Ignatius’s worldview did not include an awareness of social sin. He did not identify the unjust structures of society as embodiments of sin, nor did he think of sin in communal or relational terms. Ignatius’s understanding of sin would have been more individual and act-oriented. His own battles with scrupulosity taught him that obsessing with particular actions did not lead to peace or bring him closer to God. Ignatius is more concerned with the graces and desires of our hearts than with our individual sins. More important for him is the call to gratitude and freedom that focuses our hearts on God and God’s goodness. The more contemporary approach to sin can, however, further expand and enrich Ignatius’s sixteenth-century understanding of sin. Reflection on social sin is an essential adaptation of the Exercises in today’s context.
—Excerpted from Putting on the Heart of Christ: How the Spiritual Exercises Invite Us to a Virtuous Life by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ