“Go forth and set the world on fire.”
– Ignatius of Loyola
Agere contra is an Ignatian (St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus – the Jesuits) concept and a phrase that means “to act against,” and refers to acting against behaviors that are not life-giving and hold us back from freedom. St. Ignatius advises that when you find yourself confronting something that is keeping you from freedom, you should free yourself by acting in the opposite way.
“Unfreedoms” are unhealthy attachments like our bad habits, hurtful behaviors, poisonous people we stay attached to, our insecurities, our traumas, our “comfort zones.” Unfreedoms are things that enslave us like fear, resentment, egos, and prejudices. Unfreedoms are all things that prevent us from living our lives as completely as possible. Agere contra helps us confront those things that will hold us back from lively freely.
In my daily life, I strive to act against my inclination to procrastinate, to watch more TV, to be lazy, to do things the way I’ve always done them. I’m trying to fight against my comfort zone and put myself into the world. I am doing things that scare me. I am identifying the things that abduct me from freedom. In finding these abductors, I find myself. I find ways to live freely for love, and I find God in the most unexpected places.
I hope you will join me in acting against the things in your life that are not life-giving.
Agere Contra, friends.
ps. I am not an expert on Ignatius spirituality, I am just a student and a fan.