It is impossible to talk about Ignatian Spirituality without immediately going to the person of Jesus Christ. Iñigo (Saint Ignatius of Loyola) was a romantic and chivalrous courtier before his conversion who believed in grand gestures of personal devotion. When Iñigo experienced his conversion, his character didn’t change and so he turned his warm and affectionate heart towards Jesus and dedicated himself to serving his Lord and Savior in the same total way he had previously served the courtly life.
In John 5:15 we hear Jesus say, “I no longer call you servants, but friends.” Iñigo took this very seriously and when the time came to give a name to the group that was coalescing around him, he insisted that they be called “companions of Jesus,” (a title which translates in English into Society of Jesus.) Jesus is at the center of everything Ignatian and, therefore, so is the Church.
Although a romantic, Iñigo was also an immensely practical person. A near contemporary of Martin Luther and aware of all that the Reformation wrought, he was by no means blind to the often bruised and broken nature of the Catholic Church, but he was completely devoted to its support and defense. For Iñigo, loving Jesus means loving the Church.