What does St. Ignatius mean when he calls us to indifference?

This statement comes from the early part of Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises. He believed that God calls us to:

“a complete indifference with regard to all created things, not preferring health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to humiliation, long life to a short one. We wish only for those conditions that will aid our pursuit of the goal for which we have been created.”

In short, this means that our dependance needs to rely on God. Do we believe that God cares for us, in some way, in even the most dire situations? If so, then it doesn’t matter what might befall us.

A great example comes from when you need to make a choice about your next move in life and you narrow things down to two choices. Being indifferent means that whether you choose one or the other, you trust that God will go with you, leading you into the unfamiliar and new.

Mike Hayes is the Director of Young Adult Ministry in the Diocese of Cleveland and the host of 5 Questions with the Paulists. Mike is one of the founders of Busted Halo and has worked with young adults his entire ministry career in retreat, spiritual direction, and campus Ministry. He’s the author of "Googling God" (Paulist, 2007) and "Loving Work" (Orbis, 2012). Mike and his wife Marion live in Lakewood, OH with their dog, Haze.