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The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola (Preface Included)
     

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola (Preface Included)

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by Saint Ignatius
 

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The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, (composed from 1522-1524) are a set of Christian meditations, prayers and mental exercises, divided into four thematic 'weeks' of variable length, designed to be carried out over a period of 28 to 30 days. They were composed with the intention of helping the retreatant to discern Jesus in his life, leading then to a

Overview

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, (composed from 1522-1524) are a set of Christian meditations, prayers and mental exercises, divided into four thematic 'weeks' of variable length, designed to be carried out over a period of 28 to 30 days. They were composed with the intention of helping the retreatant to discern Jesus in his life, leading then to a personal commitment to follow him. Though the underlying spiritual outlook is Catholic, the exercises are often made nowadays by non-Catholics. The 'Spiritual Exercises' booklet was formally approved in 1548 by Paul III.

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius form the cornerstone of Ignatian Spirituality, a way of understanding and living the human relationship with God in the world exemplified in the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Although originally designed to take place in the setting of a secluded retreat, during which those undergoing the exercises would be focused on nothing other than the Exercises, in his introductory notes, Ignatius provides a model for completing the Exercises over a longer period without the need of seclusion. The Exercises were designed to be carried out while under the direction of a spiritual director. The Spiritual Exercises were never meant only for the vowed religious. Ignatius of Loyola gave the Exercises for 15 years before he was ordained, and years before the Society of Jesus was even founded. After the Society was formed, the Exercises became the central component of the Jesuit novitiate training program, and they usually take place during the first year of a two year novitiate. Ignatius considered the examen, or spiritual self-review, to be the most important way to continue to live out the experience of the Exercises after their completion. When lay people have undergone the Exercises, this is often under the guidance of a spiritual director who is a member of the religious order of Jesuits. In contemporary experience, more and more lay people and non-Catholics are becoming both retreatants and directors of the Exercises.

Within the Exercises, daily instructions include various meditations and contemplations on the nature of the world, of human psychology as Ignatius understood it, and of man's relationship to God through Jesus Christ. The Exercises is divided into "four weeks" of varying lengths with four major themes: sin, the life of Jesus, the Passion of Jesus, and the Resurrection of Jesus. During each day of the Exercises, a typical retreatant prays with a particular exercise, as assigned by the director, reviews each prayer, and, following four or five periods of prayer, reports back to the spiritual director of the retreat who helps them to understand what these experiences of prayer might mean to the retreatant. The goal of the Exercises is to reflect upon their experiences and to understand how these same experiences might apply to the retreatant's life.

In Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises, God and Satan are presented as active players in the world and in the human psyche. The main aim of the Exercises is the development within the human psyche of "discernment" (discretio), the ability to discern between good and evil spirits. Discernment is achieved in order to act "with the Grace of God". In other words, to act on the spiritual discernment one has had on what is right. This is the context within which, during the exercises, one thinks about humility, selflessness for the sake of the religious life, reflection upon natural sin. There is an acknowledgment that the human soul is continually drawn in two directions: both drawn towards Godliness, and at the same time tempted towards baseness. ccordingly the Exercises provide several illustrations of how one might best be able to refrain from satiating one's lower desires and instead how one might find a means to redirect one's energies towards the fulfillment of one's higher purpose in life.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940015705089
Publisher:
Balefire Publishing
Publication date:
09/15/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
260
Sales rank:
1,238,370
File size:
12 MB
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This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Ignatius of Loyola (1491 – July 31, 1556) was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation. Loyola's devotion to the Catholic Church was characterized by unquestioning obedience to the Catholic Church's authority and hierarchy.

After being seriously wounded at the Battle of Pamplona in 1521, he underwent a spiritual conversion while in recovery. De Vita Christi by Ludolph of Saxony inspired Loyola to abandon his previous military life and devote himself to labour for God, following the example of spiritual leaders such as Francis of Assisi. He experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus while at the shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat in March 1522. Thereafter he went to Manresa, where he began praying for seven hours a day, often in a nearby cave, while formulating the fundamentals of the Spiritual Exercises. In September 1523, Loyola reached the Holy Land to settle there, but was sent back to Europe by the Franciscans.

Between 1524 and 1537, Ignatius studied theology and Latin in Spain and then in Paris. In 1534, he arrived in the latter city during a period of anti-Protestant turmoil which forced John Calvin to flee France. Ignatius and a few followers bound themselves by vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In 1539, they formed the Society of Jesus, approved in 1540 by Pope Paul III, as well as his Spiritual Exercises approved in 1548. Loyola also composed the Constitutions of the Society. He died in July 1556, was beatified by Pope Paul V in 1609, canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622, and declared patron of all spiritual retreats by Pope Pius XI in 1922.

Ignatius' feast day is celebrated on July 31. Ignatius is a foremost patron saint of soldiers, the Society of Jesus, the Basque Country, and the provinces of Guipúzcoa and Biscay.

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The Spiritual Exercises Of St. Ignatius Of Loyola 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a poor scan of the original document. Had I known it would be this difficult to read on my Nook, I would have purchased a different copy.