Ignatian Spirituality and Companionship

Venerable Mother Marie-Madeleine d'Houët, F.C.J.

Venerable Mother Marie-Madeleine d’Houët, F.C.J.

“It’s always said that the Jesuits were founded by Ignatius of Loyola, but I like the thought that the Jesuits were founded by a committee, not by one man. And it’s crucial because if the real mainspring of Jesuit spirituality is companionship, then our being together in a company is really right out of that reality, that we are together in a companionship.”

-Father Joseph Tetlow, S.J. (from Shared Vision: Jesuit Spirit in Education)

When I started this blog approximately six months ago I had no idea what to expect. To be honest, I really had no rational reason to do it, but I had this overriding urge to have an outlet for my thoughts. This is contrary to my normal way of doing things where everything has a reason and is planned out in excruciating detail. However, after some additional prayer, I decided to take the plunge into the evolving Noosphere of the internet and see what happened.

One of the interesting things that happened early in my journey was that I connected with others around the world who use Ignatian Spirituality as a cornerstone of their lives. One of the first blog to pick up one of my reflections was Keeping Company, an online initiative on behalf of the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ Sisters) in Australia. I was not previously familiar with the FCJ Sisters but this connection (which never would have happened 20 years ago) provided me with the opportunity to learn more about the FCJ Sisters and their remarkable founder Venerable Marie Madeleine de Bonnault d’Houët.

Ignatian spirituality is at the root of the FCJ way of life. Through discernment and reflection, Faithful Companions of Jesus seek to discover God’s invitation in all aspects of daily life, with the idea of being contemplative in action. ‘Contemplatives-in-action’ are those who carry out their lives from a place of depth and faith. Although the general concept of living mindfully and integrally is not exclusive to Christianity, the FCJs express this as followers of Christ, drawing as well, on the influences of Ignatian spirituality. It is not a spirituality that hides behind closed doors, but one that is expressed in all areas of life.

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Over the next several months I had the pleasure of interacting with others of the Ignatian tradition, both the official Jesuit sites and individual lay people with a deep Ignatian outlook. This includes not only websites but those you have contributed to the comments section of the blog. I sincerely appreciate your insights.

Set forth below are links to some the virtual companions I have on my journey (in alphabetical order because that’s the way WordPress does it 🙂

[Edit: There many more companions on my journey than those listed below but for this post I arbitrarily limit it to those sites focused on Ignatian Spirituality]

What interesting Ignatian resources did I miss? Please let me know in the comments section.

About William Ockham

I am a father of two with eclectic interests in theology, philosophy and sports. I chose the pseudonym William Ockham in honor of his contributions to philosophy, specifically Occam's Razor, and its contributions to modern scientific theory. My blog (www.teilhard.com) explores Ignatian Spirituality and the intersection of faith, science and reason through the life and writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (pictured above).
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8 Responses to Ignatian Spirituality and Companionship

  1. claire46 says:

    Thank you for including me here 🙂
    I discovered during the Ignatian Immersion Course this spring in Manresa that we are indeed all companions on the journey, and that the Society of Jesus is the result not only of Ignatius’ design but of a group of men with him, around him. Hence my fascination with this ‘movement’.
    Also interesting, the fact that Ignatius could not handle women joining the Society of Jesus, even though the best ‘Jesuits’ of his time came from a group of women in Valencia (I hope some day to find more about them. Their letters, apparently, are most revealing, but they are in old Spanish, kept among the Monumenta collection of Ignatian documents through ages).
    This ‘rejection’, in fact, led to the creation of [about sixty] women’s orders following Ignatian Spirituality; and they ‘feminize’ it, something which has not yet really been discovered or acknowledged. I found this out recently through a Sacred Heart sister in her 80s, whom I venerate 🙂

    • Very interesting history Claire. Thank you for sharing. Please let me know if you and your multi-lingual talents come across more interesting letters or other historical artifacts on Ignatius and the Jesuits.

  2. claire46 says:

    William, there is another Ignatian blog you might wish to visit and add: http://www.magsblackie.com/ Reflections, thoughts and conversations on the essence of life.

  3. William, until I started following your blog, I had no idea that my spiritual life is deeply rooted in Ignatian spirituality. This becomes even clearer in today’s post. Thank you.

  4. Lynda says:

    We are indeed a community and I am very grateful for this community. Thank you for all the wonderful articles and resources that you gather for us. Blessings.

  5. Thank you for your post, W. And thank you for sharing your journey with us, and sharing in our journey too.

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