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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Letters from Maryland on Ignatian Spirituality

This is a continuation of the letter from yesterday to help us prepare the Feast of St. Ignatius on July 31 by understanding what Ignatian spirituality is! I am hoping that Jean, who has her doctorate and has taught psychology for years, will add let me add more about her own life and what has led her to be such a great director of others. In the meantime, enjoy her wisdom.

"These letters make no attempt at comprehensiveness. Rather, I hope they will serve as a basic introduction and a catalyst for further reading in the area. Before closing I do want to give the basic characteristics of Ignatian spirituality. They have been described as Trinitarian, Christocentric, Discernment of Spirits, Finding God in All Things, the Magis and Contemplation in Action. They can be summed up in one word: freedom, spiritual, human freedom.
In the next letters topics that will be addressed are the Spiritual Exercises including the Principle and Foundation and Rules for Discernment of Spirits as well as what is termed the Ignatian Family, and a look at two authors who are goldmines for the study and practice of Ignatian spirituality. In addition there will be a brief discussion of Ignatian spirituality and other prayer forms. The ending will be a sampling of prayers written by Ignatius and his followers.
You already know what a positive difference the program has made in my life and how it has aided me in sharing the wealth with others. As Ignatius said, love is shown in action and one shares the gifts one receives with those one loves. You have been a big part in making that possible."

Your grateful student, Jean

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