Item description for The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius: Saint Ignatius' Profound Precepts of Mystical Theology by Anthony Mottola...
Overview Written in 1533, this masterpiece by St. Ignatius has long been recognized as a brilliant and inspired guide to the development of a deeper spirituality.
"The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius," one of the great masterpieces of the Christian canon, today continues to offer some of the most accessible and insightful guidance for going on retreat -- whether as a part of a group or by oneself. Based on the rich fruit of St. Ignatius' own meditations and practice, this guide for spiritual perfection has been treasured and faithfully used for centuries by members of the saint's Jesuit order and by millions more. Divided into four weeks of reflections and four key meditations -- on the Kingdom of God, the Two Standards (of Christ and Satan), the Three Classes of Men, and the Three Modes of Humility -- the whole retreat has at its center the emulation of Christ. Retreat masters, retreatants, and readers will benefit particualrly from Anthony Mottola's new translation, which renders the timeless masterpiece into language both accessible and faithful to St. Ignatius' original expression and spirit. The "Exercises" have been universally recognized as a brilliant and inspired guide to the development of a deeper Christian spirituality ever since St. Ignatius completed them in 1533. Great saints -- as well as countless religious and lay people -- have been spiritually shaped through their dedicated use. This four-week system of meditation and prayer continues to be the very backbone of Ignatian retreats, where earnest seekers come to examine their lives, contemplate the future, face decisions, and revitalize their souls. Both religious and lay people make Ignatian retreats to renew their Christian dedication and enthusiasm, but even those who cannot make such retreats have profited greatly from a careful reading of the "Exercises."
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.22" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.59" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Jan 7, 1964
ISBN 0385024363 ISBN13 9780385024365
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For the Dedicated May 12, 2007
Ignatius here presents a thirty day retreat for one seeking communion with God through meditation. It presumes a leader coaching participants through the experience.
Three things are immediately notable about the work. First, it is extremely systematic. Ignatius has to a minute detail what subjects the participant is to think about. Secondly, it is remarkably different from Calvin's writings on spiritual growth and development. For all of Calvin's rejection of the Catholic rites and focus on grace, Ignatius here recommends the exact things that Calvin rejects as a means to the same end. Third, it is remarkable how much recommends the examination of conscience as a remedy for sin.
The first week is broken down into a series of five "exercises," or meditations on a set subject, primarily on sin and hell.
The second "week" is a series of twelve days that focus reflections on subject matters of the Scriptures. Here he presents the concept of using the five senses to imagine the situations of Scriptural figures (second week, first day, fifth contemplation). Other scriptural subjects including Jesus' departure from Nazareth, Christ in the desert, the disciples following Christ, the sermon on the mount (although he does not expound upon it), walking on the water, the resurrection of Lazarus, and Palm Sunday.
The third week is all about the Passion of Christ, but is a brief seven pages, with a random excursus on fasting.
The fourth week teaches three kinds of prayer: the prayer through the ten commandments, prayer that focuses on the meaning of every word of the prayer, and rhythmic recitation of the Lord's Prayer or the creed. The rest of the week is a reflection on the "mysteries" of Jesus' life, which largely seems to be a chronological summary of his life.
What's most fascinating about the book is the rigor applied to the mental life. There is very little to actively "do" on the retreat, but there is so much concentration required that few of us could actually do it.
Careful - these prayers where never published as a book without an experienced guide as they are now Sep 3, 2006
If you are looking for a common and useful type of Catholic spiritual exercise, you should know first that the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola may be a bit too dense and problematical for what you want. Many people like to pretend that they can do them on their own without an experienced Jesuit to monitor them. That is a 'new age' invention. It has nothing to do with how these exercises are actually praticed by those who hold the rightful ownership over them, namely the Jesuit order in full communion with the Holy See.
I would instead point you in the direction of The Divine Office (also called The Liturgy of the Hours) as a very wholesome and progressive type of daily prayer that is recommended to all the laity around the globe by the Holy See. The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola are certainly more than a little too heady and intense because of its meditations on topics like sinners in hell. I would recommend that you maybe read through the Spiritual Exercises and try to answer the questions without too much spiritual intensity (using more reason and logic than feelings) or adopting the extreme environmental settings that Jesuits would undertake in doing them. As laity you are not supposed to be doing these on your own anyway. After talking to a Jesuit, I found out that the exercises are not for everybody and the person undertaking the exercises, needs supervision. This can not be understated. Anything to the contrary would be a brand new invention by the reader.
God is love. Christianity without love is not Christianity.
I recommend that you look for other books about the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius that cover his autobiography with some more material concerning the historical period in which these exercises where written. These exercises need to be understood within context. For those who try to do them without the authorized guide... don't forget the Love.
Masterful Mar 3, 2004
This book is an excellent way to further explore your relationship with God. Ignatius will open your eyes to the realities of what it means to truly meditate. These excercises have been practiced for centuries for a reason. If you get a chance I would recommend going on a weekend retreat at a Jesuit House to further your understanding of the excercises, and further your prayer life.
A Spiritual Treasure Nov 9, 2001
"The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius" is one of the literary treasures of Christendom. Written by St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, in the 16th Century, it presents St. Ignatius' formula for the pursuit of spiritual perfection.
The book itself provides a "guidebook", if you will, for a 30 day Ignatian retreat. St. Ignatius presents meditations for each day of the retreat. The meditations are very brief, leaving broad latitude for the retreat master to direct the retreat along the path most likely to be helpful to the retreatants.
While this book certainly is not a "do it yourself" retreat book, it does provide the reader with an accurate insight into the essence of Ignatian Spirituality. The story of the conversion of St. Ignatius is told in the introductory sections of the book. St. Ignatius was an ambitious young Basque nobleman in the service of the King of Spain when he suffered a severe leg wound at the battle of Pampeluna. While recuperating in Loyola Castle, he read the lives of the saints, a book witch redirected his service from that of the King of Spain to the service of the King of Heaven. As he gradually discerned his calling he unsuccessfully attempted a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, among other pious exercises. He used the method of his discernment process as a guideline for others, whether to discern their proper state in life or to more perfectly orient their lives toward God. The essence of Ignatian spiritually is that all creation is good. It was created by God to lead all people to Him. The duty of every Christian is to use all of creation to give honor and glory of God, and to use it to lead all men to their creator. Just as all creation if fulfilled in God, so to are all people. The Spiritual Exercises encourage us to always view every potential action in light of how it can give the greatest honor and glory to God. In so doing it provides us with a standard by which to live our lives.
In addition to this general spiritual direction, I found a specific, practical value in this book. Throughout the book, St. Ignatius, in keeping with his view of all creation as reflecting the glory of God, repeatedly encourages us to use our mind's eye to paint the picture of the scenes depicted in the Scripture which we are reading. We should imagine the sights, the sounds, the smells, the inflections in the voices, every detail which will bring us into the world of Scripture. This has been very helpful to me in my roll as Lector at my church. I think of St. Ignatius' admonitions every time I try to bring the sacred readings alive to the congregation.
Perhaps each of you would be touched in ways differently than I, but I feel confident that this book will touch and improve the lives of all who read it and meditate upon it.
Man's purpose in life explained Apr 11, 1999
The classical approach to finding yourself and your God and understanding your relationship with him. For anyone struggling to make major life changing decisions, this is a MUST.