10 Characteristics of Ignatian Spirituality

by Paul on January 13, 2009

When I first came to Loyola Press, someone asked me to do my best to sum up Ignatian Spirituality in as easily-understandable way as I could.  I came up with a list of ten characteristics and I will now share them with you, David Letterman-style, from #10 to #1 (although I’m not confident that there is a “correct” order).  Astute readers (!) will notice that I have covered several of these characteristics in individual posts and I plan to write on them all as we go along.

10. Union of minds and hearts – as brothers and sisters, we listen for the God who is present among us, admitting no division based on ethnicity, nationality, background, age or gender.

9. Flexibility and adaptability – (e.g.,16th Century Jesuits wearing Chinese robes and generally adapting to various cultures; respecting people’s lived experience.)

8. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (For the greater glory of God) – praising God and dedicating oneself to participate in God’s healing work in the world.

7. “The World is charged with the grandeur of God” – the positive, energetic and engaged vision of God’s constant interaction with creation.

6. Faith that does justice – the realization that there can be no true expression of faith where concerns for justice and human dignity are missing.

5. Inner Freedom (the result of self-awareness and discernment.)

4. Contemplation in action – not a monastic existence, but an active one that is, at the same time, infused with prayer.

3. Reflection (Self-awareness/Discernment) leading to Gratitude which leads to Service (linked to becoming a “man or woman for others” – big Ignatian buzzwords.)

2. Personal relationship with Christ and love for the Church (bruised and broken as it often is.)

1. Finding God in all things

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Fr. Prospero V. Tenorio December 27, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Truly, we can encounter God in the events of our lives. tnx


joseph Thunianpral January 15, 2010 at 4:05 am

Appriciate if you could send Ignatian Spirituality over mail.



Glenn Ponas July 4, 2013 at 6:39 pm

“Becoming a man (or woman) for others”… It’s taken me 30 years since I left Jesuit high school – until finding and reading this page today – that I get the depth of that statement. As a teacher for the last 25 years, I felt that I have served others in my work. I need to own that phrase in all moments of my life both professional and personal. And I am grateful to God for being so patient with me.


Arthur Revak April 23, 2014 at 11:56 am

I am grateful for Saint Francis and Saint Ignatius and all those who believe for the sake of the Gospel. Their writings have shown me a way of growing closer to Jesus. Especially now that our children are grown and living away from home. Things are a little different, but I know that God will always provide.


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