The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything

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Title: The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything

Author: James Martin SJ

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St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), the founder of the Society of Jesus (aka the Jesuits), was known for his practical spirituality. The "way of Ignatius" has helped millions of people—from the doubtful seeker to the devout believer—find freedom, make friends, live simply, work sensibly, fall in love, experience joy, and enter into a relationship with God.

The Ignatian goal of "finding God in all things" eans that every part of our lives can lead us to God. The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything shows us how this is possible, with user-friendly examples, humorous stories and anecdotes from the heroic and inspiring lives of Jesuit saints and average priests and brothers, as well as examples from Martin's twenty years as a Jesuit. The traditional wisdom that Jesuits use to help other people in their daily lives is easily applied, but not often explained well to the general public. The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything translates these insights of St. Ignatius for a modern audience and reveals how we can find God—and how God can find us—in the real world of work, love, suffering, decisions, prayer, and friendship.


Chapter 1 A Way of Proceeding What Is Ignatian Spirituality?

  • The four Ways
    1. Finding God in all things
    2. Becoming a contemplative in action
    3. Looking at the world in an incarnational way
    4. Seeking freedom and detachment
  • "... while he was seated there, the eyes of his understanding began to be opened; although he did not see a vision, he understood and knew many things, both spiritual things and matters of faith and learning, and this was with so great an enlightenment that everything seemed new..."
  • Inigo dutifully enrolled in lower-level classes with young boys, studying remedial latin.
  • "He considered himself "detached" even about the Jesuit order. Te once said that if the pope ever ordered the Jesuits to disband, he wold need only fifteen minutes in prayer to compose himself and be on his way".

The Spiritual Exercises

  • Week one looks at the gratitude for God's gifts in your life and, then, at your own sinfulness
  • The Second week is a series of meditations taken directly from the new testament, focusing on birth, young adult life, and eventual ministry of Jesus.
  • The third week focuses on the Passion
  • The fourth week is based on the Gospel accounts of the resurrection and, once again God's love for you.
  • For the Jesuits, the Exercises are about how to live your own life, the Constitutions are about how to live your life with others.

Chapter 2 The Six Paths Spiritual, Religious, Spiritual but Not Religious, and Everything in Between 29

Chapter 3 What Do You Want? Desire and the Spiritual Life 57

Chapter 4 Beautiful Yesterdays Finding God and Letting God Find You 86

Chapter 5 Beginning to Pray So I've Found God... Now What? 103

Chapter 6 Friendship with God Father Barry's Insight 115

Chapter 7 God Meets You Where You Are Ignatian Traditions of Prayer 143

Chapter 8 The Simple Life The Surprising Freedom of Downward Mobility 174

Chapter 9 Like the Angels? Chastity, Celibacy, and Love 213

Chapter 10 More by Deeds Than by Words Friendship and Love 231

Chapter 11 Surrendering to the Future Obedience, Acceptance, and Suffering 266

Chapter 12 What Should I Do? The Ignatian Way of Making Decisions 305

  • Indifference - the first step [Indifference]
  • Ignatius gets a Haircut
    • "Ignatius realized that if you ace in accord with God's desires for you, you will naturally feel a sense of peace"
    • "If you are in accord with God's presence within you, you will feel a sense of rightness, of peace, what Ignatius called consolation
    • Conversely, feelings of spiritual "desolation", which Ignatius describes as movements to disquiet from various agitations and temptations," signal that you are on the wrong path.
    • "A proper concern with the preservation of one's health and bodily strength for the divine service is praisworthy and should be exercised by all," he [Ignatius] said, quite sensibly

Chapter 13 Be Who You Is! Work, Job, Career, Vocation... and Life 339

Chapter 14 The Contemplative in Action Our Way of Proceeding 389

A Question-and-Answer Session with James Martin, S.J. 399

Questions for Personal Reflection or Reading Groups 402

Ten Things You (Almost) Didn't Know About Jesuits 409

Friends in the Lord 411

Acknowledgments 415

For Further Exploration 417

Index 423

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Bibliographic info

LC control no.: 2009030505
LCCN permalink:
Type of material: Entry Not Found
Personal name: Martin, James, S.J.
Main title: The Jesuit guide to (almost) everything : a spirituality for real life / James Martin.
Edition: 1st ed.
Published/Created: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c2010.
Description: vii, 420 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN 9780061432682
Subjects: Ignatius, of Loyola, Saint, 1491-1556, Jesuits --Spiritual life, Spiritual life --Catholic Church.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. 401-406) and index.
LC classification: BX2350.3 .M265 2010
Dewey class no.: 248.4/82