The exercises themselves consist of meditations on Scripture passages as well as prayers, considerations (imaginative mental exercises), and contemplative practices, all designed to allow Christians to learn how to see God’s grace active in their everyday lives. The Spiritual Exercises are a compilation of meditations, prayers, and contemplative practices developed by St. Ignatius Loyola to help people deepen their relationship with God. But all sorts of un-freedoms get in the way. Praying to the Lord we love and who loves us is a top blessing for us believers. Top Ten Spiritual Strength-Training Exercises. © Mari-Anna Stålnacke and Flowing Faith, 2009-2020. TYPES OF SPIRITUAL EXERCISES ‘Prayer has a form, a sound and a physical reality. Essentially, we are invited to enter into a particular scene, place ourselves there, speak with the characters or simply contemplate them in silence, and generally become immersed in the scene as far as possible with our whole being. You will conceive and bear a son and will call him Jesus. Was it a movement of consolation or desolation? The person is invited to contemplate the life and mission of Jesus Christ, precisely, in terms of the desired grace of this Week (made popular by the musical Godspell): “that I may know you more clearly, love you more dearly, follow you more nearly” (Sp.Ex 104). It is not a kind of grovelling denial of what God has given us, much less of His work in and through us. Some of your best moments in life can be with family, but some others may not be so memorable. After the prayer period, during the 10 or so minutes of reflection (and possibly journal-writing), we reflect on what feelings were evoked during our time of contemplation. We also grow in our Christian life by prayer. Meditation, Concentration and Contemplation. The Exercises have also been adapted in many other ways to meet the needs of modern people. Be richly blessed as you exercise daily in God! 7)    Stepping out in faith when urged to do something of contemplation to be carried out over about a month. Week three: to “confirm the conformed”—the focus of the third week is on the Passion and death of Jesus so as to share in and identify more closely with his suffering and to deepen our commitment to him. The new freedom which results from this period of purification is usually felt as a graced determination to order one’s life accordingly and enter into one’s Christian discipleship with renewed enthusiasm and seriousness. Between the meditations of the Call of Christ the King and the Two Standards, we are invited to focus on the birth and early life of Jesus. The reason this meditation immediately precedes the last section of the second week is that, at this point, the retreatant is invited to discern his or her vocation in life or some other major decision. 9)    Service of others One of Ignatius’ helps to such immersion is the ‘application of the senses’ where one is invited to ‘see’, ‘hear’, ‘touch’, ‘taste’ and ‘smell’ the particular scene (cf SpExx 121-126). The Exercises were intended for use during a retreat; It might otherwise be called Two Ways or, in Fleming’s terms, Two Leaders, Two Strategies. He published the Spiritual Exercises in 1548. and was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. In his Spiritual Exercises, he described three kinds of humility: To humble myself to total obedience to God. Notice that it has two parts, each with its set of points. First Day, First Contemplation: The Incarnation (101-110) The supplementary material of SpExx 261-288 provide suggested relevant Gospel texts. 4: 6-10, MSG, emphasis mine). The most common way of going through the Exercises now is a “retreat in daily life,” which involves a monthslong program of daily prayer and meetings with a spiritual director. With the lived experience of the First Week, the retreatant has come to a renewed personal awareness of the love and forgiveness of an infinitely compassionate and merciful God. A Visit to the Rooms of St Ignatius Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola: Week 2. For those who are already committed to a state of life, it is the opportunity to renew such a commitment. (John 3:16), In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David. Such contemplation provides a peaceful and gentle lead-in to the discernment of one’s particular vocation and the challenges of accepting such a call to discipleship. It is part of the genius of Ignatius that he was able to recognise a pattern in the stages experienced by one who sincerely enters into the experience of the Spiritual Exercises with generosity and openness. What are your best strength-training exercises? The Spiritual Exercises are a compilation of meditations, prayers, and contemplative practices developed by St. Ignatius Loyola to help people deepen their relationship with God. In the second and more important part, the focus transfers to Christ himself. Q4U: What would you add/withdraw? St. Ignatius, like many spiritual masters over the centuries, suggested that humility was a prerequisite for the spiritual life.


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