Ignatian Reflections for the Fall Term

Tom Wall, University Librarian, reflects on the hope and renewal that the start of the fall semester brings, with special emphasis on Ignatian principles relevant to scholarship and BC Libraries.

A portrait of Tom WallThe fall term always seems to bring a feeling of hope and renewal to college campuses. For many people the season also begins a period of anticipation, with the holidays, the beauty of autumn, and meetings with family and friends. In some respects, it’s the time of year that most embodies the adage that “happiness is having something to look forward to.”

The influx of young minds to the academy brings new ideas and expectations as well, and if I could borrow an Ignatian metaphor, these emerging ideas and conceptions symbolize the heart; and conversely the University with its history and stability are more akin to the mind. Together, the convergence of the students (heart) and University (mind) form a compelling dynamic that is at once challenging and punctuated by optimism. When it works, we have the meta-instance of Ignatian consolation; when it struggles, we have desolation.

Ignatius offers a number of concepts I’ve been reflecting on lately in the context of anticipating change. In addition to consolation: accompaniment, mobility, and indifference.

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