Fr. Jack Treacy, SJ

Publisher's note: No one person speaks on behalf of an entire religious, spiritual, or phiolosphical tradition. All views presented are those of the student according to their personal experience of their tradition.

What does spirituality mean to you?

JT: Spirituality allows me to develop a relationship with God and to foster qualities of compassion, peace, and healing within myself. As a Jesuit, I've been influenced by the spirituality of Ignatius, with his emphasis on gratitude to God for the gift of life, the call to companionship with Jesus Christ, and the invitation for me to respond in both my attitude and my actions to help bring healing and justice to our world.

How do you practice your spirituality on a daily basis?

JT: In the morning, I pray with a cup of coffee before breakfast. I look ahead to my day, and lift up those I'll be encountering in meetings and appointments. I also keep a mental "prayer list" and pray for individuals and world situations. I usually attend Mass with my brother Jesuits before dinner, and I appreciate that bond of prayer and worship we share. In the evening I pray the Examen, looking over the events and involvements of the day to see how I've responded to God's invitation to love.

Have you learned anything about yourself through these practices?

JT: Praying the Examen, I often have "a ha" moments when I realize that the Spirit was active in my day. I also gain clarity about my own response. Sometimes I don't respond to God's invitation to love with generosity, and I need to ask forgiveness.

In what ways do you believe practicing spirituality connects us with something greater than ourselves?

JT: I've found that even my personal prayer is always set against a wider horizon of God's desire for our world and our human family. As a member of the Catholic Church, I pay attention to the remarks and involvements of religious leaders, especially Pope Francis, who often challenges me to open my mind and heart a bit more. I'm enriched by stories of faith of others, and am fortunate to be invited into those conversations frequently. Our SCU community offers so many witnesses of faith in action!