Happy St. Ignatius Day!

Happy St. Ignatius Day! As you might know, July 31 is the Feast Day of the Founder of the Society of Jesus and a day of celebration for Jesuits throughout the world.

We should be inspired by the spirituality of St. Ignatius.

This summer I’d like to focus on a central Ignatian theme – “finding God in all things.” Ignatius had a keen sense that God was present in all aspects of life. We should be encouraged to help people find divine life at the depths of reality and see the world as a place where God is at work, and full of his appeals and presence. People imbued with Ignatian spirituality look on the world with the eyes of Christ, love it with His heart, and enter into its depths with His unlimited compassion.

Hopefully, we can see God in our family, friends, community and in nature. While it is more difficult, we can also experience God’s consoling presence with us in our suffering – perhaps an illness, family problem, or loss of a loved one. We experience God in worship (that’s Mass for many of us), the sacraments, prayer, Scripture, and the saints (those who have been canonized and the holy people in our daily lives).

Ignatius gives us a simple prayer method to help us find God in our daily experiences. It’s called the “Examen” (sometimes called the Examination of Consciousness). While there are several ways of doing it, one simple way is to reflect at the end of our day or the next morning how we experienced God in the past day. What “God moments” – perhaps a kind word from a co-worker, an expression of gratitude from one of our children, a sign of affection from our spouse – occurred? What are we grateful for? What gave us life? Ignatius asks us to relish these moments and give thanks for them.

Then he asks us to consider, “How did I respond to God’s invitations this past day?” Was I kind and considerate and present to people or was I impatient and self-centered? We then ask forgiveness for the times we didn’t respond well to God’s graces and ask for help to do better – to be more loving, patient, compassionate and forgiving.

This simple prayer form can help us pay attention to God’s presence and initiatives in our daily lives and make us aware of how we’re responding – asking for forgiveness, guidance, strength, and help as needed.

In the spirit of Ignatius, let’s be attentive to God’s presence in our lives.


Thank You and Best Regards!

Daniel P. Arakelian


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