Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatious

Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius in Everyday life

The 19th Annotation

St Ignatius Loyola who is the founder of the Society of Jesus, wrote the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. This teaching came through his own conversion experiences in 1521. The Spiritual Exercises have provided guidance and encouragement for its’ retreatants for many hundreds of years. The aim of Spiritual Exercises is to assist people in finding God’s will for their life, and to give them the motivation and courage to follow that will. These exercises contain a collection of thoughts, rules, encouragements, readings, meditations, prayers, warnings, and notes. This writing is organized into four “weeks,” or periods of time, with each week focusing upon a different theme.

The first, human sin;
The second, Christ’s life on earth;
The third, Christ’s death on the cross;
The fourth, Christ’s risen life.

A key theme throughout the Spiritual Exercises is discernment–the need to discern between good desires and evil desires in one’s life. It is by following the four weeks, and by utilizing such discernment, that a person can better realize God’s will for his or her own life. Although more profitably worked through with another person or spiritual director, Spiritual Exercises can be extremely beneficial for private personal study.

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When on a Ignatian Retreat with the Exercises, what are you asked to do?
Pray for one hour over the scriptures per day
-Keep an ongoing journal
-Meet weekly with a Spiritual Director
-Continue meeting regularly throughout the 9-10 month period of time

Interested in learning more? Contact Kathy Diener at kdiener@stgabrielchurch.org.