This week in honor of the feast of St. Ignatius (July 31) I will be sharing some reflections on Ignatian Spirituality, inspired by ignatianspirituality.com‘s #FindIggy campaign. Today I’m inspired by the unique spirituality that Ignatius and his spiritual heirs embodied, and how that has offered me a spiritual home.
Out at Notre Dame last week I was so inspired by the insights and wisdom that the participants in the music ministry conference shared during our discussions. As I was listening and moderating the conversation, I often found myself biting my tongue to keep from remarking “that’s so Ignatian!” I spend so much of my life at Jesuit institutions, it’s hard to flip the switch when I’m talking to Catholics who are not necessarily as engaged with the Jesuit world as I am.
A few months ago I was at my alma mater (and current part-time employer) singing for a reunion mass. It was not a reunion year for me but I was recruited to be there with the music ministry team. I saw many friends from different stages of my life: high school, undergrad, grad school, and the working world. Some are now parents, some priests, some teachers, some ministers. I was struck by how much of my world could be drawn back to the hub of that Jesuit institution, and how much I loved the people that institution brought into my life.
Some people go their whole lives without ever finding a home, yet I was blessed to find one in my youth and grow in my relationship to it as I matured. I’ve written before that when I applied to Boston College I didn’t know a Jesuit from a hole in the ground, and I can only thank God for having stumbled upon the right spiritual fit.
I love being part of a thriving community committed to academic and spiritual excellence. I love the freedom that comes from finding God in all things, from being able to look at the world just as it is and know that there is holiness there. I love that doing all things for the Greater Glory of God is the principle that guides the community and the people in it. Though we often – perhaps always – fall short, we do so because have set so lofty and comprehensive a goal.
Because this holistic spirituality permeates how we look at the world and how we live in it, it doesn’t feel foreign but feels like a support that undergirds our lives. It allows us to be contemplatives in action, in tune with our spirituality even when we are in motion, and using that awareness to cultivate moments of stillness.
I am, quite simply, blessed to be a part of the spiritual heritage of St Ignatius through my association with the Jesuits. I wish it were so simple for everyone, or that I could offer Ignatian spirituality as a prescription for every seeker, but everyone needs to find their own home. May my work in my spiritual home help others find theirs.
How would you characterize your spirituality or spiritual home? Has Ignatian spirituality influenced you?