Ignatian Conversation

5 steps to honest, brave, & fruitful conversations

One of St. Ignatius Loyola’s great spiritual insights, and therefore one of his gifts to our world, was a way of engaging in conversation with another person.

For St. Ignatius, the other person is a child of God and a person deserving respect and consideration, no matter what opinion the person holds or the history of the relationship with this person.

We call this Ignatian conversation.

At the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius lays out the presupposition for the entire retreat and for Ignatian ConversationsIn it, each person presupposes the good in the other and the goodness of the statement being made. When one believes the statement is not correct, with love one seeks to correct or work to understand the statement so that it may be saved or understood in a correct fashion.

student crosses arm on ledge to do trust fall into peers below

Listen actively with an ear to understanding others’ views.

Listen respectfully without interrupting.

At De Smet Jesuit, we strive to engage in honest, brave and fruitful conversations.

Ignatian conversations have these attributes:

  • Be slow to speak.
  • Listen attentively.
  • Seek the truth in what others are saying.
  • Disagree humbly, respectfully, and thoughtfully.
  • Allow the conversation the time it needs.