What is Ignatian Spirituality?
Ignatian spirituality is rooted in the conversion experience of Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) through which God call the worldly courtier and soldier to become a saint. Reflection on his experience led him to realize that what God had done for him, God desired to do for others. Ignatius formulated his Spiritual Exercises as a guide for those who were to lead men and women in this process.
Ignatian spirituality is Trinitarian – Ignatius experienced God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit in community. It is Christocentric and incarnational, seeking and finding the risen Jesus in all persons and things. It is active and apostolic, never separating the love and service of God, from that of neighbour and creation.
The call to be a supportive community of contemplatives in action wherever the need is greatest, requires the ability to discern God’s call, and for a kind of prayer and a way of life that is not cloistered or monastic in its regularity. All of these features made Ignatian Spirituality especially attractive to Mary Ward and her followers who sought all things to the greater glory of God.