Finding God in all Things
By Sr. Gemma Simmonds
Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) is chiefly known outside the Roman Catholic church for his Spiritual Exercises, which are increasingly popular beyond the borders of his own faith community. Recognizably a mystic in the medieval tradition he
founded the missionary Society of Jesus or Jesuit order whose members have been famous as scientists, explorers, schoolteachers, artists, musicians and builders. One Jesuit motto, ‘For the greater glory of God’ points to a striving for excellence in all human achievements, while the other, ‘Finding God in all things’ suggests that holiness is found in the ordinary. The Ignatian Spiritual Exercises above all point to the graced and redeemed life being one that is lived to the full.
Gemma Simmonds is a sister of the Congregation of Jesus, founded by Mary Ward (1585-1609). She is a senior lecturer in pastoral theology based at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology in Cambridge where she is director of the Religious Life Institute. She lectured in Christian Spirituality at Heythrop College, University of London from 2005 until its closure in 2018, specializing in Spiritual Direction in the Ignatian tradition. An international speaker and lecturer working in the fields of Christian spirituality and ecclesiology, she has been a missionary in Brazil and a chaplain in the Universities of Cambridge and London as well as a chaplaincy volunteer in Holloway Prison for 26 years. She is a regular broadcaster on religious matters on the BBC. Her book, The Way of Ignatius, was published by SPCK for Lent 2019 and was serialised as the Lenten retreat on Pray As You Go https://pray-as-you-go.org Her most recent book, Treasuring God’s Word is published by Pauline Books and Media
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