Photography and The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola


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Just a collection of my photos and some of my reflection on Ignatian Spiritual and the Spiritual Exercises

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Photography and The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola

  1. 1. Photography and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola Jeffrey U. Pioquinto, SJ
  2. 2. In Photography, I’ve learned to find God in all thing. It taught me to see in a certain perspective… through the lens of God.
  3. 3. It is quite surprising that that I was introduced to the world of spirituality and photography just recently. Though the seed for spirituality started early just like in any other form of growth but it blooms when I was in college. I studied in Claret High School in Zamboanga City and somehow, embodied the spirituality of the school SCIENTIA MAXIME CUM VIRTUTE or KNOWLEDGE IS BEST WITH VIRTUE. At an early age, it was clear to me that having an education is not just purely academic but also the formation of character. I still remember the favorite passage of St. Anthony Mary Claret from the Gospel of Mark, when we discussed his biography in Filipino when we where in first year high school, ―For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” These
  4. 4. experiences gave me a focus, values to hold on, a spirituality. PHOTOGRAPHY AS LIVED-EXPERIENCE Sandra Schneider gave a profound definition of Spirituality: ―Spirituality as lived experience can be defined as conscious involvement in the project of life integration through self-transcendence toward the ultimate value one perceives.‖ My spirituality strengthen when I was in college with the Jesuits – Ateneo de Zamboanga University. Here I got to know St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Ignatian Spirituality. Spirituality is more than just a set of doctrines. It is a lived-experience that gives us the meaning of our lives through integration and ultimately transcendence towards our ultimate values. It is never self-absorption. The very center of Ignatian Spirituality is to be in union with our God and to let go of the things that would hinder us to that relationship. Photography too is a lived experience. In order to capture the true essence of life through your lenses, we must be immersed with our own experience that is called, life.
  5. 5. PHOTOGRAPHY IS LOVE This may sound cheesy for some but the foundational core of Ignatian Spirituality is God’s love. Everytime we go into Ignatian retreat, we always start with God’s love. Love will make us more dispose in sensing the presence of God. It makes us more generous. In photography, other than skills, what drives me is love. Love gives context to what I’m shooting. It gives meaning to my passion. Love makes the invisible visible.
  6. 6. PHOTOGRAPHY IS MORE TO BE DONE RATHER THAN TO BE READ. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius is not supposed to be just read or even studied while doing the exercises. If one wants to undergo the Spiritual Exercises, one must immerse oneself with the experience. It is more to be done than to be read. Same thing in photography. There is no easy way to learn how to shoot than going out of one’s house and keep shooting. We don’t just learn photography by reading photography books, but by immersing oneself to the experience of taking pictures.
  7. 7. PHOTOGRAPHY AS A VOCATION These texts are taken from the First Principle and Foundation in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola: Human beings are created to praise, reverence and serve God Our Lord and by this means to save their souls. The other things on the face of the earth are created for human beings to help them in working toward the goal for which they are created. Therefore, I am to make use of these other things insofar as they help me attain the goal and turn away from these other things insofar as they hinder me from attaining the goal. I must make myself indifferent to all created things, as far as I am allowed free choice and am not under any prohibition. Consequently, as far as I am concerned, I should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, a long life to a short life. The same holds for all other things. My one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to reaching the goal for which I am created. Photography is not just a hobby or mere profession. It is a vocation. Doing photography is meaningless is we don’t see it as our vocation. A calling to see and let other see what we see. This, somehow pose us a challenge to detach ourselves from thing that we lead us farther from our vocation.
  8. 8. Photography and Discernment We all make decision but not all of our decisions are products of discernment. What is Ignatian Discernment. Loyola Press in their website gave a clear explanation of what discernment is all about: Discernment is a time- honored practice in the Christian tradition. In essence, discernment is a decision-making process that honors the place of God's will in our lives. It is an interior search that seeks to align our own will with the will of God in order to learn what God is calling us to. Every choice we make, no matter how small, is an opportunity to align ourselves with God's will. Here are some tried-and-true pointers that can help you discern God's will. In photography, we don’t just shoot indiscriminately. We shoot with a purpose. In my case, everytime I take picture, I always discernment if what I’m taking will help me commit to humanity even though how mundane it subject or the theme. Photography humanizes us.
  9. 9. The Magis Magis is a Latin word for ―more.‖ To do more for the greater glory of God. What magis taught me in photography is to go deeper. To have depth. To see deeper into the reality of life and to fight against the superficiality in life.
  10. 10. Ignatian Spirituality gave me INTERIOR FREEDOM. Freedom from my own attachments from worldly things. Freedom from personal preferences. Freedom from my unholy desires. Once I am free, I can give more to others and even to myself. INTERIOR FREEDOM liberates.
  11. 11. Be great in little things. — Saint Francis Xavier
  12. 12. In the end, these things matter most-- How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?‖ ― Gautama Buddha
  13. 13. ―What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.‖― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  14. 14. "...TRUE MAGIS is giving to others from our own death, building others from own homelessness, healing others in spite our woundedness...For magis is generosity without a selfie." --Arnel Aquino, SJ
  15. 15. ―I love you not only for what you are but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.‖― Elizabeth Barrett Browning "Kapag nasabi na ang lahat ng masasabi, ang pinakamahalaga ay ang hindi masabi."—Padre Roque Ferriols, SJ
  17. 17. Portraits : Capturing the reality and the moment that man is created to praise, reverence and serve God.
  18. 18. There is joy and hope in waiting. ―Be still and know that I am God.‖
  19. 19. Spiritual Freedom: ―Lord, I am here.‖
  20. 20. When I see the heavens, I see beauty, I see my God. That moves me to reconcile with nature and in so doing, reconciling with my God.