The Spiritual Exercises – the second week

During this period of the Exercises, we consider closely the person of Jesus. Beginning with the infancy narratives and moving on to Jesus in his adult life, we engage as fully as we can with the humanity of Jesus and pray that we are able to accept his message personally. We acknowledge that the choice of following Jesus in poverty and humility means turning away from comforts and rewards and take that to heart. The exercises of this week help to see what it means to express our decision to live in the service of Jesus and in his company.

See Ignatian Spirituality for more about the Spiritual Exercises

Ignatius of Loyola wrote the Spiritual Exercises once he had found that certain meditations and contemplations–“Exercises”–were helpful to others in coming to a clearer image of God, themselves and their place in the world. While the text is widely published, they Exercises a more a set of “director’s notes” used to guide a person during a month-long retreat than a text to be read alone.  The ‘weeks’ described in the Exercises refer to the four main phases.

Every Jesuit does the Spiritual Exercises during his initial training and again during Tertianship. Please pray for the Tertians in Dublin who will be doing the Exercises from 19 November to 20 December.

The Spiritual Exercises – the first week

The first week of the Spiritual Exercises begins with a consideration of the First Principle and Foundation, when we bring to the centre of our prayer a desire for greater freedom so that we can appreciate God’s continuing creative and unconditional love. There is a theme of letting go in this week, a prayer for the ability to leave behind and shed what is not helpful. The week goes on to help us to look at global and personal sin as we are led to accept our need for healing from anything that holds us back from a full conversion. We pray that we might have deeper faith in Christ, knowing deeply that we are forgiven. With that deepened desire to be a disciple, we attend to the ‘Call of the King’ – hearing Jesus’ invitation to follow and accept him as leader.

See Ignatian Spirituality for more about the Spiritual Exercises

Ignatius of Loyola wrote the Spiritual Exercises once he had found that certain meditations and contemplations–“Exercises”–were helpful to others in coming to a clearer image of God, themselves and their place in the world. While the text is widely published, the Exercises are more a set of “director’s notes” used to guide a person during a month-long retreat than a text to be read alone.  The ‘weeks’ described in the Exercises refer to the four main phases.

Every Jesuit does the Spiritual Exercises during his initial training and again during Tertianship. Please pray for the Tertians in Dublin who will be doing the exercises from 19 November to 20 December.

The Spiritual Exercises

The Tertians concluded the presentations of their personal stories during this last week before the long retreat. These helped us, individually and collectively, to grow in appreciation of how variously God works in our lives. We took some time on Thursday and Friday to draw together some themes that have arisen in the last few weeks in anticipation of the month’s prayer, silence and reflection that the retreat entails.
Brian Grogan, former novice master, teacher of theology and currently acting director of Sacred Space, visited us on Thursday night to talk about his life as a Jesuit, his inspirations and struggles. It was another helpful insight for us into how a Jesuit seeks balance between reflection and action in the changing circumstances and situations that his vocation brings.
The following posts will be automated, scheduled to appear each Monday, as the retreat involves switching off from the world, the better to tune into God’s working in our lives. We don’t so much turn aside from the created world; it is more that we we remind ourselves of its origin, purpose and destiny. We bring everything we have experienced to our prayer, trusting God to show us more clearly why and how we engage with everything God has created.
We invite you to pray with us during these coming weeks and to pray for us as we engage in the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

For more information on the Spiritual Exercises,  visiting ignatianspirituality.com

Newsletter inclusion

Tertians may wish to circulate a text such as the following to their province newsletters or to the Socius of your Province to ask for prayers – for all of us!

Twelve Jesuits took an important step on Saturday 19 November when they began their thirty-day retreat in Dollymount. The twelve Tertians are being directed in the Spiritual Exercises by Joe Dargan, Jan Van de Poll and Kevin O’Rourke.

Nine of this year’s Tertians are from European Provinces and three from Asia –  YOUR NAME of  YOUR PROVINCE province being one of the group. The Tertians spent their first weeks in to study the history of the Society and the Constitutions and considered a range of topics with presentations by the instructors and visiting speakers. They will leave Dollymount in January to spend three months on placements before Tertianship finishes in May.

Please remember the Tertians in your prayer at this time. You will find an outline of the weekly theme on the Tertianship website, www.tertianship.eu

Stories to be told

The Tertians spent some time during the last number of weeks working on their autobiographies. Guided by a series of structured questions, each person was asked to review his life story to recognise again how God has been at work. This week saw opportunities for to begin to hear something of the various stories. The presentations that emerged might be described as a series of rich tapestries depicting how God is discovered in a variety of human situations. The range of cultural and geographical backgrounds in the group meant that there was considerable variety in the content and presentations – a rich expression of the diversity of the church.