The Spiritual Exercises

Who is St. Ignatius?

Ignatius was born in Spain in 1491 and at 16 began serving at court and enjoying the good life of romance, fine clothes and gambling. He joined the army and in a battle in 1521 was struck by a cannonball to the knee and the trajectory of his life changed.

500 Years

This year is the 500th anniversary of that event and of Ignatius’ conversion to be of and in the world to a man who wanted to serve God alone.

Recovery and Conversion

During his recovery, he read the lives of saints and The Life of Christ. He realized he could live for the world or live for God. He chose God.

For me, the Spiritual Exercises were a turning point in my spiritual journey. They have helped me detach and learn to focus on what is important, turning away from the things that take my focus off God.

Read the quote from St. Igantius and think about how you are doing in praising, reverencing and serving God.

For a list of books on the Spiritual Exercises, click here.

 

 

Standards and Attachment

July 31 is the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola. One of the greatest gifts St. Ignatius gave the Church is the Spiritual Exercises.  The Spiritual Exercises are a way to grow closer to God, to learn to live for him and for the world. In week 2, day 4 of the Exercises he leads you through a meditation on the two standards and then on attachment.

The Two Standards

Do we choose God or the evil one? That is the question. If we choose God, then all of our actions and decisions flow from that choice. If we choose the evil one, our actions and decisions flow from there. Do we want to live for God and orient our lives toward him or not? The answer will help or hinder us in our spiritual lives.

Attachment

How attached are we to material goods? Or our own needs, ideas, and desires? How attached are we to our life, to good health, to money? I tell the story Ignatius uses as an example, a person who comes into a large sum of money. What does she do with it? It is a reminder not to hold on tightly to our own desires but to follow God’s will. When we can follow his lead in all things, we learn to be attached first and most firmly to him.

Our Not Lukewarm challenge this week

Pray the Suscpice prayer morning and evening. 

For more about St. Ignatius, take a look at my website.