As we draw near the close of our 31 Days with St. Ignatius celebration, we asked Ignatian Spirituality A to Z author Jim Manney a few questions. Check out his answers, and then scroll down for your chance to win an Ignatian Inspiration Pack, which includes a copy of Ignatian Spirituality A to Z.
Loyola Press: What criteria did you use for deciding what terms or people made it into Ignatian Spirituality A to Z?
Jim Manney: I started with a list of the ideas, writings, sayings, and concepts that I thought were important for a basic understanding of Ignatian spirituality. Then I added terms that cover the history, culture, and ministry of the Jesuits. Then came a list of people—mainly Jesuit saints and famous Jesuits living and dead. I found room for some light-hearted entries too. I finally came up with 83 entries—from Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam to Zeal.
LP: Which entry should a beginner in Ignatian spirituality read first?
JM: Start with Ignatius Loyola. It’s the longest entry in the book. Ignatian spirituality begins with his story, and that’s the best place to start.
LP: Which entry is “not to be missed”?
JM: I hope everyone will read the entry on the Examen. Better still, make it a habit to pray the Examen regularly. It’s a method of prayer that helps us find God in our daily experience. It’s the basic form of Ignatian prayer. For many, it’s the gateway into Ignatian spirituality.
LP: Tell us about some of the fun entries that made it into the book.
JM: I had fun researching the entry on Jesuit Jokes. (Seriously, the jokes people tell about Jesuits reveal a lot about them.) I wrote about some of my favorite books and movies in the entry on Jesuits in Fiction and Film. I dug deep into my inner sports fan to write about the connection between Ignatian spirituality and basketball. For sheer fun, though, nothing beats the entry on Jesuit Conspiracy Theories. Did you know that the Jesuits are said to have a secret military base?
LP: Any final thoughts you want to leave readers with?
JM: I love Ignatian spirituality. That’s why I wrote the book. I hope it will be helpful for everyone learning about Ignatian spirituality or trying to help others understand it.
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Each morning I begin with the Suscipe concentrating on each word and the meanings and feelings of the entire short prayer. During the 31 days I do the daily reading leading to Ignatius feast day. Of course there is prep for Christmas, Easter and Pentecost. But a more exciting time is the time I go to my many bookmarks on Ignatian Spirituality, or other thoughts, essays, poems, readings that have struck me. It is in these times sometimes by accident that I truly find God in all things. Jim, several of yours are included.
I wish there was a congregation of Jesuits for women. You lucky guys got St Ignatius
and a Jesuit Pope. I know it is a hard life but you all look so happy most of the time. I long for that inner joy and peace. I love hearing about social justice and the work with asylum seekers and refugees.
I had the privilege of nursing many Jesuits.
Mary Ward was a great liner out of Jesuit theology so check out the women’s c8ngregayion that she formed.
Correction should have read congregation
Thank you for your bringing us closer to God.
I love reading the articles I receive . They are inspirational and uplifting for me and I try to read them faithfully. Today’s article on breathing was especially helpful. I am forwarding to my eight sisters and two brothers ,all of whom I know will relate and benefit from this article.
Just breathe !!
Me too Carol. Larry from Manila
I love reading anything on St Ignatius and his wonderful pathways to spirituality.
I have tried the spiritual exercises but they are difficult to follow without guidance. As I live in a remote part of Southern Ireland it is difficult to get to the Jesuit retreat centre in Dublin.
Rarely have I been disappointed by the stories you have chosen.You light a fire in me each day as a very good wordsmith does.
Just learning about Ignatian spirituality. New and interesting to me.
Jim has highlighted important aspects of Ingatian spirituality, a spirituality I consider a treasute
I am in the process of reading Ignatian Spirituality A to Z. I love it
I actually bought two books one for a gift now I have to decide who to give it to, It is so informative, short chapters easy to read and go back and digest what I just read. Thank you all!
Once a Jesuit (education), always a Jesuit 🙂
I hope I can win an Inspiration Pack. Whenever I read about ignition spirituality, my heart “burns within me”!
The email said read the interview then enter to win an Ignation inspiration pack. Guess what?No place to enter!😭
Cheryl, if the entry form isn’t displaying as expected, please try this link: https://giveaway.tryinteract.com/#/5b48b1e8cf7ba400149056b0. Thank you for your interest!
I’d love to win this Inspiration Pack since seeing Fr. Gallagher’s programs!
In my ministry of spiritual direction I have referred to many éléments of Ignatian spirituality.Jim Manny’s book will be a valuable additon to my ressources. Thank you for introducing this book.