Three Types of People Revisited

One of the central exercises in the Spiritual Exercises is the meditation on “three types of people.” It invites us to give a long, searching look at how free we really are. It’s designed to help us achieve greater freedom by detaching ourselves from desires that entangle us.

Lisa Kelly, an Ignatian Associate and blogger, has a perceptive comment on “three types of people:”

I think we are misled though by Ignatius naming these people as static “types” rather than dynamic beings, types of persons you cross some line and supposedly become forever. In this life, I don’t know that any of us is ever static—we are constantly moving…either towards or away from God. Our petty wants move us away. Our focused desire to be One moves us toward God. And on that dynamic journey we each have times of being all three people—times we are just too busy and don’t make the time to grow in this instant, times we do and say all the right things, but don’t face what is really hindering us from growing, and…times of equilibrium, when we can cast off our wants, knowing true fulfillment lies beyond them.

Read the whole thing.


  1. Why is it recommended that one pray the Three Classes of Persons during the night? My director asked me to do this 13 years ago and I don’t remember why?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here