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Ignatian Prayer – Themes and Content

ignatiusprayerConditions for Prayer

  • Why Pray? Union with God, direction, peace, petition, being with Friend, vs. “usefulness”, etc.
  • Importance of Practice
  • Leisure vs. Work
  • Silence
  • Solitude
  • Wonder and Awe
  • Contemplative Attitude towards Life

Desire and Prayer

  • Jesus:  What do you desire?
  • Two extremes: many desires, lack of desires
  • Strong desires and detachment
  • Example of St. Ignatius: pre-conversion, post-conversion
  • God places desires in our heart
  • Courage to face desires
  • Desires not always fulfilled as we expect – Therese.
  • Prayer is desire: Augustine


  • A quest, questions, ask, seek, knock
  • Credo ut intellegam: I Believe that I might understand
  • Subject matter: Creation, Scriptures, Doctrines, Liturgy, Moral Truth, etc.
  • Purpose: to have a spiritual vision, conviction about faith, love Truth
  • Goal: get to the heart level in prayer
  • Method: a help, use insofar as leads to God, don’t be a slave to it
  • Ignatian Method: memory: call to mind; intellect: ponder; will: embrace
  • Colloquy: speak to Lord as friend
  • Review of prayer: notice positive/negative emotions, inspirations, insights, images, etc.


  • Gaze of faith:  Catechism definitions
  • Could be without images, quiet, or with images- Ignatian
  • God works thru imagination, everyone has
  • Modes of imagination: visual, auditory, kinesthetic (movement)
  • Ignatius’ own use of imagination, Holy Land, Incarnation
  • Bystander or participant
  • Application of the senses

Discernment of Spirits (introduction)

  • What is discernment?
  • Difference between psychological and spiritual
  • Spiritual Consolation
  • What to do in consolation
  • Spiritual Desolation
  • What to do in desolation
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