I grew up with Ignatian spirituality. Since I was little, in school and in religion classes “to seek and find God in all things”, or “to love and serve in everything” were maxims that accompanied me and were the backbone of my life of faith and the way of understanding the following of Jesus.

Perhaps this is the reason why my heart is moved by the words of those first Sisters of the incipient community of Cordoba, when the bishop wanted to make “certain modifications” in the rules for what was going to be our Institute.

“We want the rules of St. Ignatius!” they said, and they remained firm even to the point of leaving Cordoba. It is that Ignatian Spirituality which is at the foundation of our Institute even before it began, and it has given us our own characteristic way to live our charism. (C. 14)

On one occasion, on mission with young people, they asked me, “Then, you are like the Jesuits, but women?” It is known that St. Ignatius did not want to have women in the Society. Nevertheless, sharing the Spirituality with the Jesuits or with other Ignatian congregations of women fills us with a recognizable family spirit and, as our Constitutions say, gives us a characteristic way

to carry out our charism. That was what attracted me ever since I met the Handmaids.

“Place Christ for the adoration of the peoples” was the desire of Saint Raphaela Mary. Adoration opens us up to a contemplative way of living. It becomes a privileged time of day in which the Lord guides our gaze and molds it to his way of looking at reality.

It transforms us, so that we can recognize him in everything and in everyone. It makes us “contemplatives in action” and keeps us active in contemplation in order to love more and serve better.

Ignatian Spirituality is the backbone of our Institute. On reading our Constitutions, we see it reflected in our way of government, formation and mission. What supports, nourishes and renews our life as religious is our yearly Spiritual Exercises, “the summer of the soul” as Saint Raphaela called it, “because they gather up the whole year for us, and each year it seems that we make them anew” (Letter to Miss Rosalia Tabernero, 1885.)

Our group of Tertians has just had the good fortune to experience this, for we have just finished the month of Exercises in Torricella. It was a time of profound grace for each of us, in which the Lord has gifted us and invites us to live with him and like him every day of our lives, so that fully recognizing the good we have received, we can in everything love, adore and serve God our Lord more in each of our brothers and sisters.

Montse Chías, aci