Saint Ignatius of Loyola was our next subject of study at Boston College. I’ve never heard of the guy and had to snicker at my ignorance as I connected the dots. I’d spent days walking around campus locating the place to check-in, finding the bookstore, the library, the place to print off papers and had been walking by a huge statue of St. Ignatius, plus a fabulous church named after St. Ignatius of Loyola.
St. Ignatius, a 16th century man established the Society of Jesus. The book we had to read confounded me until it was discussed in class. Ignatius designed a 30 day exercise program to develop our spirituality. Every minute of each day was planned out.
My classmates had a few priests, who had practiced the 30-day exercise. Other classmates had done a shorter version. Apparently, there are 3, 5, and 8-day retreats.
Saint Ignatius’ method is also reaching into the 21st century through social programs. One classmate said her work of place uses a St. Ignatius method to help homeless women.
The professor talked about Aristotle’s practical wisdom, Phronesis, which spilled over into St. Ignatius’ type of spirituality.