Exercising Your Soul: Fifteen Minutes a Day to a Spiritual Life

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A fitness program for the soul that offers simple techniques to recharge your spirit and enhance your relationships with yourself, with others, and most importantly, with God. Jansen's engaging, personal style brings to life each of the practices he suggests as he shares his own growth through the disciplines.

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Overview

A fitness program for the soul that offers simple techniques to recharge your spirit and enhance your relationships with yourself, with others, and most importantly, with God. Jansen's engaging, personal style brings to life each of the practices he suggests as he shares his own growth through the disciplines.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this conversational guide to historic and contemporary Christian meditative exercises, Doubleday religion editor Jansen persuasively argues that the incorporation of spiritual practices into one's daily routine is not only desirable but achievable without extraordinary effort. The book is divided into five sections, one offering the rationale for trying to connect with God, and four that walk the reader through exercises devoted to prayer, encountering God, engaging the parables, and meditating on the Stations of the Cross (this section includes both traditional and contemporary versions). Chapters build on each other: for example, the parable exercises incorporate previously introduced prayers. Jansen's relaxed, second-person narrative voice amuses and inspires trust; when discussing Christ as the intersection between humanity and all creation he begins, "I hate to do this to you, but I would like to talk briefly about math." Small vignettes and stories reflective of the author's own spiritual journey appear throughout; some, including the two that open and close the book, "White Rabbits" and "Coda," have a magical realism tone, adding a playful element to this well-done spiritual workbook, which both individuals and groups may find enlightening and useful. (Aug.)
Fr. Joseph F. Girzone
"This book will be fun to read and will lead readers into what will be for many, a new and exciting adventure."
James Martin
"Prayer is not just for the saints, but for you. Gary Jansen's beautiful book is filled with simple, how-to advice on jump-starting your relationship with God. Using insights from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, Jansen offers straight-forward advice on how to begin, or deepen, your relationship with the One who loved us into being."
Paul Coutinho
"This is one of the rare books where the author captures the authentic goal of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, namely, Dive Union and the interconnectedness of all life. In a simple and collective style, Gary Jansen makes it easier to experience God who is present in every creature."
author of Hard as Nails and Win it All Justin Fatica
"Gary Jansen's powerful book will send you into a spiritual awakening. Start reading Exercising Your Soul and you will truly desire to love others in a new way. He not only writes a beautiful work, but more importantly, he lives the message."
New York Times bestselling author of The Rhythm of Matthew Kelly
"Exercising Your Soul is brilliant! Whether you are a beginning or a vetran of the spiritual life I think you will find Gary Jansen's approach immensibly practical."
Mike Aquilina
"I love this book. Gary Jansen has an endearing, attention-deficit quality that lets him deliver big lessons not only painlessly, but humorously. He goes deep, and takes us readers deep, without even a whiff of pious unction. For Jansen, a tattooed foot on the subway is the start of a mystical flight. By the end of the story, we know that these everyday distractions should be graces for us as well."
author of Beyond Blue Therese Borchard
"Gary Jansen has accomplished what no other spiritual author before him has: explained the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola in language I understand! He educates, entertains, and inspires with his charming stories and simple prose."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446539531
  • Publisher: FaithWords
  • Publication date: 8/9/2010
  • Pages: 186
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Jansen
Gary Jansen is an editor at Doubleday Religion and the former editor-in-chief of the Quality Paperback Book Club. His writing has appeared in USA Today, Newsday, and the Chicago Sun-Times.

PRAISE FOR THE AUTHOR:
"Jansen's introduction has strong appeal to people like me-Protestants who are rediscovering the Catholic practices our parents and grandparents discarded generations ago. His images of love and relationship, as to why we pray the rosary, are right on target."
--- Jon Sweeney, author of The St. Francis Prayer Book and Almost Catholic

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fifteen minutes a day to a spiritual life!

    Do you know the story of Raider's of the Lost Ark?

    Our hero Indiana Jones is asked to track down the famed and legendary ark of the covenant before the Nazis, in the years before World War II, locate it to use for devious purposes. Now, the ark is this box that holds the Ten Commandments, the stone tablets that God gave to Moses and that ancient Hebrews treasured and carried with them wherever they went. At some point in history the ark went missing and has been sought after ever since, because it is said that whoever wields the ark will have great power - the power of God.

    After Christ's death, resurrection, and ascension, the Holy Spirit makes his presence known to the apostles and in turn becomes a living fire that burns in each and every one of us. This means that each of us carries within the Word of God, the new agreement, the new covenant. This in turn means that each of us is an ark of the covenant. Each of us is a container for the great and awesome power of God. This does not make us God, but God is present in every one of us. Every one of us contains the awesome power of God.

    In the book, Exercising Your Soul by Gary Jansen, he uses stories like the one mentioned about to draw you back to the intimate relationship we should all have with God if we are willing to give just fifteen minutes of our day to God. This is a wonderful and simple book to use each morning to awaken a new insight into awakening our souls ready to receive God for the day.

    I received this book, compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I can honestly say this book has enhanced the relationship and prayer life I share with God each day. Not only that the stories that Gary uses makes each concept simple for anyone to understand. I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars!

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  • Posted June 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Blueprint for Better Spirituality

    Practical and thought provoking, Jansen's book makes meditation and prayer accessible to everyone. Combining both eastern and western styles of meditation, the short daily exercises are good for both those who meditate on a daily basis as well as people who have never tried meditation before. In addition, Jansen's dry witty narrative keeps the book from having a holier than thou attitude and creates a sense of intimacy between the author and reader. I would definitely recommend this book to others and I plan on giving it as a gift to various friends and family.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted July 21, 2011

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    Posted December 22, 2010

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    Posted August 15, 2011

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