Ignatian Spirituality Overlaps with Contemporary Psychology

Dr. Christopher Kaczor is a professor of philosophy at Loyola Marymount University. He recently wrote an overview of how Ignatian spirituality overlaps with contemporary psychology. Not making decisions during times of desolation, gratitude, and spiritual direction are all Ignatian themes with confirmation from contemporary psychologists.

The remarkable overlap between Ignatian spirituality and contemporary psychology is not altogether surprising. If all truth ultimately comes from God, we should expect not a contradiction between the empirical findings of psychology and faith, but their ultimate harmony. In fact, there are many other ways in which positive psychology confirms the wisdom of traditional spiritual practices such as prayer, forgiveness, humility, and service to those in need. These contemporary psychological findings provide new impetus for putting into practice ancient spiritual wisdom.


  1. Adding on to the above- I think Contemporary Psychology prepares you to look at your behavior in a logical manner. I have certainly found it very helpful to understanding why I do what I do and how to change those behaviors and “mind tapes” which lead to downward spirals
    However,CP does not help me understand the spiritual wisdom within the story of my behaviors. That’s where I turn to Ignatian Spirituality. So I can dig deep and discover what has been planted within these behaviors and tapes. I have found this process so rich! I now understand my ministry as a wife and mother.I see the transitions, which I am asked,and trusted by Jesus to perform, which my husband and son are making and which I have the role of loving, caring, nurturing them along. And as I am doing this I am making my own journey

  2. I am not surprised that Ignatian Spirituality and contemporary Psychology have such a large overlap.I can see this happening with my own journey. At first, there was a very clean divide between the two but as I learned more and my spiritual practice opened to me, I began to recognize that the contemporary Psychology soon just wasn’t relieving my fears and helping me move on. I think the contemporary Psychology prepares you to go deep


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