Who We Are
The five Centres of Ignatian Spirituality in Australia are sponsored by the Australian Jesuits. They are staffed by Jesuits and Companions qualified to help people experience God, and to learn what God asks of each one in our lives. God is beyond all our possible imaginings and understandings.
Though silent and seemingly distant, God is nearer to us than we are to ourselves. God can be experienced by all of us in ways that can neither be mistaken nor confused with what is not God. The Centres of Ignatian Spirituality accompany people find God in different ways, in all the different happenings, relations and activities of their lives.
What Is Ignatian Spirituality?
Ignatian Spirituality is named after a sixteenth century saint, Ignatius of Loyola. Íñigo López de Loyola (1491-1556), who later in life took the name Ignatius, was a nobleman from the Basque region in the north of Spain. He was a complex man, driven by great desires. As a soldier, he was struck on the leg by a cannonball while defending Pamplona Castle against the French, an injury which nearly ended his life. He went through a long and painful period of convalescence during which he experienced a major conversion.
This was followed by a time of “spiritual pilgrimage” leading, years later, to the founding of the Society of Jesus - the Jesuits. Ignatius developed a way of personal spiritual growth based on his experience that God deals directly with us.
He wrote down his spiritual practices in a book called “The Spiritual Exercises”, which is still relevant for modern women and men. His spirituality fosters interior freedom and facilitates good life decisions.
The Ignatian Spiritual Exercises have been variously named “a school for prayer”, “a school for discernment” and “a school for loving action”.
Ignatian spirituality helps us to build a personal relationship with Christ. It has many elements including individual reflection on how God is present in our daily lives and intimate conversation with Christ.
This conversation allows for the possibility of a wonderful shift in our perception of life. It becomes our prayer, and a new foundation for how we relate to Christ within the context of daily life.
Our decision making, whether small or potentially life-changing, takes place in this intimate relationship with God through Christ and leads to positive action in our lives.