This is a guest post by Kate Pope Hodel, Executive Director of the Ignatian Spirituality Center of Kansas City.When someone inquires about the Ignatian Spirituality Center of Kansas City, the first question I usually get is, “Where are you located?” Since we are a virtual center, that’s a tricky question. I usually say that, in the best Jesuit tradition, we meet people literally and figuratively where they are.
Literally, we hold prayer programs across a four-county area, meeting in churches, schools, universities, and sometimes coffee shops. Figuratively, we hope that our prayer experiences help people take the next step in their prayer journeys, whatever that next step might be.
St. Ignatius called us to meet people where they are, in the busyness of daily life. It is there we are called to holiness, there we can find God in the day-to-day. We try to help people answer those calls through the prayer experiences we offer, whether it’s the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, an Advent program, a group facilitated discussion, or an evening of reflection.
The responses from our program participants provide hope that we are on the right track.
- “This program showed me a spirituality that is very well suited for the modern, daily life,” remarked Jacob, who did an eight-week summer program of daily prayer and weekly group discussion.
- “I have become more aware of the Holy Spirit working in my life and, as a result, now experience a sense of interior freedom and peace that I never had before,” said Mary, who completed the Spiritual Exercises.
- “Today’s prayer workshop was tailor-made for where I am in relationship with God. How cool is that?” from Jaynie after a one-day prayer workshop.
In my own experience, I found that the prayer experiences did meet me where I was and help me take the next step. Probably the most lasting impact is my ability to look for and find God’s hand in so much of the day-to-day that happens in my life. I’ve become more reflective and my family would say I am more at peace with myself.
I’ve also learned that this call to holiness is an every day, every moment commitment. I continue to be challenged every day. Where is God meeting me in my day-to-day life? What is His will right now, in this moment, on this day? As I continue to ponder those questions, I am happy that we can offer programs that help others along the same path.