An Outline of the Spiritual Exercises

First Principle and Foundation

  • God’s creative, unconditional love and call for total response.
  • A positive sense of God, self, creation.
  • Desire for freedom.

First Week: Purgation

The problem of evil: global and personal sin.

The need for healing from fear, guilt, poor self-image.

Conversion from personal sin (not a breach of a law but of a love relationship).

  • Coming to faith in Christ crucified (Paul to the Romans).
  • Knowing oneself as totally forgiven.
  • Baptism and reconciliation.

Discipleship: Incorporation into Christ.

  • The Call of the King: Christ’s call to follow him.
  • Deeper desire to be a disciple.

Second Week: Illumination

Contemplation of Jesus in the Gospels.

  • In his infancy: in the imaginative stories of Matthew and Luke.
  • In his adult life: his message to all, and to me.

A choice to follow him:

  • In spiritual poverty, self-emptying, and humility.
  • Rejecting the way of evil: greed, honors, and pride.
  • A practical decision to live one’s life with and for Christ in service.

Third and Fourth Weeks: Union

The Passion of Christ: strength to carry out one’s mission.

Deeper sorrow for sin and compassion for God’s suffering people.

To live in the joy of the Lord: making a total response of love to God’s Love.

Contemplation on God’s Love: a deep and generous response to God’s gifts.