The Spiritual Exercises and the Importance of Looking Back

On a scorching day last summer, my sister-in-law took me on an architectural tour of her neighborhood in the hills of west Los Angeles, guiding us through a hundred years of local history and a few hundred feet elevation change. The stairway that took us down into the arroyo was stolidly utilitarian—bleached white concrete with steel banisters, gritty dirt underfoot, and a few tenacious weeds trying to establish a beachhead on the landings, 125 steps […]

John 15 and the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love

Michael Sparough, SJ, offers a homily on the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love in response to John 15:9–17, which includes Jesus’ command to his disciples: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Fr. Sparough says that the Contemplation to Obtain Divine Love might better be translated as “a meditation on how God is alluring us. God is luring us to fall in love with him.” He continues on to consider the four meditation points […]

At the End of the Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life

Margery Eagan has spent the last nine months doing the Spiritual Exercises in daily life, writing about some of the experience for Crux. As she nears the end of the Exercises, she writes: I look around the room. I hear the childcare worker, the nurse, the academic dean, the lawyer, the retired financier, the young man doing prison ministry, the young Jesuits from all around the world. These are serious Catholics talking not about Church […]

A Lesson from the Exercises

At Catholic Philly, Effie Caldarola shares her experience with the 19th annotation, or the Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life. In theory, I always believed God loved me. The Catechism tells me that and Scripture certainly does. But somewhere in my religious education, I came to see a judgmental God, a God who kept “grocery lists” of my sins and loved me with a conditional love. When I was good, God loved me, but I was […]

Justice in the Spiritual Exercises

I’ve recently pondered how the theme of God’s justice fits into the Spiritual Exercises. Our traditional understanding of justice is getting what one deserves. God’s justice, however, is more about a desire for us to be whole, based in love and compassion. St. Ignatius was a Castilian military man, part of a justice system of fighting, capturing, and revenge. After the Castilians captured and occupied the land of Navarre, the citizens tried to drive them […]

Three Kinds of People

Fr. Michael Sparough, SJ, offers a homily that includes a discussion of the three kinds of people as categorized by St. Ignatius in the Spiritual Exercises. The types, as Sparough explains, are: First: all talk and no action Second: will do anything but the one thing necessary Third: surrender their lives into the hands of the Lord

Contemplation to Attain the Love of God

The final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises is the Contemplation to Attain the Love of God. Today, let yourself be guided through this contemplation with this beautiful video. If you were to make a video of your experience with the contemplation, what images would you include?

Digitally Enhanced Spiritual Exercises and More to Celebrate Our Anniversary is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month. We have a few things planned to mark the occasion, and our online party will last throughout May. Paul Campbell, SJ, kicks off our celebration with this video greeting: Digitally Enhanced Experience of the Spiritual Exercises The digitally enhanced experience of the Spiritual Exercises mentioned in the video can be found here. Developed for spiritual directors and other practitioners of Ignatian spirituality, the Spiritual Exercises online supports […]

Surrendering to God’s Love

This post is based on Week Eight of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Contemplating the love of the Creator opened my heart to a new world, one that I needed to explore and experience. After all, it was the way Jesus prayed. He surrendered to the Father, the one who creates and sustains all things. In my prayer, I began to contemplate the mystery of God’s creation—from the galaxies of the cosmos to the tiniest of […]

Ignatius and the Sacraments

The Spiritual Exercises are not just a listing of meditations separated into four “weeks.” They are much more than that. They are a work of art that has inspired thousands, if not millions, of Christians throughout the last five centuries. And while Ignatius offers them as a model of prayer and discernment, the Exercises also model how one lives the sacramental life in the Church. Since Ignatius was very much a part of the Catholic […]

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