Serving And Loving God: The Spiritual Life At St. Xavier High School

Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, believed that humans are "created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save their souls." With this in mind, the men and women of St. Xavier High School take the spiritual life very seriously. The school's programs and mission, which are rooted in the Catholic Jesuit tradition, are designed to make St. Xavier a place of abundant spiritual and religious growth for students, as well as their families, St. Xavier alumni, faculty, and staff.

While all people of St. Xavier participate in this mission in some way, two groups hold special responsibility to serve as spiritual catalysts within the St. Xavier community. The Campus Ministry Department works through liturgies, retreats, and other ministries to make the reality of God present to all within the school. In that same spirit, the Community Service Department helps St. Xavier students and alumni to walk in solidarity with the world's poor and marginalized and to become leaders in the service of God's people.

Both of these departments, as well as the school itself, find roots in Ignatian Spirituality, which is practiced by millions of people, both lay and religious, around the world. Ignatian Spirituality stands at the root of the mission of the Society of Jesus, whose members serve St. Xavier High School. Over the years, dozens of St. Xavier graduates have gone on to serve the Church within the context of Jesuit Vocations.

Examen of Consciousness

Each Thursday the entire school community stops for several minutes to be led prayerfully in a meditation on how God has been acting in our lives during the past day and week and what our response should be--a practice known as the Ignatian Examination of Consciousness.

Through the steps below you can experience this "method" of growing in a sense of self and the source of self. You can grow more sensitive to your own spirit--its longings, its powers, its Source; and you will develop an openness to receive the supports God offers.

  1. Gratitude: I recall some of the many blessings of this day, and I thank God for them.
  2. Grace: I ask for light to see my day through God’s eyes and to humbly recognize my sins.
  3. Review: I recall some significant events of the day. What were my thoughts and feelings, words and actions in those moments?
  4. Repent: I ask God to forgive my sins and to heal anyone I’ve hurt.
  5. Resolve: I plan to make tomorrow better in some particular way, and I ask for God’s grace to make that happen. I slowly pray the Our Father.

A Final Reflection

  • Growth in friendship and intimacy needs time and constant attention. Try to give 10 to 15 minutes daily to this examination.
  • Cover all five points daily with a freedom to linger more at one point than another, as the Spirit moves you.
  • Notice how you grow in appreciation for the variety of vocations--marriage, priesthood, religious life--among the people of God.
  • Pray that all hear God's call and respond generously to their vocation. "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth..."