finding God in all things
St. Ignatius of Loyola
I don't know what the future holds. I do have a deep sense that I want to continue engaging in my own discovery of who I am in God, and how that calls me to live in the world, and to enable others who desire it to explore those things too.
If you are interested in exploring Ignatian Spiritual Direction, or if you just fancy having a chat about life, the universe, and everything... please get in touch.
Ignatian spirituality comes from the life and writings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, a passionate Spanish nobleman of the 1500s and founder of the Jesuits, an order of Catholic priests. I first encountered this spirituality when Mum suggested, brightly, 'I've found a silent retreat centre in North Wales - let's try it out!'. Little did I know that decision would prove to be fairly pivotal in my life, both personal and professional. I was brought up loosely Catholic, have always gone to church and had a sense that God, whatever God may be, exists. For a long time though, apart from being familiar, Catholicism as I had experienced it institutionally had very little to say that meaningfully engaged with my lived experience. It wasn't until I did the retreat that I discovered that a strand within Catholicism encouraged things like engaging with desire, attending to what was going on affectively inside me, and assuming that this God was actively engaging with me, and indeed everyone and everything, precisely here and now in this messy reality, as it is - not as I might like it to be. Hence the somewhat cliched, but never exhausted, catchphrase of the Jesuits and their spirituality - God in ALL things. I am deeply drawn by this spirituality which seems to break down any division between the sacred and the profane; which is able to hold the deepest questions of the human heart and live those questions despite no neat answers; which trusts each individual's experience and capacity to discern and listen to their God who speaks to each in a language they can understand and which is deeply beautiful and attractive to them. I have found in Ignatian spirituality and its practice a way of engaging with myself and God which brings life and growth.
I am a trained Ignatian spiritual director (I completed my training at Loyola Hall and St. Beuno's Jesuit Spirituality Centre and made the full 30-day Spiritual Exercises in between). I have been working full-time at the latter for coming up to three years. I offer private spiritual direction from home as well (in our grandly named 'Summer House' - see pic), and am looking to build on that practice to explore ways of offering retreats, spaces and opportunities for people to engage with their deepest selves and Source. I am more recently looking to find ways of bringing Ignatian spirituality out of the retreat centre and into the places where most people live and work, and am particularly interested in working with young adults. This year I have been seconded to a new initiative of the British Jesuits for 6 months, which aims to form lay young adults as 'missionary disciples', based on Pope Francis (amongst others') call to ecological conversion.
For more information on Ignatian Spirituality in the UK, and resources, have a look at www.pathwaystogod.org