The core of ignatian pedagology lies in «reflection», or better still, the ability to re-read past experiences with the aim of discovering the meaning for the person that has lived them.
The Ignatian Pedagological Paradgm (IPP) afferms: «A fundamental dynamic of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius is the continual call to reflect upon the entirety of one’s experience in prayer in order to discern where the Spirit of God is leading» (25).
The two-year Novitiate comprises of a number of experiences: daily life lived in the novitiate house of formation, language studies; and the «experiments» out-of-house such as the Month Spiritual Exercises, a month at the Cottolengo Hospital, living and working in an Apostolic Community during Lent and the Pilgrimage in Poverty. All these fundamental experiences are structured with the underlying Ignatian Pedagology, and this shapes the novices’ modality and approach as to how these experiences are lived.
These «experiments» are the subject of personal reflection directed to understand how the Spirit acts, and subsequently how the person reacts. This process of discernement sheds light to the novice’s vocation as a jesuit, helps the novice understand the interior movements of the person, and deepens his vision of the human being and the meaning of life.
Once again, the aforementioned is well described by the Ignatian Pedagological Paradgm «Ignatius urges reflection on human experience as an essential means of validating its authenticity, because without prudent reflection delusion readily becomes possible and without careful reflection the significance of one’s experience may be neglected or trivialized. Only after adequate reflection on experience and interior appropriation of the meaning and implications of what one studies can one proceed freely and confidently toward choosing appropriate courses of action that foster the integral growth of oneself as a human being» (25).