Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola

Spiritual ExercisesSpiritual Exercises of St. IgnatiusIgnatian exercisesIgnatian spiritualityIgnatianSpiritual Exercises of Saint IgnatiusexercisesExercises of St. IgnatiusExercitia spiritualiaIgnatian retreats.
The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (Latin original: Exercitia spiritualia), composed 1522–1524, are a set of Christian meditations, contemplations, and prayers written by Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th-century Spanish priest, theologian, and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).wikipedia
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Ignatius of Loyola

St. Ignatius of LoyolaIgnatius LoyolaSaint Ignatius of Loyola
The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (Latin original: Exercitia spiritualia), composed 1522–1524, are a set of Christian meditations, contemplations, and prayers written by Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th-century Spanish priest, theologian, and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
He recorded his method in a celebrated treatise called the Spiritual Exercises, a simple set of meditations, prayers, and other mental exercises, first published in 1548.

Society of Jesus

JesuitJesuitsS.J.
The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (Latin original: Exercitia spiritualia), composed 1522–1524, are a set of Christian meditations, contemplations, and prayers written by Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th-century Spanish priest, theologian, and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
He composed the Spiritual Exercises to help others follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Retreat (spiritual)

retreatretreatsspiritual retreat
They were composed with the intention of helping participants in religious retreats to discern the will of God in their lives, leading to a personal commitment to follow Jesus whatever the cost.
Retreats are also popular in Christian churches, and were established in today's form by St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), in his Spiritual Exercises.

Christian contemplation

theoriacontemplative prayercontemplation
The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (Latin original: Exercitia spiritualia), composed 1522–1524, are a set of Christian meditations, contemplations, and prayers written by Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th-century Spanish priest, theologian, and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
Similarly, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, in his 30-day retreat or Spiritual Exercises beginning in the "second week" with its focus on the life of Jesus, describes less reflection and more simple contemplation on the events of Jesus' life.

Christian meditation

meditationmeditationsconcentrate intensely
The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (Latin original: Exercitia spiritualia), composed 1522–1524, are a set of Christian meditations, contemplations, and prayers written by Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th-century Spanish priest, theologian, and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola use meditative mental imagery, with the goal of knowing Christ more intimately and loving him more ardently.

Spain

SpanishESPKingdom of Spain
The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (Latin original: Exercitia spiritualia), composed 1522–1524, are a set of Christian meditations, contemplations, and prayers written by Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th-century Spanish priest, theologian, and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
The Society of Jesus was co-founded by Ignatius of Loyola, whose Spiritual Exercises and movement led to the establishment of hundreds of colleges and universities in the world, including 28 in the United States alone.

Manresa

Televisió de Manresa
From Montserrat, he left for Barcelona but took a detour through the town of Manresa, where he eventually remained for several months, continuing his convalescence at a local hospital.
He also read in solitude in a cave near the town for a year, which contributed to the formulation of his Spiritual Exercises.

Ignatian spirituality

IgnatianIgnatian traditionJesuit spirituality
The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius form the cornerstone of Ignatian Spirituality: a way of understanding and living one's relationship with God in the world as practiced by members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
The main idea of this form of spirituality comes from Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises, the aim of which is to help one "conquer oneself and to regulate one's life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment."

Spiritual direction

spiritual directorspiritual advisorspiritual directors
The Exercises were designed to be carried out while under the guidance of a spiritual director, but they were never meant only for monks or priests: Ignatius gave the Exercises for 15 years before he was ordained, and years before the Society of Jesus was founded.
The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola are a popular example of guidelines used for spiritual direction.

Jan Roothaan

Father General RoothaanFather RoothanGeneral Roothaan
Archival work on the authentic text of the Spiritual Exercises was undertaken at the initiative of the 19th century Jesuit Superior General Jan Roothaan, who himself published a translation and notes from the original manuscripts of St. Ignatius.

Devotio Moderna

Modern Devotiondevotio moderna (modern devotion)
The monks introduced him to the spiritual exercises of Garcia de Cisneros, which were based in large part on the teachings of the Brothers of the Common Life, the promoters of the "devotio moderna".
Garcias de Cisneros the abbot of the abbey of Montserrat was influenced by the Devotio Moderna and his book Ejercitatorio de la vida spiritual, i.e. "exercises for the spiritual life" became one of the primary sources for the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola.

Examination of conscience

Examenautocritiqueexamination
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.
In his Spiritual Exercises he presents different forms of it in the particular and general examination (24-43).

Teresa of Ávila

Teresa of AvilaSaint Teresa of ÁvilaSaint Teresa of Avila
This aspect of the Spiritual Exercises reflects the trend toward mysticism in Catholic thought which flourished during the time of the counter-reformation (e.g., with Teresa of Ávila, Francis de Sales, and Pierre de Bérulle).
She also dipped into other mystical ascetic works such as the Tractatus de oratione et meditatione of Peter of Alcantara, and perhaps some upon which Ignatius of Loyola based his Spiritual Exercises—possibly the Spiritual Exercises themselves.

Christian mysticism

Christian mysticmysticmysticism
This aspect of the Spiritual Exercises reflects the trend toward mysticism in Catholic thought which flourished during the time of the counter-reformation (e.g., with Teresa of Ávila, Francis de Sales, and Pierre de Bérulle).
The Spanish had Ignatius Loyola, whose Spiritual Exercises were designed to open people to a receptive mode of consciousness in which they can experience God through careful spiritual direction and through understanding how the mind connects to the will and how to weather the experiences of spiritual consolation and desolation; Teresa of Ávila, who used the metaphors of watering a garden and walking through the rooms of a castle to explain how meditation leads to union with God; and John of the Cross, who used a wide range of biblical and spiritual influences both to rewrite the traditional "three ways" of mysticism after the manner of bridal mysticism and to present the two "dark nights": the dark night of the senses and the dark night of the soul, during which the individual renounces everything that might become an obstacle between the soul and God and then experiences the pain of feeling separated from God, unable to carry on normal spiritual exercises, as it encounters the enormous gap between its human nature and God's divine wisdom and light and moves up the 10-step ladder of ascent towards God.

Christian Life Community

CLCChristian Life CommunitiesChristian Life group
The Exercises are also popular among lay people both in the Catholic Church and in other denominations, and lay organizations like the Christian life community place the Exercises at the center of their spirituality.
The Christian Life Community (CLC) is an international association of lay Christians who have adopted an Ignatian model of spiritual life.

Discernment of Spirits

discernmentDiscerning of spirits
A major aim of the Exercises is the development of discernment (discretio), the ability to discern between good and evil spirits.
Ignatius lays out his 23 rules for the discernment of spirits in his Spiritual Exercises manual for those who direct others through retreats.

Cave of Saint Ignatius

cave nearbycaveManresa
He also spent much of his time praying in a cave nearby, where he practiced rigorous asceticism.
The Cave of Saint Ignatius is a sanctuary declared as a Local Cultural Heritage that includes a baroque church and a neoclassical building in Manresa (Catalonia), which was created to honor the place where, according to tradition, Saint Ignatius of Loyola shut himself in a cave to pray and do penance during his sojourn in the city from March 1522 to February 1523, where he wrote the Spiritual Exercises returning from his pilgrimage to Montserrat.

Counter-Reformation

Counter ReformationCounterreformationCatholic Reformation
This aspect of the Spiritual Exercises reflects the trend toward mysticism in Catholic thought which flourished during the time of the counter-reformation (e.g., with Teresa of Ávila, Francis de Sales, and Pierre de Bérulle).
Loyola's masterwork Spiritual Exercises showed the emphasis of handbooks characteristic of Catholic reformers before the Reformation, reminiscent of devotionalism.

Magis

greater good
Ask yourself, "What do I see? What do I hear? What do I feel, taste and smell?” The purpose of these Exercises is that we might gain the empathy to "follow and imitate more closely our Lord." From this comes the widespread use of the Magis concept in Ignatian circles.
Modern use of the word is often traced to St. Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises or retreat, where he would have the exercitant ask: "What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? and What ought I to do for Christ?"

Latin

Latin languageLat.la
The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (Latin original: Exercitia spiritualia), composed 1522–1524, are a set of Christian meditations, contemplations, and prayers written by Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th-century Spanish priest, theologian, and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

Prayer

prayprayerspraying
The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (Latin original: Exercitia spiritualia), composed 1522–1524, are a set of Christian meditations, contemplations, and prayers written by Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th-century Spanish priest, theologian, and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

Priesthood in the Catholic Church

priestpriesthoodCatholic priest
The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (Latin original: Exercitia spiritualia), composed 1522–1524, are a set of Christian meditations, contemplations, and prayers written by Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th-century Spanish priest, theologian, and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

Theology

theologiantheologicaltheologians
The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (Latin original: Exercitia spiritualia), composed 1522–1524, are a set of Christian meditations, contemplations, and prayers written by Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th-century Spanish priest, theologian, and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

Jesus

Jesus ChristChristJesus of Nazareth
They were composed with the intention of helping participants in religious retreats to discern the will of God in their lives, leading to a personal commitment to follow Jesus whatever the cost.

Loyola Press

Loyola University Press
A review of the publication history of the Spiritual Exercises may be found on the website of Loyola Press.