Our mission in Spirituality
The ministry of giving the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises is one of the most important missions of the Society of Jesus. The Exercises are an effective instrument by which God acts to bring about spiritual and personal transformation in our time and culture. They help people to be reconciled with God, with themselves and with each other. In a world of joys and sorrows, hopes and tears, brokenness and goodness, the Lord makes his healing presence felt on a daily basis. In the Spiritual Exercises, and in Ignatian Spirituality as a whole, we find ways of sharing with our brothers and sisters the experience of the incarnation of the Lord.
Motions of the soul
Our faith calls us to be united with God, serve God, and share our gifts in service. Finding God’s will is a search for each of us and Ignatian Spirituality offers us the tool of discernment in order to do this. Discernment is the interpretation of what St. Ignatius Loyola called the motions of the soul. These interior movements consist of thoughts, imaginings, emotions, inclinations, desires, feelings, repulsions, and attractions. Spiritual discernment involves becoming sensitive to these movements, reflecting on them, and understanding where they come from and where they lead us.
The Holy Father stresses the importance of discernment and of helping people grow in this capacity:
“We need to form future priests not to general and abstract ideas, which are clear and distinct, but to [the] keen discernment of spirits so that they can help people in their concrete life. We need to truly understand this: in life not all is black on white or white on black. No! The shades of grey prevail in life. We must teach them to discern in this grey area.”
(Address to Polish Jesuits, 30.7.2016, La Civiltà Cattolica 2016 III 345-349 | 3989 (September 10, 2016)