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Society of Jesus Jesuits . Ignatius of Loyola. The founder of the Society of Jesus Ignatius was a Basque nobleman and mercenary soldier who was wounded in 1521.

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ignatius of loyola
Ignatius of Loyola
  • The founder of the Society of Jesus
  • Ignatius was a Basque nobleman and mercenary soldier who was wounded in 1521.
  • While he stayed at Manresa for ten months waiting for his leg to heal, he began focusing in his spiritual life which led him to write Spiritual Exercises
  • Spiritual exercises described the way he arrived at the extraordinary spiritual experienced at Manresa.
  • Spiritual exercises was a guide book for the religious life where the end goal was not mystical experience but action in the world.
exercises
Exercises
  • The exercises became the basis for the spirituality of the order Ignatius founded, the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits.
  • Ignatius' instructions in the Exercises describe a relatively short, intensive period if concentrated introspection for the specific purpose of vocational choice.
  • He did not want introspection to be a time consuming occupation, preferring a method that would rapidly, and with minimal maintenance, provide self knowledge.
  • On this basis, a choice of vocation could be made, informed by the awareness of ones characteristic weaknesses, and strengths.
  • Once this choice was made the person could devote un conflicted energy to loving service.
the catholic reformation
The Catholic Reformation
  • Calls for reform within Catholicism began long before Luther's 95 thesis.
  • The success of the Protestant reformation urged the Catholic Church to reform within its own church.
  • The church responded with what is today referred to as the Catholic reformation.
  • In the Catholic reformation the church was successful in addressing most of the weaknesses pointed out by critics.
  • In this time period among all of the individuals and groups that worked for spiritual renewal and institutional reform in the church, the most influential group was the Jesuits.
the society of jesus
The Society of Jesus
  • During this period of the Catholic reformation the most important religious order for the interests of the church was the Society of Jesus, founded by Ignatius Loyola.
  • In 1534 Ignatius Loyola and his followers took oaths of poverty and chastity. They later committed themselves to be special servants of the pope.
  • In 1540 the pope approved of this new order, called the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits.
usefulness
Usefulness
  • Not long after the pope approved of the Jesuits did the papacy discover that the Jesuits were useful in combating heresy between combating heresy within Catholicism and effective against Protestantism.
  • The Jesuit system encouraged rigorous and creative thinking but within the boundaries of Catholic orthodoxy.
  • The Jesuits always acted in accordance with direct obedience to the pope.
usefulness cont
Usefulness cont.
  • The Jesuits trained theologians which also proved to be helpful to the papacy.
  • Jesuits becomes advisors to rulers, founded and maintained excellent schools, and were active in public preaching.
  • The Jesuits were also successful missionaries, especially in Asia.
additional info
Additional info
  • After the council of Trent, Catholic theologians committed themselves to the neo-Aristotelian theology, which reduced the study of God to a natural science.
  • However Ignatius of Loyola shared the Protestant emphasis on direct experience of God and the need to appropriate revelation and make it uniquely ones own.
  • The exercises represented a systematic, highly efficient crash course in mysticism.
  • Ignatius was aware of the dangers of false mysticism, however he stressed the importance of serenity and joy.
  • Like the puritans, Jesuits experienced God as a dynamic force which at its best could fill them with confidence and energy.