“To Order One’s Life” According to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius

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To Order One’s Life” According to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius  



Harmony is a key word for Pope Francis[1]. Harmony is at the center of all creation. Everything is realized and energized by this harmony of which the Holy Spirit is the author.

               Harmony is in God’s heart and mind[2]. This is why, seeing His works “God saw that it was good” (Gen 1:12, 21, 25).

               This harmony is seen by St. Ignatius of Loyola as the principle and foundation of all creation.IN fact, number 23 of the Spiritual Exercises, entitled Principle and Foundation highlights the end for which man is created: “to praise, reverence and serve God our Lord and by this means, to save his soul. The other things on earth are created for man, and to help him in the pursuit of the end for which he is created."              

               This single desire to pursue the end for which he/she was created orders a man/woman in his/her relationship to all created things. The disorder in his/her heart distorts his/her relationship with creation and destroys the original harmony. This is why the whole process of the Spiritual Exercises consists in “ordering one’s life without making up one’s mind because of some inordinate attachment.” (Sp Ex # 21)

               The harmony of which Pope Francis speaks sheds light on his conception of integral ecology. It is an ecology that puts at the center the design of God the Creator towards every human being, towards other creatures and even all of creation. It is an ecology that allows human beings to change their way of being and acting in order to live in harmony and peace with their environment. It is a call to live “the civilization of love”[3]at all levels of our life together.