Faculty and Staff: The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola

    September 8, 2020

    The Jesuit Center Invites You to Consider Participating in a Truly Transformative Spiritual Experience

    The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola in Everyday Life The Jesuit Center is happy to offer faculty and staff the opportunity to pray the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius beginning in the fall of 2020.

    Brief History of St. Ignatius and his Spiritual Exercises

    Throughout much of the world, the Jesuits are best known for their colleges, universities, and high schools. But in a time when many are searching for greater meaning, another aspect of Jesuit life is attracting wide interest. And that is the unique spirituality introduced nearly 500 years ago by St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits.

    Ignatius was a Spanish soldier and aristocrat who discerned his calling after suffering nearly fatal wounds on the battlefield. He established the Society of Jesus in 1540, instructing the early Jesuits to go out and "find God in all things." That is the signature spirituality of the Jesuits.

    Ignatian spirituality is grounded in the conviction that God is active in our world. As the great Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote: "God is not remote from us. He is at the point of my pen, my pick, my paintbrush, my needle — and my heart and my thoughts." The spiritual path laid out by Ignatius is a way of discerning God's presence in our everyday lives.

    The Jesuits have a handbook for this search which is called The Spiritual Exercises. This work, composed by the saint before he was even a priest, is often described as Ignatius' greatest gift to the world for these exercises unfold a dynamic process of prayer, meditation, and self-awareness for each exercitant. The basic thrust is to make us more attentive to God's activity in our world and therefore more responsive to what God is calling us to do.

    The Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life:

    The Jesuit Center’s approach to giving the Spiritual Exercises will be one that Ignatius himself proposed for busy people – a way to make a prayerful and potentially transformative retreat in everyday life. Over the course of eight months through daily prayer with Scripture, journaling, and regular conversation with a spiritual guide, one can experience the same graced movements and discoveries that a privileged few get to make in 30 days of secluded silence.

    Those who do embark on this retreat will need to commit to the following beginning in early October and ending in early May

    ❇ One uninterrupted hour of daily prayer and journaling

    ❇ Weekly, hour-long meetings with your spiritual guide

    ❇ Monthly hour-long group sessions with all those participating in the Exercises (optional)

    The long retreat is undeniably a commitment of time and resolve – one that may or may not be right for everyone or perhaps not right at this time. It is something of a spiritual marathon! Experience shows that work, family, travel and health commitments should be weighed carefully before considering to engage in doing The Retreat in Everyday Life. Know, however, that this treasure of Christian spirituality is not going away and that The Jesuit Center is committed to offering many different types of Ignatian prayer opportunities during the course of the year for faculty and staff. So keep your eyes peeled or stop by the Jesuit Center at any time to talk to us about opportunities for spiritual engagement.

    For more information, or to speak to a member of the retreat team, please contact any member of the Jesuit Center staff for more information.

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