Ignatian Spirituality #5

16 Reasons I am grateful for St. Ignatius” – Dennis Hamm, SJ

St. Ignatius of Loyola

The final four… finally!

  1. Thank you, Ignatius, for showing that personal religious experience and institutionalized religion are not rivals or enemies but both parts of an integral life of faith. Ignatius would not let anyone get away with saying, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” He’d know what they meant, but would help them get over it. He’d help them put together individual experience with the public life and ministry of the Church.


  1. Thank you, Ignatius, for your idea of a university: to help young people integrate faith and culture so that they could make a difference by serving the world around them. Jobs would follow.


  1. Thank you, Ignatius, for modeling life-long learning. Having had only the rudimentary education in the “vernacular track” in his youth (reading, writing, and a little business math), Ignatius, at 31, realized he needed to do the Latin track required for professional life (academics, church, and government) in the European Renaissance. So, at an age when most folks had pretty well established their work and lifestyle, he joined a beginning Latin class for children, and finally graduated with an M. A. from the University of Paris at age 43. Talk about a non-traditional student!


  1. Thank you, Ignatius, for showing us what love’s got to do with it.

At bottom, Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises teach us that life is about responding to God’s creating and redeeming love, especially as shown through the gifts of creation, and through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord. We respond by letting God save our lives by helping us to lose our lives in service.


Thank you, Saint Ignatius, for sixteen things, and counting.

And thank you, Dennis Hamm, SJ for these wonderful insights. –roc,sj

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