The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (Eastern Philosophy and Religion)
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Full of zeal, Ignatius became a hermit, embarking upon a life of poverty and corporal and spiritual penance. Ignatius was filled with a new desire to help people find God at work in their own lives. Tempered by recognition of the need for advanced learning in Philosophy and Theology, Ignatius undertook studies at Barcelona, Alcala and Paris, all the while guiding people through the Spiritual Exercises. It was through this work that Ignatius drew to his side a band of companions who took vows of poverty and chastity.
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Soon after the completion of their studies, this band of men was hard at work in northern Italy preaching and tending the sick and the poor. Eventually, these companions, now numbering nine, made a communal discernment, based on their experience of joy and effectiveness together, that God was calling them to band together formally. The building stands on the site of the former St. Neil McKinnon, S.
Ignatius Church was designed by Schickel and Ditmars. Two unbroken vertical orders, a Palladian arched window, and a tri-part horizontal division suggesting the central nave and side aisles beyond, lend a Classical balance to the Park Avenue exterior. Yet St. The original plans for the street front of St. Ignatius, presently 90 feet high and 87 feel wide, included a pair of towers designed to reach feet above the ground, but this feature of the project was abandoned early, leaving only the two copper-capped tower bases on either side of the central pediment as hints of the grander scheme.
Ignatius is a Jesuit Parish. Passing through the great bronze outer doors one enters the first interior space, the narthex or foyer. In true Baroque fashion, one is swept up in a fluid and vivid space awash in changing light, the play of bright and subdued colors, and a rich iconographic program. Adding to this vitality is the magnification of visual space created by the lateral recession from free-standing polished pink granite columns, supporting the arches of the central nave, to the marble pilasters, supporting the arches of the side aisles, to the much smaller marble pilasters framing the Stations of the Cross.
The wainscoting and pilasters throughout the church are covered in red-veined Numidian marble. The majority of the wall panels are Yellow Sienna, though some panels are the black-flecked Sienna brecciata. The door frames and frames for the Stations of the Cross are done in light grey Convent Sienna marble. Throughout the church, but especially notable in the sanctuary, these marbles are outlined and separated from one another by inserts of varying shades of red Jasper. Most of the marble work in the church was done by Betterson and Eisele of New York. Two iconographic programs comprise the pictorial decoration of the church; the first celebrates the salvific truths of Christianity while the second commemorates moments in the life of the patronal saint, Ignatius Loyola, and the Jesuit order he founded.
Sprouting from the foot of the cross is the expansive scroll of a colorful flowering vine painted against a gold leaf background — a vivid and beautiful image reminding the faithful that they are the branches whose life flows from the vinestock who is Christ the Savior. This foliate image is also found in the semi-domes above the Sacred Heart and Blessed Mother altars, similarly done in Pavonazzo marble, and serves in the unification of the entire chancel area that stretches from the seventy-eight foot width of the church.
This visual unification of complimented by a theological one: the Sacred Heart, surrounded by the visionary St. Rising directly above the central semi-dome is the great sanctuary arch where one finds, located in an aureole, the glorified Christ seated in judgment surrounded by the Blessed Mother, here crowned Queen of Heaven, and St. Michael the Archangel who, as the defender against all powers of darkness, is pictured wielding a fiery sword.
On either side of this central group are located Sts. Though some may find this pictorial program severe, it should bring to life the words of Psalm 63 and inspire the faithful who gaze upon it:. Longing, I come before thee in the sanctuary To look upon thy power, and thy glory.
Thy true love is better than life; Therefore I will sing thy praises. And so I bless thee all my life And in thy name lift my hands in prayer. Reflecting the shape of the sanctuary apse on a smaller scale at the opposite end of the church, the baptistry is also composed of half-drum surmounted by a semi-dome.
First to be noticed are the gilt flaming swords emblazoned on the semi-circular iron screen designed by the architect, William Schickel, and wrought by the hands of Mr. John Williams. Just as the fearless St. These rushing waters gather into a pool where lilies grow and fish frolic. These murals were also designed by Heaton, Butler and Bayne. The expertise of the Gorham Company was called upon again to install this new mosaic program; the company also designed and executed the lectern with its inlaid brass images of the Lion of Juda and the Sacrificial Lamb.
The tabernacle door is decorated with a mosaic of the Lamb of God whom John attested Jesus to be John The panels that front the base of the altar have an art-historical as well as scriptural and theological significance. The two side panels are mosaic renditions of the Archangels Gabriel and Michael after the Florentine Renaissance master, Sandro Botticelli.
The central panel, after the Umbrian Renaissance master, Pinturicchio, depicts the cousins Christ and John as children engaged in the everyday task of collecting water in a ewer at a country stream — a foreshadowing of the sacred drama played out on the banks of the Jordan long years after. Completing this mosaic program and located on the columns supporting the mensa horizontal surface of the altar are the frail reeds swept by the wind which, Jesus says, John, the Angelum, surely is not Mt.
The marble mosaic Stations of the Cross form the panels which comprise the majority of the wall space in the church. So pleased was the company with the quality of its work that some of the panels were publicly exhibited in Turin before making their way to St. One of the most popular Ignatian exercises is the Daily Examen. It's a spiritual self-review that involves prayerfully recollecting moments during the day and reflecting on how God was present at those times, followed by a decision to act in some way.
Life, Writings, Spirituality, Influence
The Examen is concrete: It focuses your mind on segments of time no more than a day, preferably , and the feelings that stirred within you, at those specific moments. Walk through the five steps of the Examen here. There are a number of outstanding resources devoted to Ignatian spirituality. Sacred Space is a popular prayer site run by the Irish Jesuits, and Jesuitprayer. In addition, The Jesuit Post , founded by a group of Jesuit scholastics those in the process of religious formation , provides a contemporary look at Jesus, politics, and pop-culture in our secular age.
Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatian spirituality is not merely an inward journey, much less a self-absorbed one. It aims to bring people closer to God and more deeply into the world — with gratitude, passion, and humility — not away from it. Ignatius called on the Jesuits to be "contemplatives in action. They help nurture "men and women for others. Since St.
Ignatius bought a printing press in , the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications.
Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola - Wikipedia
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