Ignatian Spirituality

Spiritual Formation is essential if one wants to successfully incorporate Faith into Practice. Working in conjunction with Seton's Mission Integration team, the Catholic Healthcare Guild of Central Texas offers a variety of spiritual formation activities, ultimately producing more joy-filled and dedicated physicians. But what does spiritual formation actually entail? The question is best answered by exploring the life of a great saint, St. Ignatius of Loyola.

St. Ignatius was a Spanish knight born in 1491 to a Basque noble family. After being wounded in the Battle of Pamplona, he experienced a spiritual conversion and decided to abandon his military life and instead devote his life to God. Loyola's fidelity to the Catholic Church was characterized by unquestioning obedience to Church authority and an unceasing dedication to prayer. He prayed up to seven hours a day while living a life of aestheticism. It was during these times that the fundamentals of Ignatian Spirituality came to fruition. The resulting Spiritual Exercises were approved in 1548 but are used by millions of Catholics today. These exercises were one of his greatest legacies, the other being the founding of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) where he served as its first Superior General.

In ignatiain Spirituality, we are called to see "God as actively involved in the world and intimately involved with us in every moment and place. It is a pathway to deeper prayer, good decisions guided by keen discernment, and an active life of service to others." As we foster an appreciation for spiritual formation, the Catholic Healthcare Guild hopes to affect physicians equipped with the many gifts Ignatian scholars believe are the end result of this practice. These could include:

  1. The union of our hearts and minds to God
  2. Dedicated participation in God's healing work
  3. The ability to see the grandeur of God's creation
  4. Concern for justice
  5. Belief in human dignity
  6. Inner freedom
  7. A life infused with prayer
  8. The gift of discernment
  9. A personal relationship with Christ
  10. The grace to see God in all things

In 2011, the guild implemented these concepts at intimate dinners discussing various spiritual questions. We also had larger events led by Father Frank Zlotkowski where we came to understand the role of the healing professional in the Anointing of the Sick, and the difference between Discipleship and Professionalism. Not only were these discussions insightful and educational, but they fed our spirits. Moving forward to 2012, the Catholic Healthcare Guild of Central Texas continues in this directive and promises a year of profound spiritual formation.

Our Chosen Names

For those who experienced the Easter Vigil last month, you couldn't help but notice the Litany of Saints. Reading the list, I wondered how these particular saints were chosen. Was it their unique gifts or simply their prominence in the Easter tradition? At the moment of confirmation, I had my answer when I realized these were the chosen names of the newest members of our Church family.

Contraception: Could the Church be Right?

For your meditation this Easter season: Could the Church be right? In 1979, Pope John Paul II delivered the first of 129 lectures devoted to A Theology of the Body during his weekly Wednesday audience.

Hope for Infertility through Prayer

As health care providers, we have the opportunity to acknowledge the intense sufferings of the many couples facing infertility.

Embracing the Cross: An Example in Padre Pio

As Physicians, we strive to alleviate the suffering of others. However, only by embracing our own sufferings (and that of the Lord's Passion), can we sincerely assist in the healing process.

Miracles in the Making: Offering Hope to our Patients

Last month, my 58 year-old aunt was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, giving her an average of 10.5 months to live if she receives the best treatments.

The Life of St. Luke

St. Luke, "the beloved physician" (Col 4:14), was born at Antioch, Syria, and as tradition holds, he was a slave as well as a Greek and Gentile.

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