Posted by: Philip Rushton | March 6, 2019

Nothing is More Practical than Loving God

Hi Readers,

As many of you know, I have taken a long break from blogging while writing my doctoral dissertation this past year and a half. I’m excited to report that my dissertation has been approved!

My project is titled, “From Insight to Encounter: The Ignatian Spiritual Exercises and the Transformation of the Heart.” In my project, I look at how spiritual formation requires not only the reorientation of our thinking but also requires the reorientation of what we love. What we love directs and shapes our lives. I explore how Ignatius of Loyola’s approach to prayer and scripture meditation facilitates the reorientation of our desires. Along with this, I explore how the reorientation of our heart provides the foundation on which effective missional engagement happens. Prayer, in the Ignatian tradition, is not an escapist activity, but rather a foundation for practical engagement in our hurting world.

A quote that captures the heart of what my project is all about comes from the former Jesuit Superior Pedro Arrupe.  He writes:

“Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”

If you’d like to experiment with the Ignatian approach to scripture meditation and prayer I’ve put together a 40-day prayer challenge for our church titled “Awake My Soul.” Many are planning to use this prayer guide during the Lenten season which begins this week. To access this guide you can find it at the following link:

If you would like to hear a short talk I gave about the project as well as a testimony from Nelson Graham, who participated in the praxis component of my project, you can listen here:

You can also view an outline of the talk with quotes and references included: Epiphany Reflection Outline Source Info

Once I recover from this long season of writing I hope to re-engage the blogosphere!

God Bless!



  1. Hey Phil! Congrats on your dissertation being accepted!!!

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