Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
The spirit of Ignatian spirituality is contained in these four Latin words Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, meaning all for the greater glory of God.
The Ignatian tradition, interpreted through a woman’s eyes, is our graced heritage. In prayer, Mary Ward was led to see that this was the way God wanted for her Institute; this was the pathway to holiness that she and her companions were to walk.
Finding God in All Things
Ignatian spirituality is part of our Ignatian tradition. Mary Ward chose this spiritual path for us her followers. It is the result of Ignatius of Loyola’s own personal spiritual journey. It is summed up in the phrase finding God in all things. It seeks to find the divine in all of creation, in all peoples and cultures, and in every human experience. In the words of the British poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ, "The world is charged with the grandeur of God!".
Seeking a Deep Relationship with God
Ignatius believed that God desires a personal relationship with us. His handbook, the Spiritual Exercises, offers a program of prayer and reflection to help us find God in the ‘ordinary’ of our daily lives. The Exercises invite us to grow in freedom so as to know the love of God more deeply and its basic thrust is to make us more attentive to God’s activity in our world and more responsive to what God is calling us to do.
Contemplative in Action
This is a phrase familiar to us living the Ignatian tradition. The IBVM Constitutions modeled on those of Ignatius describe this phrase:
Our call is essentially to be contemplative in action. We recognize the sacred in our midst, finding God in all creation, in all situations and in all people. It is this awareness that we take to prayer, and it is prayer that impels us in turn to engage with our world of beauty and despair.
A Commitment to Social Justice
Our dedication to peace and justice is another facet of our Ignatian spirituality. These words in our IBVM Constitutions explain our commitment: …….we commit to a faith that does justice….. we seek to be instruments of justice, peace and reconciliation where there is brokenness and oppression, wherever there is need.
Answering the call to wherever the need is greatest, requires us to have the ability to discern God’s personal call to us, and live a life of service that is not cloistered or monastic. Care of faith and education remain central to our tradition. Whether we work in justice, welfare, spiritual, academic, youth or other ministries, we bring the witness of faith and spirituality and the freedom of education to whatever we do. (2.10)