Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius’

Jesuit Conducts “Retreats of the Future”

Jesuit Father Rodney Kissinger has been a Jesuit since entering the Society of Jesus in 1942. At 96 years old, Fr. Kissinger still finds the time to help those who are interesting in experiencing the  Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

In February 2004, Kissinger wrote an article for the print version of National Jesuit News explaining his idea of conducting retreats using the power of the internet by having the retreatant and the spiritual director conduct the retreat all via email communications. Since that time, Kissinger has had much success in conducting these very kinds of retreats and now shares with us his experiences and those who have come to him for spiritual guidance and direction. You can find out more about Kissinger’s approach to the Spiritual Exercises by visiting his site at www.frksj.org.

Most of my priestly life of over 60 years has been spent giving the Spiritual Exercises. I have given the preached retreat, the guided retreat, the personally directed retreat, the 19th annotation retreat and now I am giving, with great joy and much success, a type of retreat of which Ignatius could never have even dreamed. And a type of retreat that I am sure the author of the “tantum quantum” and the “magis” would have joyfully embraced. It is the email retreat.

Email is the ideal vehicle for doing the 19th annotation because it is least intrusive into the daily life of the retreatant. My edition of the email retreat runs for 14 weeks. I suggest that the retreatant do at least half an hour of prayer daily and make the exam of consciousness each night. This time frame, however, is flexible and adaptable to the retreatant. One may want to spend another week on one of the meditations; others may have to interrupt the retreat for a medical or business emergency. No problem, I just withhold the next meditation until they are ready. How foolish to try to corral the Holy Spirit into a certain time frame.

Most of the requests for these retreats I have received have come from the laity. We should not be surprised at all of this since Ignatius was a layman when he wrote the Spiritual Exercises and it was as a layman that he gave the first retreat to laymen. He also did a lot of counseling by letter. In fact, it is said that he was one of the most prolific letter writers of his day. How enthusiastically would he have embraced email!

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Jesuit Says Spiritual Exercises are a Map to Follow in Prayer

Jesuit Father John HornShare

Jesuit Father John Horn, who last month was appointed as the next president-rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, recently talked about the importance of Spiritual Exercises and how the concept can be applied in one’s prayer life.

Fr. Horn said that the Spiritual Exercises are a type of map for the human heart to follow in prayerful meditation and contemplation, and that the exercises allow the faithful to become closer to Christ.

“What happens in these prayerful exercises is that the person at prayer begins to taste and see patterns of thoughts, feelings and desires that are in union with Jesus’ spirit indwelling in our hearts,” he said.

Horn offered an example of how Catholics can participate in a prayer exercise using Scripture passages. By doing so, “something will be transpiring in the heart through this simple process,” he said.

  1. Read the passage prayerfully and I notice what I am seeing.
  2. Notice what I am thinking and feeling about what I am seeing.
  3. Once I have acknowledged what I am thinking and feeling, notice if I have actually related these thoughts and feelings to God.
  4. Wait in trust, wait in faith, and trust to receive a sense of what Jesus’ love desires to do for me.

For more of Horn’s thoughts on the Spiritual Exercises, read the article at the St. Louis Review.

Jesuits Offer Spiritual Exercises Blog for Lent

Spiritual Exercises Blog
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A group of Jesuits have launched The Spiritual Exercises Blog, which “will offer daily reflections over the course of Lent based on the prayers proposed by St. Ignatius Loyola, S.J., in his Spiritual Exercises.  By Easter, one who has followed these reflections regularly will have a basic introduction to the whole of the Spiritual Exercises.” Here is the introductory post.

Jesuit Father Jim Conroy Talks with Busted Halo About How St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises Continue to Transform Lives

conroyIf you were able to conduct a free association exercise among Catholics, the term “Jesuit” would most likely evoke responses like “educators,” “intelligent,” “worldly” and perhaps even “liberal.” But as the largest male religious order in the Catholic church, the Society of Jesus—as the Jesuits are officially known—has nearly 20,000 members spread out across 112 nations around the globe who are involved in an endless variety of work ranging from education and pastoral ministry to medicine, the law, social justice etc. The one common bond that ties this diverse international group together however is their experience of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

Formulated in the early 16th century after Ignatius of Loyola’s conversion, the Spiritual Exercises represent Ignatius’ gradual understanding—through prayer—of how God worked in his daily life. It is a powerful tradition that enables people to understand their relationship with the divine through their own unique experiences in the world. While all Jesuits are required to do the Exercises in a 30-day silent retreat at the beginning of their formation, countless others—religious and lay alike—feel drawn to Ignatius’ spiritual insights and do the Exercises as well. The Jesuit Collaborative is a an East coast organization, headed by Jesuit Father Jim Conroy, whose mission is to promote the Spiritual Exercises outside the Society of Jesus. In an interview with Busted Halo, Fr. Conroy discusses the origins of Ignatius’ approach to prayer and why young seekers looking to make sense of their world are often drawn to it. Read his interview here.

Jesuit Father Jim Conroy Talks with Busted Halo About How St. Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises Continue to Transform Lives

conroyIf you were able to conduct a free association exercise among Catholics, the term “Jesuit” would most likely evoke responses like “educators,” “intelligent,” “worldly” and perhaps even “liberal.” But as the largest male religious order in the Catholic church, the Society of Jesus—as the Jesuits are officially known—has nearly 20,000 members spread out across 112 nations around the globe who are involved in an endless variety of work ranging from education and pastoral ministry to medicine, the law, social justice etc. The one common bond that ties this diverse international group together however is their experience of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

Formulated in the early 16th century after Ignatius of Loyola’s conversion, the Spiritual Exercises represent Ignatius’ gradual understanding—through prayer—of how God worked in his daily life. It is a powerful tradition that enables people to understand their relationship with the divine through their own unique experiences in the world. While all Jesuits are required to do the Exercises in a 30-day silent retreat at the beginning of their formation, countless others—religious and lay alike—feel drawn to Ignatius’ spiritual insights and do the Exercises as well. The Jesuit Collaborative is a an East coast organization, headed by Jesuit Father Jim Conroy, whose mission is to promote the Spiritual Exercises outside the Society of Jesus. In an interview with Busted Halo, Fr. Conroy discusses the origins of Ignatius’ approach to prayer and why young seekers looking to make sense of their world are often drawn to it. Read his interview here.