Walking with Ignatius introduces the reader to Father Arturo Sosa, who has been the Superior General of the Society of Jesus since 2016. This book opens the “Ignatian Year” and marks the 500th anniversary of the wound that led to the conversion of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Along with his observations on the Society of Jesus, the Church, and the world today – while emphasizing the Universal Apostolic Preferences.
Walking with Ignatius is a celebration of 500 years of the Society of Jesus, as seen through the eyes of its first Latin American Superior General of the Jesuits, Father Arturo Sosa, SJ. Comprised of interviews with Father Sosa conducted over a two year period by Dario Menor, Walking with Ignatius retraces the ‘inner tension’ – both personal and communal – that defines the quest for meaning over the ages: from the time when St. Ignatius begged for alms to sustain his studies to a world transformed by globalization.
Menor’s questions reflect the spirit of the Ignatian practice of discernment: unafraid to ask questions and to face up to the challenges of the present, Menor and Father Sosa engage in a spiritual conversation that covers such topics as the life of Ignatius, the life story of Father Sosa, the challenge of the unsettling twenty-first century, and the future of the Church. This book has also talked about our ability to judge well and make decisions by discernment.
There are four themes that have dominated the lives of Jesuits, their mission, and education ever since St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote the Spiritual Exercises: Purpose in life, The human person, Freedom, and Ethics.
Talking about one’s purpose in life, many people believe that they can just wake up and say to themselves, ‘This is my life; I can do what I want with it,’ and then go ahead to commit suicide. Many of such cases are due to depression. Nevertheless, being a Jesuit-educated student has made me understand that you have to be contemplative in your actions. This means spending time in self-reflection and discernment to look within and make sense of ones experiences. Leaders then take action for the greater good, informed by this reflection and the movements of the soul. Being contemplative in action means that your active life feeds your contemplative life, and your contemplative life informs your active life.
I believe that Dario Menor’s writing style has helped enhance my experience. It has helped me understand that experiencing God does not limit you. Instead, it widens your understanding of yourself, of humanity and of history. Ignatian Spirituality is centred around the belief that the divine can be found in all things, action-oriented, focused on selfawareness, inner-directed, adapting and experiential.
Something that struck me is the term ideology. Ideology according to Father Sosa is deceptive because it distorts freedom of thought. He says it is like wearing a pair of spectacles that oblige you to see things only one way. If you take Ignatian spirituality seriously, you will have a good antidote to ideology.
I have learnt how St. Ignatius reminds us to put our trust totally in God because he knew how to find Him in his moments of sickness when he had no money or even when he was judged or threatened, he simply let himself be carried by the loving presence of God who said that He is with him. One strength of this book is that it aids us spiritually and mentally in tackling the tough times that are to come. I believe this is a highly recommendable book to anyone in the world, both adults and children who will want to be closer to God. This is a book of utmost significance, especially to the youths of this era, who will be the ones to save our communities and countries in the near future. I advise that everyone should read this book – Walking with Ignatius irrespective of their denomination, whether Catholic or not.
Naetochukwu Godwin OCHI
Class of 2026