The Manresa Experience

La Cova (Manresa), where Ignatius spent time praying and writing

Many people know Manresa, Spain as the place where Ignatius spent about a year in solitude and in prayer. It was a time, post-conversion, of coming to terms with his conscience and gaining his spiritual bearings. It was at Manresa where Ignatius put together the early notes for the Spiritual Exercises.

Howard Gray, S.J., sees Ignatius's time at Manresa as also a foundation of Ignatian education. In an essay compiled in the Jesuit Education Reader (a great resource for those in Ignatian ministries), Gray notes:

Advertisement

The Manresa experience did not exhaust Ignatius's education in divine wisdom. His subsequent years of study and then his governance over the young Society of Jesus contributed their own enrichments. But Manresa symbolizes the foundation of Ignatian education. It was an event that was experiential; it was based on trust; and it invited a discovery of God in a variety of created realities. Consequently, when we emphasize, as we should, the importance of adaptation in the Spiritual Exercises, we are reflecting what Ignatius discovered at Manresa about God. God adapts to the human to teach truth, to encourage our trust in our experiences, and to enrich the ways in which all creation can become a revelation about God's presence and action. Manresa was an event in divine tutelage for Ignatius, revealing how he was to help others to respond to that tutelage in their lives.

This passage leaves me with many thoughts. How can we reproduce in our schools something like Ignatius's experience at Manresa? What would it mean to educate for trust? What would happen if the messaging and marketing of Ignatian schools reflected the emphases of the Manresa experience?

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies at a House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Secretary of Education stirred up controversy when she said it was up to schools to decide if an undocumented student should be reported to authorities.
J.D. Long-GarcíaMay 25, 2018
Thousands gathered in Dublin May 12 to say "Love Both" and "Vote No" to abortion on demand. They were protesting abortion on demand in the forthcoming referendum May 25. (CNS photo/John McElroy)
“Priests and bishops get verbal abuse by being told, ‘How can you speak for women? You don’t know what it’s like!’”
America StaffMay 25, 2018
The coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII is seen during a ceremony in Vittorio Veneto Square after its arrival in Bergamo, Italy, May 24. The body of the late pope left the Vatican on May 24 to be displayed in his home region until June 10. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

BERGAMO, Italy (CNS) — Accompanied by Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo and escorted by both Italian and Vatican police officers, the glass coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII left the Vatican early on May 24 for a 370-mile drive to Bergamo.

On this week's episode, we talk with Lieutenant Governor of Washington State, Cyrus Habib.
Olga SeguraMay 25, 2018