I’m pretty comfortable with my Catholic roots and the reality that it’s not all that removed from my life. After all, there is still good in it, despite all the scandals, rampant misogyny (Nuns are awesome), and the theology that I rejected.
When my brother was doing his pre-seminary work at Conception Abbey, it renewed a love that I had as a child for monks. Nuns seemed boring, although now I know better. I’m currently reading The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything and I wanted to share some of the portions that I think can benefit most people, even outside Christianity.
Ignatian Spirituality is concerned with the now, and where God is now, and the call and response of life. When God(s) call how do we respond? Ignatian spirituality is contemplation in action — it’s grounded in the practical world. You have your reflective life that is evident in your community, that is active in all that you do. They are the order that finds God in All Things, and work for the Glory of God.
Ignatius set up the Daily Examen, which to me seems like a prayer journal. Each day, you do this:
1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.
A simple, and powerful exercise designed to really work on reflecting your inner life and bringing it outwards. As pagans, this is something that we are used to. If you work will, this is one way of working it without it being a type of witchcraft (something that is of importance to me, as witchcraft sometimes makes me uncomfortable. Magic isn’t always the same way for me, and I fully admit that this is probably a personal issue.)
If you are interested in learning more about the Jesuits/Ignatian Spirituality, to pick up the book I mentioned (it’s very accessible, without being condescending) or read through Ignatian Spirituality. Of course, the Jesuits aren’t without their own scandals as well and while I don’t believe in throwing out the baby with the bath water it is always important to read about them as well