not something that conjures up “great deeds and great accomplishments,” Fleming notes. Love is the foundation of service, and service is expressed in deeds more than in words. But service cannot be restricted to certain actions: To follow […]

Three Types of People Revisited

One of the central exercises in the Spiritual Exercises is the meditation on “three types of people.” It invites us to give a long, searching look at how free we really are. It’s designed to help us achieve greater freedom by detaching ourselves from desires that entangle us. Lisa Kelly, an Ignatian Associate and blogger, has a perceptive comment on “three types of people:” I think we are misled though by Ignatius naming these people […]

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