Our Essential Nature

An Ignatian Prayer Adventure

Christian spirituality in general and Ignatian spirituality in particular operate from an overarching assumption. We believe that humanity has inherent purpose.

That purpose fueled our very creation. God desires our existence, and so . . . we are. In traditional Judeo-Christian language, God created humanity. And because we are generated from that Divine energy and desire, we are imbued with honor and beauty and a reason to exist.

Don’t mistake me for a theologian, but allow me to state my opinion. It’s not terribly important what name or image you use for the Divine. And it doesn’t matter how God “created” us—this has nothing to do with creationism or evolution or anything along the spectrum between those philosophies. The only important fact is that we are because God desired us. And continues to desire us.

If we believe that, then it follows that human beings do not realize their fullest joy and potential until they engage with the desire that created them. There is an entity we call God, because language cannot capture that presence. Christians, Jews, and Muslims (and undoubtedly other faiths about which I’m not knowledgeable enough to comment) believe that God is love and mercy and whole and true. Out of love God created us, and God desires that we receive that love daily.

Not only that, God desires that we respond to that love. And what that response looks like, from day to day and hour to hour, is a mystery, a deepening wisdom—and an adventure.

During Lent, I invite you to explore the adventure of God’s love and what you and I will do with it.


This post is a part of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure, Week 1.

About Vinita Hampton Wright 144 Articles
Vinita Hampton Wright has served as senior editor at Loyola Press for 16 years and recently became managing editor of the trade books department. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places with HarperOne, Days of Deepening Friendship and The Art of Spiritual Writing for Loyola Press, and most recently, The St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Book for Paraclete Press. Vinita is a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, and from 2009 to 2015 she blogged at Days of Deepening Friendship. For the past few years, she has co-led small groups through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats, and a dog. In her “spare” time these days, she is working on her next novel.

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