Nothing Human Is Merely Human

galaxy - Aphelleon/

The Ignatian ideal is that now we can recall and relive an experience of “union and familiarity” with God that uplifts and sustains us no matter the distractions of our work or banality of our lives. Here is the basis for finding God not only in all things but in the flurry of everyday life. Nothing human is merely human. No common labor is merely common. Classrooms, hospitals, and artists’ studios are sacred spaces. No secular pursuit of science is merely secular. The hand of the creator can be detected by looking at galaxies through telescopes or examining cellular life in laboratories. Retreatants return to their supposedly dull, humdrum lives with a new vision and appreciation of God’s operative presence. Like Ignatius after his experience at the Cardoner River, we see things differently. We get a new sense of what Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins meant when he wrote, “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”

—Excerpted from Ignatian Humanism by Ronald Modras


  1. Beautifully put.

    A HEART LOST IN WONDER, with a new Introduction,
    came out recently, giving more expert insight
    into the workings of the mind, and heart, of Gerard Manley Hopkins.
    It is well worth reading.

  2. Tremendous insight and well depicted. “The world is charged with the grandeur of God” – Long live the memory of the poet G M Hopkins.

  3. At Mass on Jan. 1st, our priest spoke about carrying Jesus within us to the world without. This article speaks to that subject, an inspiration.


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