Publisher's note: No one person speaks on behalf of an entire religious, spiritual, or phiolosphical tradition. All views presented are those of the student according to their personal experience of their tradition.
What does spirituality mean to you?
JO: My understanding of spirituality has been greatly influenced by the teachings of St. Ignatius. Attending a Jesuit institution for both high school and currently at SCU, I have grown to understand the different aspects of an Ignatian spirituality, whether praying through the Examen, pondering over my highs and lows of my life through discovering moments of consolation and desolation, or aspiring to live the magis, "the greater good," every single day, I am inspired to live through an Ignatian way of spirituality through my word and action.
How do you practice your spirituality on a daily basis?
JO: While I have been saying my daily prayers ever since a little kid, one aspect of prayer that I have embraced through my exposure to Ignatian Spirituality is discernment, which is being cognizant of my "thoughts, imaginings, emotions, inclinations, desires, feelings, repulsions, and attractions" and reflecting and acting upon these aspects. By being able to understand these different feelings that arise through discernment, it is my hope that I can follow the right path through love and compassion.
Have you learned anything about yourself through this/these practice(s)?
JO: Through discernment, I am inspired by the prayer of Fr. [Pierre Teilhard de] Chardin SJ, saying, "Above all, trust in the slow work of God." Often times, I may not realize what God desires for me at the time, especially when I am trying to discern and pray about an important aspect of my life. I do realize that it is in this slow work of God that I can gain a clearer understanding of God's plan for me.
In what ways do you believe practicing spirituality
connects us with something greater than ourselves?
JO: I have recognized that spirituality is a humbling experience. Often times, I get caught up with the stresses and exciting times in my life, and I lose sight of my own spiritual life. When I do catch myself that I am moving too fast, prayer often comes at the right time, and it re-centers my life, recognizing that there are times when I must slow down and trust God amidst the mystery and busyness of my life.