The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola are a month-long program of meditations, prayers, considerations, and contemplative practices that help Christian faith become more fully alive in the everyday life of contemporary people. They are a way for everyone to seek and find God in their workplaces, homes, families, and community.

What St. Ignatius called “weeks” of the Spiritual Exercises, are actually Gospel themes. The one making the Spiritual Exercises spends approximately one week on each of these four themes: God’s Mercy, My Sin / God’s call to me in Christ / Sharing in the Cross of Christ / The Resurrection. There are two ways of experiencing the Full Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius–making a 30 day enclosed retreat and making the retreat in the flow of daily life (19th Annotation retreat). Both can be very profound and life changing experiences according to the needs and generosity of the individual.

The purpose of the Spiritual Exercises, writes Ignatius, is to facilitate the movement of God’s grace within us “so that the light and love of God inflame all possible decisions and resolutions about life situations.”

The Full Spiritual Exercises (30 Day Retreat)

Over a period of a little more than a month, retreatants have the opportunity to make the full Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Individuals who elect to make the thirty day retreat should possess a great desire to more effectively love and serve God and neighbor.  If you are interested in making the Full Spiritual Exercises, call 973-539-0740 or email retreathouse@loyola.org.

19th Annotation (Retreat In Everyday Life)

St. Ignatius of Loyola realized that going away for thirty days was not an option available to everyone so he suggested that the same experience could be gained by remaining at home and continuing with the business of daily life. The 19th Annotation retreat offers an approach whereby one can make the full Exercises in the midst of ordinary daily life at home with guidance from a spiritual director. The retreat requires a daily commitment of 60-90 minutes in prayer and reflection and a weekly meeting with a spiritual director for approximately eight or nine months. The advantage of the 19th Annotation retreat in daily life is that one is not restricted to being away for thirty days, and it helps in forming a regular pattern for prayer. Also as things emerge, they can be incorporated into the flow of life, rather than having to wait until one returns home.  If you are interested in making the 19th Annotation, call 973-539-0740 or email retreathouse@loyola.org.

Spiritual Exercises 8-Week Format

The Spiritual Exercises were written by St. Ignatius of Loyola during the 1530’s. He was very clear to state that the Spiritual Exercises could be adapted to whatever situation, allowing “more” people to experience them. Loyola offers a custom-designed, condensed 8-week version of the Spiritual Exercises. This version has been adapted to offer the Spiritual Exercises to those with full-time jobs, busy families, and/or others who cannot afford the length of time of the 19th Annotation (Retreat in Everyday Life, 30 weeks, meeting once a week with a spiritual director) or the Full Spiritual Exercises (30 Day Away Retreat).

The Spiritual Exercises 8-Week Format meets once a week in the evening from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. This version contains all the topics that are part of the Original (all 4 IGNATIAN WEEKS) without compromising its integrity. The consolidation and new structure is achieved by the selection of each topic without the “repetition” that is part of the Original Version. It includes scripture as well as commentary by various Jesuit sources, giving it a fresh, updated view and richer in its diversity of thought.

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