Anthony de Mello on the Spiritual Exercises

The Spiritual Exercises are “a crash program for centering our hearts on God,” said Anthony de Mello, the famed Jesuit psychotherapist and spiritual director who died in 1987.  De Mello said this in 1975 in a series of talks on the Exercises that he gave to small group of Jesuit spiritual directors.  These talks were taped and laboriously transcribed–and then the transcripts were stored in an archive for 30 years.  But they were unearthed, and they are the basis for a new book, Seek God Everywhere: Reflections on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.The book preserves the informal, conversational style of De Mello’s talks, and shows his talent for saying things in a fresh and striking way.

Let us not pain ourselves again and and waste a lot of spiritual energy.  The new life is a gift of God.  There has to be a flowering that comes from within our very self, from deep down inside us.  When we suddenly flower and bear the full fruit of what a human being really is, then we go out to another completely.  If we try to produce this otherwise, we are in for trouble. . . . We should not try to produce it by ourselves.  Rather we must desire it and relax: the Lord will give it to us.


  1. We just read this book as a couple, talking and reflecting about it. When the question of -what would you do for Christ/and wait for what my/our minds presents it with, we both have different answers and perspectives on this, which limits us in a way. Maybe it is easier to do as a single jesuit/monk etc. but for couples it seems difficult. any thoughts on this?


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