The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
A School of Prayer for Encountering God, who is Love loving
as Self-revealed in Jesus Christ
What is the History of the Exercises?
The following is paraphrased from Bishop Barron's Pivotal Players video.
Rooted within the spiritual tradition in the Church, The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius have been universally considered one of the great masterpieces of ascetical theology by the Church. It’s a complete guide and framework for growing in Christian perfection, which grew out of St. Ignatius' own experiences and in helping souls to find God in all things, to discover God's dreams, desires, and will for each person.
Who are the Exercises for?
The Spiritual Exercises are for those who desire to have a deep intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, to be freed from disorders and attachments through a heartfelt knowledge as the beloved sinner, and to flourish in discovering their true identity, mission, and place in the world through grateful, loving service.
The Goal of the Exercises
These Exercises consist of meditations in ordered systematic progression with the goal of inner freedom from disordered attachments so as to experience the depths of reality of God’s particular love and providence. Through this journey, we come to heartfelt, intimate knowledge of God’s revealed Self in Jesus Christ as we respond in gratitude giving glory to God in joyous service as a contemplative in action.
To know Christ more clearly
To love Christ more dearly
To follow Christ more nearly
day by day
What Do They Contain?
The Spiritual Exercise is a manual containing various meditations to be carried out by an exercitant with counsel from a spiritual director. The structure of this guidebook opens with 20 introductory explanations - Annotations, and a statement of purpose of the Exercises - The Principle and Foundation, through which one comes to order one’s life and all of life's decisions towards what is pleasing to God.
The Exercises consist of Meditations on the mysteries (50) in scripture on the life of Christ and several main spiritual exercises: The Call of Christ the King, The Two Standards (Christ and Satan), and the Three Classes of Persons, which fosters an adherence of the heart to total commitment to God, and The Three Ways of Humility called a Consideration.
How Are They Structured?
The Exercises are divided into 4 Dynamic Phases called “Weeks”
The First Week consists of exercises that are characteristic of the Purgative Way, the purification of the soul to free one from disordered attachments in advancing toward God.
The Second Week presents exercises proper to the movement of the Illuminative Way -with the acquiring of virtues in the imitation of Christ, where we are called to participate with Him in spreading His kingdom.
The Third and Fourth Weeks have the contemplative characteristics of the Unitive or Perfective Way with activities to establish a habitual and intimate union with God through Christ. We associate closely with Christ
in His Suffering in the Third Week
in His and the disciples' Joy in the Fourth Week.
The Dynamic Weeks concludes with the Contemplation to Attain the Love of God
Also within the Exercises are the Rules of Discernment, Ways of Prayer ( Vocal, Mental - Discursive, Imaginative, Contemplative); and Examination of Conscience ( General and Particular).
You are Invited
To Journey as a Pilgrim to See All Things New in Christ
The Full Exercises
"The Retreat in Everyday Life" (19th Annotation) 9 months/32 weeks
"The Retreat in Everyday Life" (18th Annotation) Time frame varies