Ignatian spirituality takes its name from its founder, Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491 – 1556). Ignatius was a nobleman from the Basque country in northern Spain. Whilst a soldier he was injured and had a long and painful convalescence, during which he experienced a time of conversion. After this period he went through a “spiritual pilgrimage” which many years later resulted in the foundation of the Society of Jesus – the Jesuits.
Ignatius developed an approach to personal spiritual growth based on one’s own intuition and the experience that God is in relation with each person individually and directly. Ignatius wrote down his spiritual practices and these writings became the Spiritual Exercises.
Today the Spiritual Exercises are still used by people living according to Ignatian spirituality. First and foremost, Ignatian spirituality helps to build a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, while offering tools for discovering inner freedom and for decision making.
Prayer of Saint Ignatius
(Spirituel Exercises n° 234)
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding and my entire will
– all that I have and call my own.
You have given it all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours, do with it as you will.
Give me only your love and your grace.
That is enough for me.