The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius

About two weeks ago I began attending a class about the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius. Inigo (Ignatius) of Loyola was a Basque warrior from way back when who ended up encountering and connecting with God through a series of events in his life. Out of his own story with God came what he termed ‘spiritual exercises’. It intrigues me because Ignatius presupposes that God created each individual, loves each deeply and uniquely and created each of us to participate in the Reign of God. “The Spiritual Exercises have as their purpose to heighten our awareness, to sharpen our ability to feel the ‘finger of God’. They are for anyone who wants to sharpen that awareness.” Quoted from, Finding God in all Things, by William A. Barry, SJ. Which, by the way, is a good book and explains in more contemporary language what the spiritual exercises/practices are. Basically, the individual commits to daily prayer, journaling, meditating, contemplative practices and then shares them, at least in my case, with other people in a small group. I’m enjoying this so far. I like this quote by Barry because it connects internally with me and how I think theologically: “One of the hallmarks of Ignatian spirituality is the belief that God can be found in all things. Ignatius believed that we encounter God at every moment of our existence.”

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