What about Ignatian Spirituality?



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  • What about Ignatian Spirituality?

    I had a professional counselor request my review of Ignatian Spirituality the other day and thought I would post it here for the world to reflect on.

    The "Spiritual Exercises" of the famed Ignatian Spirituality is not foreign to my studies. It has been part of my study since introduced in the late 80's through studies of the church fathers. St. Ignatius of Loyola, was a 16th century soldier turned Christian mystic, and founder of the religious order known as the Society of Jesus (“the Jesuits”). I am very fond of the writings of Thomas A. Kempis, a 1400's monk, who reflects much of this ideology in his book "Imitation of Christ" which I read probably 200 times in my lifetime.

    GENUINE Christ-centered Ignatian spirituality centers on the imitation of Jesus—focusing on those priorities which constitute Christ's mind, heart, values, priorities and loves. To learn what those values, priorities and loves are, Ignatius would encourage us to consider what Jesus said and did. At the foundation of Jesus' life was prayer, a continuous search for how best to live as an authentic human being before a loving God.

    Problem is, people sometimes focus on the mystical side of his system, whereas it is often aligned with the likes of Sufism (Islam) that practices of silence, zhikr (remembrance of the Divine), ritual washing, chants, etc. Kabbalah and its Tree of Life holistic healing techniques. (Kabbalah is the Jewish mystical tradition underlying Judaism.) They incorporate astrology, alchemy, drumming, chanting for alignment of the Chakras. I will also mention Shamanism (modern witchcraft) and Thomas Merton on the Phenomenology of Contemplation (Mantra and trances during prayer, something Milo supports). These are all aggressive mystical departures of the Scriptural method, whereas one seeks God via the mystical by crossing into forbidden areas of the occult.

    What the counseling aspects seek is the psychological constructs that underly the spirituality of St. Ignatius, such as the role of memory, imagination, intellect, and desire in prayer and meditation; the role of affect in the process of spiritual discernment and decision-making; and Ignatius’s notion of the intimate interpersonal quality of communion with the Divine. If it stayed within this teaching, it would be good stuff, but it sometimes does not.

    The Godly form of Ignatian Spirituality is deeply rooted in becoming more aware of what is happening in your daily experience – finding God in all things. So a person can begin to discern where the spirits of light or darkness may be trying to lead you. We become more aware of God’s presence in our lives and more attentive to His desire’s rather than our own.

    Jim Harbaugh (Jesuit and Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor) is a big name in Ignatian Spirituality and wrote a book called "A 12-STEP APPROACH TO THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES" which has rave reviews. He utilizes the 12-step format of Alcoholics Anonymous to teach Ignatian Spirituality... how quaint

    In CONTRAST "The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola" is deemed a primer for learning occult visualization (hailed by shamans as the most potent method for contacting spirit entities). Yes... talking to the dead, clearly condemned in the Old and New Testament. Some of the techniques taught are about projection, this is visual idolatry (Ex 20:4-5), and a divination technique that opens the door to demonic spirits.

    So while the essence of Ignatian Spirituality can be positive, it does sometimes fall into the ranks of the mystical, even the occult, depending on the book your read or the group you associate. Society of Jesus is one of doorways I have always avoided because we are taught the scripture is fully sufficient to lead us to salvation, fully equip us and profitable for our instruction. (2 Timothy 3:15-17) Meaning, Scripture plus nothing, especially not man's methods. While Ignatian Spirituality has many redeemable values, it is sometimes laced with devious error and tainted with the defunct wisdom of man.

  • #2
    Ignatium Spirituality

    While Ignatian Spirituality has many redeemable values, it is sometimes laced with devious error and tainted with the defunct wisdom of man.
    That's true of anything. ppl can even take scripture and do same.
    Actually this passage reads:
    16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    but does not say sole authority. And yes it is profitable for doctrine,reproof and correction and instruction but that means that someone must intepret it.The question of authority arises then.Who has the correct interpretation and who has the authority to interpret this infallible Word?
    Which brings me back to the first point i made-that ppl can even take scripture and skew it based upon self interpretation.They become their own popes. The Protestant movement was fraught with disagreements and ended up in division from the very beginning.It hasn't ceased by a long shot.
    A Christianity united with the unity Jesus prayed for and desired would be a tremendous witness to the world and the very ppl trying to be reached here.
    What do i base this authority upon?
    Jesus to Peter;thou art rock and upon this rock I will build my(Jesus) church.
    He then gives Peter the keys.And after the ressurection He makes Peter the shepherd.Of Peter's sheep? NOPE.Jesus says MY sheep.
    We also know that there is a VISIBLE body of Christ. So where is the VISIBLE HEAD of this VISIBLE body?

    God Bless,


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