Thought for the Week


Something to think and pray about this week


Early on I was struck by the boldness of Ignatian spirituality. The question posed in the Spiritual Exercises is “What ought I do for Christ?” and we’re not to be shy about seeking an answer. Ignatius repeatedly counsels those making the Exercises to ask God for what they want. When obstacles appear, you’re to confront them, following the principle of agere contra—do the opposite. If you don’t feel like praying, pray more; if you’re drawn to riches, give some money away; if you can’t stand your annoying coworker, spend some more time with them. Ignatius wasn’t much inclined to sit around and wait for things to happen. He told a Jesuit complaining about dryness of soul that “it may easily come from a lack of confidence, or faintheartedness and, consequently, can be cured by the contrary.” He wrote to Jesuits in Portugal: “No commonplace achievement will satisfy the great obligations you have of excelling.” Boldness is a big part of the way the Jesuits see themselves. “A holy boldness, ‘a certain apostolic aggressivity,’ is typical of our way of proceeding,” the Thirty-Fourth General Congregation said in 1995.

- Excerpted from Ignatian Spirituality A-Z by Jim Manney