Home | House of Prayer Ignatian Spirituality
Saint Francis Xavier House
The programs of the St. Francis Xavier House are centered around Ignatian Spirituality, which provides a method to integrate one's relationship to God and to the world based on a particular insight into the person of Jesus. Being a companion with Jesus on his mission gave St. Ignatius of Loyola a sense of purpose and meaning. It is just such companionship that lies at the heart of Ignatian Spirituality. Ignatius (1491- 1556) responded to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in his own time. He lived in a period of great change in European History, the late Middle Ages. He listened to how God spoke to him and tried to gain more clarity by prayer, fasting and seeking advice from spiritual people, all the while attending to the sick and poor. Ultimately it was his careful attention to the movements of the Spirit in his heart and mind that drew him to the clarity he sought.
The characteristics of Ignatian Spirituality include:
* a conviction to the value of the human person as created by God,
* the desire to find the voice of God in and through the ordinary events of the day,
* the understanding of oneself as an agent of change in the world,
* a commitment to a life of faith that is evidenced by a life of justice,
* outreach to members of society who are often marginalised or dispossessed.
St. Ignatius collected his formative experiences of prayer
into what became known as his "Spiritual
Exercises". He offered the Exercises to men and women of his time as a helpful means for them to attend to God's call, choosing to live committed lives of Christian service as contemplatives in action. From among those to whom he gave the Exercises arose a group of "companions" who corporately chose to live in greater availability of service to the Church. These men founded the religious order known as "the Company of Jesus" now called "the Society of Jesus," or "Jesuits."
For an in-depth discussion of Ignatian Spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, see Finding God in All Things: A Spirituality for Today by Monika Hellwig.
In today's world spiritual directors, including those at the Xavier House, offer the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to individuals who are interested in being companions of Jesus in the service of faith and the pursuit of justice. Call 410.727.2539 for details.