Ignatian Spirituality and Spiritual Direction

by Sister Martinette Rivers, OLS, Spiritual Director

As Spiritual Directors in the Diocese of Shreveport, how do we reveal the “Jesuit DNA” to our directees? Would St. Ignatius approve of the way we approach the Spiritual Exercises? Like him we promote self-awareness, a joyful sense of freedom and a willingness to take risks. The chief guide and mover of souls is the Holy Spirit and our directees are led by Him. Are we attentive to the way He is moving their souls? You bet we are!

The role of the human director is very important, but is only instrumental. Our role as directors is to work along with the Holy Spirit. This frees the Divine Director to do the rest. Everyone, including us, needs a faithful other who can serve both as a prod and a source of light.

Those interested in spiritual direction should not be afraid to approach any of us. We are here to help you grow closer to God. In preparing ourselves to help you, we have studied Ignatian Spirituality intensely with the Jesuits in Grand Coteau, New Orleans and other universities. We grew in the process in sanctity, holiness and experience as we learned.

St. Ignatius of Loyola was the founder of The Society of Jesus. He was one of 13 children born into a noble family in Spain. He loved the “good life,” his knighthood and life as a soldier, until he was gravely wounded in a battle with the French. His heart was set on fire as he spent his recuperation period reading about the lives of Jesus and the saints, writing in a small notebook his thoughts, exercises and prayers which he found helpful as his injured leg healed. He experienced a real conversion during those months he suffered with his wounded leg and reflected upon his life. As time went on and the years passed, Ignatius became an expert in the art of Spiritual Direction. These notes make up the heart of what we now call “The Spiritual Exercises.”

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius became one of the most influential books on spiritual life ever written. Thousands of people have been touched in some way by The Spiritual Exercises, and many more will come to see their value as time goes on. The most appealing thing about Ignatius to me is his insight that you could find God in all things. Also to do everything for the greater honor and glory of God, “Ad majorem Dei Gloriam.”

St. Ignatius of Loyola said, “Love consists in sharing what one has and what one is with those one loves. Love ought to show itself in deeds more than words.”

Moderation in all things was his sacred tool. The life of St. Ignatius is a fascinating one and gives me hope because he assures us that God can make anything out of anyone. May you be blessed as you walk the Ignation Way with us! God’s divine plan is a story, a love story, our story. May St. Ignatius ignite a new fire in our hearts! •


Spiritual Direction is help given to one person by a trained director to assist that person in becoming aware of God’s presence in their life, and then guiding that person in growing a deeper, more intimate relationship with God. It is not counseling, teaching or companionship. Instead, the person, with the aid of the director, discerns the presence and movement of God in their life and then learns to engage in prayerful conversations with God about those movements.

For more information, please contact one of these trained spiritual directors in our area:


Joe & Katherine Bernal

Monroe & West Monroe Area



Brenda Lites 

Shreveport & Bossier City Area



Fr. Jim Moran, CO

Mansfield Area



Dianne Rachal

Shreveport & Bossier City Area



Marie Rinaudo

Shreveport & Bossier City Area



Sr. Martinette Rivers, OLS

Shreveport & Bossier City Area



Susan Rothwell

Shreveport & Bossier City Area



Mike Van Vranken

Shreveport & Bossier City Area


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