Do Good Right Now

Here is Ignatius, the keen psychologist, putting his finger on a problem I know well. We should never postpone a good work, no matter how small it may be, with the thought of later doing something greater. It is a very common temptation of the enemy to be always placing before us the perfection of things to come and bring us to make little of the present. (Emphasis added) Resolved:  I will do the good thing […]

Iggy Stationery

St. Ignatius was one of the most prolific letter writers in history; he wrote more than 6,800 letters to friends,  Jesuits, church officials, supporters, acquaintances, and ordinary people who asked for advice. In his honor, we’ve made special Iggy stationery you can download here. April is National Letter Writing month. So download some paper, shut down your e-mail, pick up a pen, and write some letters! For another option, download Love & Salt stationery that accompanies our […]

Ignatius’s Balance

America magazine has republished a classic article by the late Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ, that makes an intriguing argument. Dulles says that two tendencies are poised in tension in the spirituality of Ignatius: “between immediacy and mediation, between personal freedom and obedience, between universalism and ecclesiocentrism, between horizontal openness to the world and reverence for the sacred and the divine.” He says that the Ignatian charism is to hold these tendencies in balance: A purely […]

Ignatius Found God Everywhere

At the heart of what can seem like frenetic activity was an intimate relationship with God, which Ignatius often found difficult to put into words. His private journals show minuscule notations crowded beside his entries for daily Mass. As scholars have concluded, these indicate, among other things, those times when he wept during Mass, overwhelmed by love for God. Ignatius found God everywhere: in the poor, in prayer, in the Mass, in his fellow Jesuits, […]

The Spiritual Exercises in Glass

The Chapel of St. Ignatius at Seattle University, a landmark of modern religious architecture, contains some striking religious art: Dora Bittau’s five paintings on wood depicting events from the life of St. Ignatius and four windows inspired by the four weeks of the Spiritual Exercises.  Mary Robin Craig, a minister and Ignatian spiritual director, visited the chapel last summer.  About the window for the Fourth Week, above, she writes: An opening tomb?  An opening world?  The opening of […]

Where St. Ignatius Lived

I’ve been to Rome twice.  Both trips happened before I was interested in St. Ignatius, so I’ve never been to the house where he lived and worked for the last 14 years of his life running the Jesuit order as its first superior general.  When I finally go there, I’ll think about the fact that this wasn’t Ignatius’s plan for himself.  He thought he should be an itinerant evangelist and teacher; he wound up as […]

Pilgrimage Opportunity

If you’ve ever thought of making an Ignatian pilgrimage, here’s your chance.  A few spaces are left on a pilgrimage sponsored by St. Beuno’s Spirituality Centre in the UK.  The two-week trip begins on November 1.  It begins at Ignatius’s birthplace in Loyola, continues to Xavier, Montserrat, Manresa, and Barcelona, and ends in Rome.  The trip is led by David Birchall, SJ.  Details here. This isn’t the Camino Ignaciano walking pilgrimage that we’ve talked up […]

“The Right Kind of Recklessness”

There were many tributes to St. Ignatius on his feast day a couple of weeks ago. Here is one of the best. The writer is Matt Emerson, a teacher at Xavier College Preparatory in Palm Desert, California: Ignatius’s example, like the example of every saint, challenges us to act similarly: to have the right kind of recklessness. When I read of Ignatius’s encounter with his brother, I’m encouraged to let my life be a language the […]

The Trinity in Three Keys

One of Ignatius’s more mysterious visions was “seeing” the Holy Trinity in the form of three musical keys. . . . while praying the office of Our Lady on the steps of [a] monastery, his understanding began to be raised up, in that he was seeing the Most Holy Trinity in the form of three musical keys (en figura de tres teclas), and this with so many tears and so many sobs that he could […]

On Ignatius Day, How to Disagree

To mark St. Ignatius’s feast day, I thought I would tell one of my favorite stories about him. In 1552, Pope Julius III announced plans to make another Jesuit a cardinal.  Ignatius detested the idea; Jesuits were committed to poverty, and the office of cardinal at the time brought with it wealth and a luxurious life.  Ignatius lobbied hard to scuttle the idea, writing that “If I did not act thus, I would be quite certain […]

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