A central aspect of Ignatian Spirituality is an interior disposition of “indifference.” This is not to mean that one “couldn’t care less” about something or someone. Indifference in the Ignatian sense is that openness which is able to express great desire and hope towards something, yet is without expectation – is indifferent – to the results.
Thus, in discerning an appointment to a new assignment, a Jesuit would discuss in all openness with his superior two or three possibly quite different Jesuit ministries and communities – freely expressing desire and interest, as well as fear and resistance. And where he were able to be as indifferent as possible is where and how he would be the most interiorly free and available to God’s Will. Of course, this is not always the case, but always the path towards which one ought to strive.
In this Gospel passage, Jesus expresses this teaching to his disciples: to be interiorly sufficiently free from attachment to these things, and thus to offer all of one’s self, one’s possessions, and one’s energy. In another sense, then, one is asked to generously and freely share and give all that one has in gifts and talents, in energy and creativity, of possessions and wealth … because all of these have been generously given to us by God. And paradoxically, the more of these that we give away in a spirit of indifference, the more we receive in abundance.
Where and how have I experienced the joy that comes from offering of myself in freedom and indifference?
—Fr. Glen Chun, S.J. is minister of the Loyola University Jesuit Community, Chicago, and also serves on the vocations staff for the Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus