Louis J. Puhl, SJ Translation

Based on Studies in the Language of the Autograph

Translator's Preface

Much research has been carried on with regard to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The volume on the Exercises in the Monumenta Historica Societatis Jesu1 bears eloquent witness to this. Many years of study have been devoted to investigating whatever concerns this great work. If proof of this is desired, the five volumes of the Collection de la Bibliothèque des Exercices afford ample evidence. In the restored Society of Jesus the initiator of this work was Father John Roothaan. By his letters, and by his scholarly translation and commentary on the Exercises, he infused new life into their study. The work has gone on increasing from his day. At present we know more about the Exercises than was known shortly after the death of St. Ignatius. A comparison of a good modern commentary with the Directory would establish this. I fear, however, that our English translations have not kept pace with the progress of modern scholarship in this matter.
There is no dearth of translations into English, all more or less literal.2

Such translations have the great advantage of enabling one to see almost at a glance what the original form of expression was. There is less danger, too, in these translations of interpretation and of substituting the translator's ideas for the meaning of the original. Furthermore, emphasis is not so easily shifted to words or phrases in such a way that the meaning is changed.

But these translations also labor under great difficulties, and this seems to be especially true of the Exercises. In this case, a literal translation often fails to render the true meaning, and at times has no meaning at all. The most dangerous source of error is the use of an English word, similar to the Spanish and derived from the same Latin root. Thus determinar is translated as "determine," and affección as "affection." Even if these English words represent the meaning of similar words in modern Spanish, this may not be true of the language of St. Ignatius. As a result, this practice has been the source of many errors. Words of Latin origin are simply transferred to the translation. Thus the words "annotation," "composition," "election," "deliberation," "deliberate," and others are used, though their meaning does not correspond to the sense in the Spanish original. The consequence is that a terminology is developed which is not readily understood except by those who are familiar with the Exercises.

The sentence structure and the limping Spanish used by St. Ignatius present even greater difficulties. The modern Spanish sentence is very different from the English sentence, and this is even more true of sixteenth-century Spanish. It is above all true of the Spanish of a Basque nobleman who had only the elements of an education when he wrote his book, and used an acquired language with little knowledge of its literary form. If the long, loosely knit sentences of the Spanish original are retained in English, they make reading and understanding difficult, and turn people from the use and study of the Exercises.

One of the chief difficulties in translation is the constantly recurring participial construction. It is vague and not very clear in the original, and becomes impossible in English. It may stand for almost any kind of clause or phrase. To find the correct, corresponding English form means interpretation by considering the meaning in the context and in the opinion of the best commentators. Even in modern Spanish, finite forms must be substituted for the constantly recurring gerunds used by St. Ignatius. Frequently sentences must be broken up, and phrases must be made independent sentences. The result may appear a very free version, while as a matter of fact it is merely translating clearly and accurately into English.

The aim of this translation is to represent as nearly as possible, idea with idea, Spanish idiom with corresponding English idiom, Spanish sentence structure with English sentence structure, and the quaint forms of the original with the forms common at present.

Every effort has been made to add nothing and to omit nothing. Idiom may demand frequent omission of connectives where English understands them; accuracy may demand two words to explain one or a circumlocution where no convenient word is available; clearness may demand substituting an equivalent saying or figure for the Spanish where it would not be understood in English. But all these things are required for a correct translation.

The intention is to produce a clear, idiomatic, and readable translation. It is not possible to make a literary translation of a book that is really a set of directions. But by breaking up the long sentences, and by getting away from the Spanish idiom, it is possible to have a translation that can easily be read and understood. Many translations make such difficult reading that those who should be constantly using the book are deterred from doing so.

The text used for the translation is the convenient and accurate Spanish-Latin text, published by Marietti, Turin, 1928, and edited by the author of the critical edition in the volume on the Exercises in the Monumenta Historica Societatis Jesu. This edition has convenient marginal numbers for every section, which the editor hopes to make official by inserting in a revision of the critical edition. They prove very useful for cross reference and for gathering material on the Exercises.

Great help has been derived from the excellent German translation of Father Alfred Feder.3 Since the German language does not use words of Latin origin, the translator does not fall into the error of choosing a word which is similar to the Spanish and derived from the same root, but totally different in meaning. Furthermore, Father Feder has used the latest studies to make his translation accurate.

Another great help was the scholarly edition of the Exercises in Spanish by Father José Calveras, S.J.4 The discussion in the introduction on the language of Exercises, and the notes giving the modern Spanish equivalents of the expressions and constructions of the Exercises were constantly consulted.

The section on the language of the Exercises, especially the glossarium in the volume on the Exercises in the Monumenta Historica, also proved very helpful.

The text has been kept clear of all references, and notes arranged according to the marginal numbers have been placed in the back. They are not a commentary, but state the reasons for the translation adopted and for the form used. Readers long used to Father Roothaan's version and various literal translations may be surprised at the apparent difference between the present text and the traditional renditions. They will find in the notes the reasons for the change.

All of the standard commentaries have influenced the translation, but it is not surprising if the influence of Father Jaime Nonell, S.J., is evident at every turn. For many years his books on the Exercises5 have been the translator's constant companions, and have been used by him as their clearest and most logical interpretation.

In conclusion the translator wishes to express his thanks for the many valuable suggestions by those who have read the whole manuscript.

Louis J. Puhl, S.J.

Pontifical College Josephinum

Worthington, Ohio

1. Monumenta Historica Societatis Jesu, Monumenta Ignatiana, Series Secunda. Exercitia Spiritualia, Madrid, 1919.

2. There are three common translations of the text:

Morris, John, Text of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, Westminster, Md., 1934;

Mullen, Elder, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, New York, 1914;

Benedictines of Stanbrook, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Literally Translated, London, 1928.

There are three common translations with commentary:

Rickaby, Joseph, The Spiritual Exercises, Spanish and English, London, 1915;

Longridge, M. H., The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, London, 1919;

Ambruzzi, Aloysius, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, Mangalore, 1931.

3. Des Heiligen Ignatius von Loyola Geistlichen Uebungen nach dem Spanischen Urtext Uebertragen, 2 Aufl., Regensburg, 1922.

4. Calveras, José, S.J., Ejercicios Espirituales, Directorio y Documentos, Barcelona, 1944.

5. Ars Ignatiana, Barcelona, 1888; Los Ejercicios en si Mismos y en su Aplicación, Manresa, 1896; Estudio Sobre el Texto, Manresa, 1916.

The Prayer: Soul of Christ

SOUL OF CHRIST, SANCTIFY ME

BODY OF CHRIST, SAVE ME

BLOOD OF CHRIST, INEBRIATE ME

WATER FROM THE SIDE OF CHRIST, WASH ME

PASSION OF CHRIST, STRENGTHEN ME

O GOOD JESUS, HEAR ME

WITHIN THY WOUNDS HIDE ME

PERMIT ME NOT TO BE SEPARATED FROM THEE

FROM THE WICKED FOE DEFEND ME

AT THE HOUR OF MY DEATH CALL ME

AND BID ME COME TO THEE

THAT WITH THY SAINTS I MAY PRAISE THEE

FOR EVER AND EVER. AMEN.

(001)

Introductory Observations

The purpose of these observations is to provide some understanding of the spiritual exercises which follow and to serve as a help both for the one who is to give them and for the exercitant

  1. By the term “Spiritual Exercises” is meant every method of examination of conscience, of meditation, of contemplation, of vocal and mental prayer, and of other spiritual activities that will be mentioned later. For just as taking a walk, journeying on foot, and running are bodily exercises, so we call Spiritual Exercises every way of preparing and disposing the soul to rid itself of all inordinate attachments, and, after their removal, of seeking and finding the will of God in the disposition of our life for the salvation of our soul.

  2. (002)

    The one who explains to another the method and order of meditating or contemplating should narrate accurately the facts of the contemplation or meditation. Let him adhere to the points, and add only a short or summary explanation. The reason for this is that when one in meditating takes the solid foundation of facts, and goes over it and reflects on it for himself, he may find something that makes them a little clearer or better understood. This may arise either from his own reasoning, or from the grace of God enlightening his mind. Now this produces greater spiritual relish and fruit than if one in giving the Exercises had explained and developed the meaning at great length. For it is not much knowledge that fills and satisfies the soul, but the intimate understanding and relish of the truth.

  3. (003)

    In all the Spiritual Exercises which follow, we make use of the acts of the intellect in reasoning, and of the acts of the will in manifesting our love. However, we must observe that when in acts of the will we address God our Lord or His saints either vocally or mentally, greater reverence is required on our part than when we use the intellect in reasoning.

  4. (004)

    Four Weeks are assigned to the Exercises given below. This corresponds to the four parts into which they are divided, namely: the first part, which is devoted to the consideration and contemplation of sin; the second part, which is taken up with the life of Christ our Lord up to Palm Sunday inclusive; the third part, which treats of the passion of Christ our Lord; the fourth part, which deals with the Resurrection and Ascension; to this are appended Three Methods of Prayer.

    However, it is not meant that each week should necessarily consist of seven or eight days. For it may happen that in the First Week some are slower in attaining what is sought, namely, contrition, sorrow, and tears for sin. Some, too, may be more diligent than others, and some more disturbed and tried by different spirits. It may be necessary, therefore, at times to shorten the Week, and at others to lengthen it. So in our search for the fruit that is proper to the matter assigned, we may have to do the same in all the subsequent Weeks. However, the Exercises should be finished in approximately thirty days.

  5. (005)

    It will be very profitable for the one who is to go through the Exercises to enter upon them with magnanimity and generosity toward his Creator and Lord, and to offer Him his entire will and liberty, that His Divine Majesty may dispose of him and all he possesses according to His most holy will.

  6. (006)

    When the one who is giving the Exercises perceives that the exercitant is not affected by any spiritual experiences, such as consolations or desolations, and that he is not troubled by different spirits, he ought to ply him with questions about the exercises. He should ask him whether he makes them at the appointed times, and how he makes them. He should question him about the Additional Directions, whether he is diligent in the observance of them. He will demand an account in detail of each one of these points. Consolation and desolation are treated in # 316–324; the Additional Directions are given in # 73–90.

  7. (007)

    If the director of the Exercises observes that the exercitant is in desolation and tempted, let him not deal severely and harshly with him, but gently and kindly. He should encourage and strengthen him for the future by exposing to him the wiles of the enemy of our human nature, and by getting him to prepare and dispose himself for the coming consolation.

  8. (008)

    If the one who is giving the Exercises should perceive from desolations, from the wiles of the enemy, and from consolations that the exercitant has need of them, he should explain to him the rules of the First Week and of the Second Week for the understanding of different spirits, # 313–327, and 328–336.

  9. (009)

    It should be observed that when the exercitant is engaged in the Exercises of the First Week, if he is a person unskilled in spiritual things, and if he is tempted grossly and openly, for example, by bringing before his mind obstacles to his advance in the service of God our Lord, such as labors, shame, fear for his good name in the eyes of the world, etc., the one who is giving the Exercises should not explain to him the rules about different spirits that refer to the Second Week. For while the rules of the First Week will be very helpful to him, those of the Second Week will be harmful, since they deal with matter that is too subtle and advanced for him to understand.

  10. (010)

    When the one who is giving the Exercises perceives that the exercitant is being assailed and tempted under the appearance of good, then is the proper time to explain to him the rules of the Second Week, which we mentioned above. For commonly the enemy of our human nature tempts more under the appearance of good when one is exercising himself in the illuminative way. This corresponds to the Exercises of the Second Week. He does not tempt him so much under the appearance of good when he is exercising himself in the purgative way, which corresponds to the Exercises of the First Week.

  11. (011)

    While the exercitant is engaged in the First Week of the Exercises, it will be helpful if he knows nothing of what is to be done in the Second Week. Rather, let him labor to attain what he is seeking in the First Week as if he hoped to find no good in the Second.

  12. (012)

    He who is giving the Exercises must insist with the exercitant that since he is to spend an hour in each of the five exercises or contemplations which are made every day, he must always take care that he is satisfied in the consciousness of having persevered in the exercise for a full hour. Let him rather exceed an hour than not use the full time. For the enemy is accustomed to make every effort that the hour to be devoted to a contemplation, meditation, or prayer should be shortened.

  13. (013)

    We must remember that during the time of consolation it is easy, and requires only a slight effort, to continue a whole hour in contemplation, but in time of desolation it is very difficult to do so. Hence, in order to fight against the desolation and conquer the temptation, the exercitant must always remain in the exercise a little more than the full hour. Thus he will accustom himself not only to resist the enemy, but even to overthrow him.

  14. (014)

    If the one who is giving the Exercises sees that the exercitant is going on in consolation and in great fervor, he must admonish him not to be inconsiderate or hasty in making any promise or vow. The more unstable in character he knows him to be, the more he should forewarn and admonish him. For though it is right to urge one to enter the religious state in which he knows that vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity are taken, and though a good work done under vow is more meritorious than one done without a vow, nevertheless, it is necessary to consider with great care the condition and endowments of each individual, and the help or hindrance one would experience in carrying out his promises.

  15. (015)

    The director of the Exercises ought not to urge the exercitant more to poverty or any promise than to the contrary, nor to one state of life or way of living more than to another. Outside the Exercises, it is true, we may lawfully and meritoriously urge all who probably have the required fitness to choose continence, virginity, the religious life, and every form of religious perfection. But while one is engaged in the Spiritual Exercises, it is more suitable and much better that the Creator and Lord in person communicate Himself to the devout soul in quest of the divine will, that He inflame it with His love and praise, and dispose it for the way in which it could better serve God in the future. Therefore, the director of the Exercises, as a balance at equilibrium, without leaning to one side or the other, should permit the Creator to deal directly with the creature, and the creature directly with his Creator and Lord.

  16. (016)

    Hence, that the Creator and Lord may work with greater certainty in His creature, if the soul chance to be inordinately attached or inclined to anything, it is very proper that it rouse itself by the exertion of all its powers to desire the opposite of that to which it is wrongly attached. Thus if one’s attachment leads him to seek and to hold an office or a benefice, not for the honor and glory of God our Lord, nor for the spiritual welfare of souls, but for his own personal gain and temporal interests, he should strive to rouse a desire for the contrary. Let him be insistent in prayer and in his other spiritual exercises in begging God for the reverse, that is, that he neither seek such office or benefice, nor anything else, unless the Divine Majesty duly regulate his desires and change his former attachment. As a result, the reason he wants or retains anything will be solely the service, honor, and glory of the Divine Majesty.

  17. (017)

    While the one who is giving the Exercises should not seek to investigate and know the private thoughts and sins of the exercitant, nevertheless, it will be very helpful if he is kept faithfully informed about the various disturbances and thoughts caused by the action of different spirits. This will enable him to propose some spiritual exercises in accordance with the degree of progress made and suited and adapted to the needs of a soul disturbed in this way.

  18. (018)

    The Spiritual Exercises must be adapted to the condition of the one who is to engage in them, that is, to his age, education, and talent. Thus exercises that he could not easily bear, or from which he would derive no profit, should not be given to one with little natural ability or of little physical strength.

    Similarly, each one should be given those exercises that would be more helpful and profitable according to his willingness to dispose himself for them.

    Hence, one who wishes no further help than some instruction and the attainment of a certain degree of peace of soul may be given the Particular Examination of Conscience, # 24–31, and after that the General Examination of Conscience, # 32–43. Along with this, let him be given for half an hour each morning the method of prayer on the Commandments and on the Capital Sins, etc., # 238–248. Weekly confession should be recommended to him, and if possible, the reception of Holy Communion every two weeks, or even better, every week if he desires it.

    This method is more appropriate for those who have little natural ability or are illiterate. Let each of the Commandments be explained to them, and also the Capital Sins, the use of the five senses, the precepts of the Church, and the Works of Mercy.

    Similarly, if the one giving the Exercises sees that the exercitant has little aptitude or little physical strength, that he is one from whom little fruit is to be expected, it is more suitable to give him some of the easier exercises as a preparation for confession. Then he should be given some ways of examining his conscience, and directed to confess more frequently than was his custom before, so as to retain what he has gained.

    But let him not go on further and take up the matter dealing with the Choice of a Way of Life, nor any other exercises that are outside the First Week. This is especially to be observed when much better results could be obtained with other persons, and when there is not sufficient time to take everything.

  19. (019)

    One who is educated or talented, but engaged in public affairs or necessary business, should take an hour and a half daily for the Spiritual Exercises.

    First, the end for which man is created should be explained to him, then for half an hour the Particular Examination of Conscience may be presented, then the General Examination of Conscience, and the method of confessing and of receiving Holy Communion.

    For three days, let him meditate each morning for an hour on the first, second, and third sins, # 45–54. For three more days, at the same time, he should take the meditation on personal sins, # 55–61. Then for three days, at the same hour, he should meditate on the punishment due to sin, # 65–71. Along with all of these meditations, he should be given the ten Additional Directions, # 73–89.

    In the mysteries of the life of our Lord, the same order should be observed which is explained later on at great length in the Exercises themselves.

  20. (020)

    To one who is more disengaged, and desirous of making as much progress as possible, all the Spiritual Exercises should be given in the same order in which they follow below.

    Ordinarily, the progress made in the Exercises will be greater, the more the exercitant withdraws from all friends and acquaintances, and from all worldly cares. For example, he can leave the house in which he dwelt and choose another house or room in order to live there in as great privacy as possible, so that he will be free to go to Mass and Vespers every day without any fear that his acquaintances will cause any difficulty.

    There are many advantages resulting from this separation, but the following three are the most important:

    First, if in order to serve and praise God our Lord one withdraws from numerous friends and acquaintances and from many occupations not undertaken with a pure intention, he gains no little merit before the Divine Majesty.

    Secondly, in this seclusion the mind is not engaged in many things, but can give its whole attention to one single interest, that is, to the service of its Creator and its spiritual progress. Thus it is more free to use its natural powers to seek diligently what it so much desires.

    Thirdly, the more the soul is in solitude and seclusion, the more fit it renders itself to approach and be united with its Creator and Lord; and the more closely it is united with Him, the more it disposes itself to receive graces and gifts from the infinite goodness of its God.

(021)

Spiritual Exercises

Which have as their purpose the conquest of self and the regulation of one’s life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment

(022)

Presupposition

To assure better cooperation between the one who is giving the Exercises and the exercitant, and more beneficial results for both, it is necessary to suppose that every good Christian is more ready to put a good interpretation on another’s statement than to condemn it as false. If an orthodox construction cannot be put on a proposition, the one who made it should be asked how he understands it. If he is in error, he should be corrected with all kindness. If this does not suffice, all appropriate means should be used to bring him to a correct interpretation, and so defend the proposition from error.

(023)

First Principle and Foundation

Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.

The other things on the face of the earth are created for man to help him in attaining the end for which he is created.

Hence, man is to make use of them in as far as they help him in the attainment of his end, and he must rid himself of them in as far as they prove a hindrance to him.

Therefore, we must make ourselves indifferent to all created things, as far as we are allowed free choice and are not under any prohibition. Consequently, as far as we are concerned, we should not prefer health to spickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, a long life to a short life. The same holds for all other things.

Our one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to the end for which we are created.

First Week

(024)

Daily Particular Examination of Conscience

There are three different times of the day and two examinations involved in this practice

First, in the morning, immediately on rising, one should resolve to guard carefully against the particular sin or defect with regard to which he seeks to correct or improve himself.

(025)

Secondly, after dinner, he should ask God our Lord for the grace he desires, that is, to recall how often he has fallen into the particular sin or defect, and to avoid it for the future.

Then follows the first examination. He should demand an account of himself with regard to the particular point which he has resolved to watch in order to correct himself and improve. Let him go over the single hours or periods from the time he arose to the hour and moment of the present examination, and in the first line of the figure given below, make a mark for each time that he has fallen into the particular sin or defect. Then he is to renew his resolution, and strive to amend during the time till the second examination is to be made.

(026)

Thirdly, after supper, he should make a second examination, going over as before each single hour, commencing with the first examination, and going up to the present one. In the second line of the figure given below, let him make a mark for each time he has fallen into the particular fault or sin.

(027)

Four Additional Directions

These are to serve as a help to more ready removal of the particular sin or fault

  1. Every time one falls into the particular sin or fault, let him place his hand upon his breast, and be sorry for having fallen. He can do this even in the presence of many others without their perceiving what he is doing.

  2. (028)

    Since the first line of the figure to which G is prefixed represents the first examination of conscience, and the second one, the second examination, he should observe at night whether there is an improvement from the first line to the second, that is, from the first examination to the second.

  3. (029)

    The second day should be compared with the first, that is, the two examinations of the present day with the two of the preceding day. Let him observe if there is an improvement from one day to another.

  4. (030)

    Let him compare one week with another and observe whether he has improved during the present week as compared with the preceding.

(031)

Note

It should be noted that in the figure below the first G is larger, and signifies Sunday. The second is smaller, and stands for Monday, the third for Tuesday, the fourth for Wednesday, and so forth.


G
G
G
G
G
G
G

(032)

General Examination of Conscience

The purpose of this examination of conscience is to purify the soul and to aid us to improve our confessions

I presuppose that there are three kinds of thoughts in my mind, namely: one which is strictly my own, and arises wholly from my own free will; two others which come from without, the one from the good spirit, and the other from the evil one.

(033)

Thoughts

There are two ways of meriting from evil thoughts that come from without:

  1. When a thought of committing a mortal sin comes to my mind which I resist at once, and thus overcome it.

  2. (034)

    When the same evil thought comes to me, and I resist it, but it returns again and again, and I always resist it till it is conquered.

    This second way is more meritorious than the first.

(035)

It is a venial sin if the same thought of sinning mortally comes to mind and for a short time one pays heed to it, or receives some sense pleasure, or is somewhat negligent in rejecting it.

(036)

There are two ways of sinning mortally:

  1. The first is to consent to the evil thought with the intention of carrying it out, or of doing so if one can.

  2. (037)

    The second way of sinning mortally is actually carrying out the sin to which consent was given.

This is a greater sin for three reasons:

Because of the greater duration;
Because of the greater intensity;
Because of the greater harm done to both persons.
(038)

Words

(One may also offend God in word in many ways: by blasphemy, by swearing.) One must not swear, neither by the creature nor by the Creator, unless it is according to truth, out of necessity, and with reverence.

By necessity I mean that the truth I swear to is not just some true statement I choose to confirm by oath, but one of real importance, either for the welfare of the soul or of the body, or with regard to temporal interests.

By reverence I mean that when the name of the Creator and Lord is mentioned, one acts with consideration and devoutly manifests due honor and respect.

(039)

It must be noted that in idle oaths we sin more grievously when we swear by the Creator than when we swear by a creature. However, to swear as one ought, according to truth, out of necessity, with reverence, is more difficult when we swear by a creature than when we swear by the Creator. There are three reasons for this:

  1. When we wish to take an oath by some creature, the intention to call upon its name does not make us so attentive and cautious to speak the truth, or to confirm it by oath only if necessary, as we would be with the intention to use the name of the Creator and Lord of all.

  2. When we swear by the name of some creature, it is not so easy to observe reverence and respect for the Creator as when in swearing we use the name of the Creator and Lord Himself. For the intention of using the name of God our Lord carries along with it a greater respect and reverence than the intention to use the name of a creature.

    Hence, those who are perfect should be allowed to swear by a creature rather than those who are imperfect. The perfect, due to constant contemplation and the enlightenment of the understanding, consider, meditate, and ponder more that God our Lord is in every creature by His essence, power, and presence. Therefore, when they swear by a creature, they are more apt to be disposed to show respect and reverence to the Creator and Lord than those who are imperfect.

  3. In frequent swearing by a creature, idolatry is more to be feared in those who are imperfect than in those who are perfect.

(040)

(Among other sins of the tongue that we must avoid are idle words.) No idle word should be uttered. I understand a word to be idle when it serves no good purpose, either for myself or for another, and was not intended to do so. Hence, words are never idle when spoken for any useful purpose, or when meant to serve the good of one’s own soul or that of another, of the body or of temporal possessions. Nor are they idle because one speaks of matters that do not pertain to his state, for example, if a religious speaks of wars or of commerce. In all we have mentioned, there will be merit if what is said is directed to some good purpose; there will be sin if it is directed to an evil purpose, or if engaged in for no good end.

(041)

(Lying, false testimony, detraction are also sins of the tongue.) Nothing should be said to lessen the good name of another, or to complain about him. For if I reveal a hidden mortal sin of another, I sin mortally; if I reveal a hidden venial sin, I sin venially; if his defect, I manifest my own.

If, however, my intention is good, there are two ways in which it is permissible to speak of the sin or fault of another:

  1. When a sin is public, as in the case of a woman openly leading a shameless life, or of a sentence passed in court, or of a commonly known error that infests the minds of those with whom we live.

  2. When a hidden sin is revealed to some one with the intention that he help the one who is in sin to rise from his state. But then there must be some grounds or probable reasons for believing that he will be able to help him.

(Among sins of the tongue may be considered ridicule, insults, and other similar sins, which the one giving the Exercises may discuss if he judges it necessary.)

(042)

Deeds

The subject matter for examination will be the Ten Commandments, the laws of the Church, the recommendations of superiors. All transgressions of obligations arising from any of these three groups are more or less grievous sins according to the gravity of the matter.

By recommendations of superiors is meant crusade indults and other indulgences, such as those for peace on condition of confession and reception of Holy Communion. For to be the cause of one acting against such pious recommendations and regulations of superiors, or to do so oneself, is no small sin.

(043)

Method of Making the General Examination of Conscience

There are five points in this method

  1. The first point is to give thanks to God our Lord for the favors received.

  2. The second point is to ask for grace to know my sins and to rid myself of them.

  3. The third point is to demand an account of my soul from the time of rising up to the present examination. I should go over one hour after another, one period after another. The thoughts should be examined first, then the words, and finally, the deeds in the same order as was explained under the Particular Examination of Conscience.

  4. The fourth point will be to ask pardon of God our Lord for my faults.

  5. The fifth point will be to resolve to amend with the grace of God. Close with an Our Father.

(044)

General Confession and Holy Communion

Among many advantages of a general confession which one makes of his own accord during the time of the Spiritual Exercises, there are especially these three:

  1. It is true that one who confesses every year has no obligation to make a general confession. But if one is made, there will be much greater merit and profit, because of the greater sorrow experienced for all the sins and perversities of his whole life.

  2. While one is going through the Spiritual Exercises, a far deeper insight into his sins and their malice is acquired than at a time when he is not so engaged with what concerns his inner life. Since at this time he attains to a deeper knowledge and sorrow for his sins, there will be greater profit and merit than he would otherwise have had.

  3. As a consequence of having made a better confession, and of being better disposed, he will find that he is more worthy and better prepared to receive the Most Blessed Sacrament. This reception will strengthen him not only against falling into sin, but will also help him to retain the increase of grace which he has gained.

    It will be better to make this general confession immediately after the Exercises of the First Week.

(045)

First Exercise

This is a meditation on the first, second and third sin employing the three powers of the soul. After the preparatory prayer and two preludes it contains three principal points and a colloquy

(046)

Prayer

In the preparatory prayer I will beg God our Lord for grace that all my intentions, actions, and operations may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty.

(047)

First Prelude

This is a mental representation of the place.

Attention must be called to the following point. When the contemplation or meditation is on something visible, for example, when we contemplate Christ our Lord, the representation will consist in seeing in imagination the material place where the object is that we wish to contemplate. I said the material place, for example, the temple, or the mountain where Jesus or His Mother is, according to the subject matter of the contemplation.

In a case where the subject matter is not visible, as here in a meditation on sin, the representation will be to see in imagination my soul as a prisoner in this corruptible body, and to consider my whole composite being as an exile here on earth, cast out to live among brute beasts. I said my whole composite being, body and soul.

(048)

The Second Prelude

I will ask God our Lord for what I want and desire.

The petition made in this prelude must be according to the subject matter. Thus in a contemplation on the Resurrection I will ask for joy with Christ in joy. In one on the passion, I will ask for sorrow, tears, and anguish with Christ in anguish.

Here it will be to ask for shame and confusion, because I see how many have been lost on account of a single mortal sin, and how many times I have deserved eternal damnation, because of the many grievous sins that I have committed.

(049)

Note

The Preparatory Prayer, which is never changed, and the two Preludes mentioned above, which are changed at times according to the subject matter, must always be made before all the contemplations and meditations.

(050)

The First Point

This will consist in using the memory to recall the first sin, which was that of the angels, and then in applying the understanding by reasoning upon this sin, then the will by seeking to remember and understand all to be the more filled with shame and confusion when I compare the one sin of the angels with the many sins I have committed. I will consider that they went to hell for one sin, and the number of times I have deserved to be condemned forever because of my numerous sins.

I said we should apply the memory to the sin of the angels, that is, recalling that they were created in the state of grace, that they did not want to make use of the freedom God gave them to reverence and obey their Creator and Lord, and so falling into pride, were changed from grace to hatred of God, and cast out of heaven into hell.

So, too, the understanding is to be used to think over the matter more in detail, and then the will to rouse more deeply the emotions.

(051)

Second Point

In the same way the three powers of the soul are to be applied to the sin of Adam and Eve. Recall to memory how on account of this sin they did penance for so long a time, and the great corruption which came upon the human race that caused so many to be lost in hell.

I said recall to mind the second sin, that of our First Parents. After Adam had been created on the Plain of Damascus and placed in the Garden of Paradise, and Eve had been formed from his side, they sinned by violating the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge. Thereafter, they were clothed in garments of skin and cast out of Paradise. By their sin they lost original justice, and for the rest of their lives, lived without it in many labors and great penance.

So, too, the understanding is to be used to think over the matter in greater detail, and the will is to be used as explained above.

(052)

Third Point

In like manner, we are to do the same with regard to the third sin, namely, that of one who went to hell because of one mortal sin. Consider also countless others who have been lost for fewer sins than I have committed.

I said to do the same for the third particular sin. Recall to memory the gravity and malice of sin against our Creator and Lord. Use the understanding to consider that because of sin, and of acting against the Infinite Goodness, one is justly condemned forever. Close with the acts of the will as we have said above.

(053)

Colloquy

Imagine Christ our Lord present before you upon the cross, and begin to speak with him, asking how it is that though He is the Creator, He has stooped to become man, and to pass from eternal life to death here in time, that thus He might die for our sins.

I shall also reflect upon myself and ask:

"What have I done for Christ?"

"What am I doing for Christ?"

"What ought I to do for Christ?"

As I behold Christ in this plight, nailed to the cross, I shall ponder upon what presents itself to my mind.

(054)

Note on Colloquies

The colloquy is made by speaking exactly as one friend speaks to another, or as a servant speaks to a master, now asking him for a favor, now blaming himself for some misdeed, now making known his affairs to him, and seeking advice in them. Close with an Our Father.

(055)

Second Exercise

This is a meditation on our sins. After the preparatory prayer and two preludes there are five points and a colloquy

Prayer

The preparatory prayer will be the same.

First Prelude

This will be the same as in the First Exercise.

Second Prelude

This is to ask for what I desire. Here it will be to ask for a growing and intense sorrow and tears for my sins.

(056)

First Point

This is the record of my sins. I will call to mind all the sins of my life, reviewing year by year, and period by period. Three things will help me in this: First, to consider the place where I lived; secondly, my dealings with others; thirdly, the office I have held.

(057)

Second Point

I will weigh the gravity of my sins, and see the loathesomeness and malice which every mortal sin I have committed has in itself, even though it were not forbidden.

(058)

Third Point

I will consider who I am, and by means of examples humble myself:

  1. What am I compared with all men?

  2. What are all men compared with the angels and saints of paradise?

  3. Consider what all creation is in comparison with God. Then I alone, what can I be?

  4. I will consider all the corruption and loathsomeness of my body.

  5. I will consider myself as a source of corruption and contagion from which has issued countless sins and evils and the most offensive poison.

(059)

Fourth Point

I will consider who God is against whom I have sinned, going through His attributes and comparing them with their contraries in me: His wisdom with my ignorance, His power with my weakness, His justice with my iniquity, His goodness with my wickedness.

(060)

Fifth Point

This is a cry of wonder accompanied by surging emotion as I pass in review all creatures. How is it that they have permitted me to live, and have sustained me in life! Why have the angels, though they are the sword of God’s justice, tolerated me, guarded me, and prayed for me! Why have the saints interceded for me and asked favors for me! And the heavens, sun, moon, stars, and the elements; the fruits, birds, fishes, and other animals—why have they all been at my service! How is it that the earth did not open to swallow me up, and create new hells in which I should be tormented forever!

(061)

Colloquy

I will conclude with a colloquy, extolling the mercy of God our Lord, pouring out my thoughts to Him, and giving thanks to Him that up to this very moment He has granted me life. I will resolve with His grace to amend for the future. Close with an Our Father.

(062)

Third Exercise

This is a repetition of the first and second exercises with three colloquies

After the preparatory prayer and the two preludes, this exercise will consist in repeating the First and Second Exercise. In doing this, we should pay attention to and dwell upon those points in which we have experienced greater consolation or desolation or greater spiritual appreciation. After the repetition, three colloquies are to be used in the following manner:

(063)

First Colloquy

The first colloquy will be with our Blessed Lady, that she may obtain grace for me from her Son and Lord for three favors:

  1. A deep knowledge of my sins and a feeling of abhorrence for them;

  2. An understanding of the disorder of my actions, that filled with horror of them, I may amend my life and put it in order;

  3. A knowledge of the world, that filled with horror, I may put away from me all that is worldly and vain.

    Then I will say a Hail Mary.

Second Colloquy

I will make the same petitions to her Son that He may obtain these graces from the Father for me.

After that I will say Soul of Christ.

Third Colloquy

I will make the same requests of the Father that He Himself, the eternal Lord, may grant them to me.

Then I will close with the Our Father.

(064)

Fourth Exercise

This exercise consists of a summary of the third exercise given above

I have called it a summary, because the intellect, without any digression, diligently thinks over and recalls the matter contemplated in the previous exercises. The same three colloquies should be used at the close.

(065)

Fifth Exercise

This is a meditation on hell. Besides the preparatory prayer and two preludes it contains five points and a colloquy

Prayer

The preparatory prayer will be as usual.

First Prelude

This is a representation of the place. Here it will be to see in imagination the length, breadth, and depth of hell.

Second Prelude

I should ask for what I desire. Here it will be to beg for a deep sense of the pain which the lost suffer, that if because of my faults I forget the love of the eternal Lord, at least the fear of these punishments will keep me from falling into sin.

(066)

First Point

This will be to see in imagination the vast fires, and the souls enclosed, as it were, in bodies of fire.

(067)

Second Point

To hear the wailing, the howling, cries, and blasphemies against Christ our Lord and against His saints.

(068)

Third Point

With the sense of smell to perceive the smoke, the sulphur, the filth, and corruption.

(069)

Fourth Point

To taste the bitterness of tears, sadness, and remorse of conscience.

(070)

Fifth Point

With the sense of touch to feel the flames which envelop and burn the souls.

(071)

Colloquy

Enter into conversation with Christ our Lord. Recall to memory that of those who are in hell, some came there because they did not believe in the coming of Christ; others, though they believed, because they did not keep the Commandments. Divide them all into three classes:

  1. Those who were lost before the coming of Christ;

  2. Those who were lost during His lifetime;

  3. Those who were lost after His life here on earth.

Thereupon, I will give thanks to God our Lord that He has not put an end to my life and permitted me to fall into any of these three classes.

I shall also thank Him for this, that up to this very moment He has shown Himself so loving and merciful to me.

Close with an Our Father.

(Other Exercises)

(If the one giving the Exercises judges that it would be profitable for the exercitant, other exercises may be added here, for example, on death and other punishments of sin, on judgment, etc. Let him not think this is forbidden, though they are not given here.)

(072)

Note

The First Exercise will be made at midnight; the Second, immediately on rising in the morning; the Third, before or after Mass, at all events before dinner; the Fourth, about the time of Vespers; the Fifth, an hour before supper.

This is more or less the arrangement of hours that I take for granted is being observed in all four Weeks. But as age, condition of health, and the physical constitution of the exercitant permit, there may be five exercises or fewer.

(073)

Additional Directions

The purpose of these directions is to help one to go through the exercises better and find more readily what he desires

  1. After retiring, just before falling asleep, for the space of a Hail Mary, I will think of the hour when I have to rise, and why I am rising, and briefly sum up the exercise I have to go through.

  2. (074)

    When I wake up, I will not permit my thoughts to roam at random, but will turn my mind at once to the subject I am about to contemplate in the first exercise at midnight. I will seek to rouse myself to shame for my many sins by using examples, let us say, of a knight brought before his king and the whole court, filled with shame and confusion for having grievously offended his lord from whom he had formerly received many gifts and favors. Similarly, in the Second Exercise, I will consider myself a great sinner, loaded with chains, that is, I will look upon myself as bound with fetters, going to appear before the supreme and eternal Judge, and I will recall the way prisoners, bound and deserving of death, appear before an earthly judge. As I dress, I will think over these thoughts or others in keeping with the subject matter of the meditation.

  3. (075)

    I will stand for the space of an Our Father, a step or two before the place where I am to meditate or contemplate, and with my mind raised on high, consider that God our Lord beholds me, etc. Then I will make an act of reverence or humility.

  4. (076)

    I will enter upon the meditation, now kneeling, now prostrate upon the ground, now lying face upwards, now seated, now standing, always being intent on seeking what I desire. Hence, two things should be noted:

    1. If I find what I desire while kneeling, I will not seek to change my position: if prostrate, I will observe the same direction, etc.

    2. I will remain quietly meditating upon the point in which I have found what I desire, without any eagerness to go on till I have been satisfied.

  5. (077)

    After an exercise is finished, either sitting or walking, I will consider for the space of a quarter of an hour how I succeeded in the meditation or contemplation. If poorly, I will seek the cause of the failure; and after I have found it, I will be sorry, so that I may do better in the future. If I have succeeded, I will give thanks to God our Lord, and the next time try to follow the same method.

  6. (078)

    I should not think of things that give pleasure and joy, as the glory of heaven, the Resurrection, etc., for if I wish to feel pain, sorrow, and tears for my sins, every consideration promoting joy and happiness will impede it. I should rather keep in mind that I want to be sorry and feel pain. Hence it would be better to call to mind death and judgment.

  7. (079)

    For the same reason I should deprive myself of all light, closing the shutters and doors when I am in my room, except when I need light to say prayers, to read, or to eat.

  8. (080)

    I should not laugh or say anything that would cause laughter.

  9. (081)

    I should restrain my eyes except to look up in receiving or dismissing one with whom I have to speak.

  10. Penance

    (082)

    The tenth Additional Direction deals with penance. This is divided into interior and exterior penance. Interior penance consists in sorrow for one’s sins and a firm purpose not to commit them or any others. Exterior penance is the fruit of the first kind. It consists in inflicting punishment on ourselves for the sins we have committed. The principal ways of doing this are three:

    1. (083)

      The first kind of exterior penance concerns eating. In this matter, if we do away with what is superfluous, it is not penance, but temperance. We do penance when we deny ourselves something of what is suitable for us. The more we do this, the better the penance, provided only we do no harm to ourselves and do not cause any serious illness.

    2. (084)

      The second kind of exterior penance concerns sleep. Here, too, it is not penance when we do away with the superfluous in what is pampering and soft. But it is penance when in our manner of sleeping we take something away from what is suitable. The more we do in this line, the better it is, provided we do not cause any harm to ourselves, and do not bring on any notable illness. But we should not deny ourselves a suitable amount of sleep, except to come to a happy mean in case we had the habit of sleeping too much.

    3. (085)

      The third kind of penance is to chastise the body, that is, to inflict sensible pain on it. This is done by wearing hairshirts, cords, or iron chains on the body, or by scourging or wounding oneself, and by other kinds of austerities.

      (086)

      The more suitable and safe form of penance seems to be that which would cause sensible pain to the body and not penetrate to the bones, so that it inflicts pain, but does not cause sickness. For this reason it would seem more suitable to chastise oneself with light cords that cause superficial pain, rather than in any other way that might bring about a serious internal infirmity.

Notes

  1. (087)

    The principal reason for performing exterior penance is to secure three effects:

    1. To make satisfaction for past sins;

    2. To overcome oneself, that is, to make our sensual nature obey reason, and to bring all of our lower faculties into greater subjection to the higher;

    3. To obtain some grace or gift that one earnestly desires. Thus it may be that one wants a deep sorrow for sin, or tears, either because of his sins or because of the pains and sufferings of Christ our Lord; or he may want the solution of some doubt that is in his mind.

  2. (088)

    Note that the first and second Additional Directions are to be observed for the exercises at midnight and at daybreak, and not for the exercises made at other times. The fourth Direction is never to be followed in the church before others, but only in private, for example, at home.

  3. (089)

    When the exercitant has not found what he has been seeking, for example, tears, consolation, etc., it is often useful to make some change in the kind of penance, such as in food, in sleep, or in other ways of doing penance, so that we alternate, for two or three days doing penance, and for two or three not doing any. The reason for this is that more penance is better for some and less for others. Another reason is that we often quit doing penance, because we are too much concerned about our bodies and erroneously judge that human nature cannot bear it without notable illness. On the other hand, at times we may do too much penance, thinking that the body can stand it. Now since God our Lord knows our nature infinitely better, when we make changes of this kind, He often grants each one the grace to understand what is suitable for him.

  4. (090)

    The Particular Examination of Conscience will be made to remove faults and negligences with regard to the Exercises and the Additional Directions. This will also be observed in the Second, Third, and Fourth Week.

The Kingdom of Christ

(091)

The Call of an Earthly King

This will help us to contemplate the life of the eternal king

Prayer

The preparatory prayer will be as usual.

First Prelude

This is a mental representation of the place. Here it will be to see in imagination the synagogues, villages, and towns where Christ our Lord preached.

Second Prelude

I will ask for the grace I desire. Here it will be to ask of our Lord the grace not to be deaf to His call, but prompt and diligent to accomplish His most holy will.

First Part

(092)

First Point

This will be to place before my mind a human king, chosen by God our Lord Himself, to whom all Christian princes and people pay homage and obedience.

(093)

Second Point

This will be to consider the address this king makes to all his subjects, with the words: "It is my will to conquer all the lands of the infidel. Therefore, whoever wishes to join with me in this enterprise must be content with the same food, drink, clothing, etc. as mine. So, too, he must work with me by day, and watch with me by night, etc., that as he has had a share in the toil with me, afterwards, he may share in the victory with me."

(094)

Third Point

Consider what the answer of good subjects ought to be to a king so generous and noble-minded, and consequently, if anyone would refuse the invitation of such a king, how justly he would deserve to be condemned by the whole world, and looked upon as an ignoble knight.

(095)

Second Part

The second part of this exercise will consist in applying the example of the earthly king mentioned above to Christ our Lord according to the following points:

First Point

If such a summons of an earthly king to his subjects deserves our attention, how much more worthy of consideration is Christ our Lord, the Eternal King, before whom is assembled the whole world. To all His summons goes forth, and to each one in particular He addresses the words: "It is my will to conquer the whole world and all my enemies, and thus to enter into the glory of my Father. Therefore, whoever wishes to join me in this enterprise must be willing to labor with me, that by following me in suffering, he may follow me in glory."

(096)

Second Point

Consider that all persons who have judgment and reason will offer themselves entirely for this work.

(097)

Third Point

Those who wish to give greater proof of their love, and to distinguish themselves in whatever concerns the service of the eternal King and the Lord of all, will not only offer themselves entirely for the work, but will act against their sensuality and carnal and worldly love, and make offerings of greater value and of more importance in words such as these:

(098)

Eternal Lord of All Things

Eternal Lord of all things, in the presence of Thy infinite goodness, and of Thy glorious mother, and of all the saints of Thy heavenly court, this is the offering of myself which I make with Thy favor and help. I protest that it is my earnest desire and my deliberate choice, provided only it is for Thy greater service and praise, to imitate Thee in bearing all wrongs and all abuse and all poverty, both actual and spiritual, should Thy most holy majesty deign to choose and admit me to such a state and way of life

Notes

(099)
Note I.

This exercise should be gone through twice during the day, that is, in the morning on rising, and an hour before dinner, or before supper.

(100)
Note II.

During the Second Week and thereafter, it will be very profitable to read some passages from the Following of Christ, or from the Gospels, and from the Lives of the Saints.

Second Week

First Day

(101)

First Day and First Contemplation

This is a contemplation on the incarnation. After the preparatory prayer and three preludes there are three points and a colloquy

Prayer

The usual preparatory prayer.

(102)

First Prelude

This will consist in calling to mind the history of the subject I have to contemplate. Here it will be how the Three Divine Persons look down upon the whole expanse or circuit of all the earth, filled with human beings. Since They see that all are going down to hell, They decree in Their eternity that the Second Person should become man to save the human race. So when the fullness of time had come, They send the Angel Gabriel to our Lady. Cf. # 262.

(103)

Second Prelude

This is a mental representation of the place. It will be here to see the great extent of the surface of the earth, inhabited by so many different peoples, and especially to see the house and room of our Lady in the city of Nazareth in the province of Galilee.

(104)

Third Prelude

This is to ask for what I desire. Here it will be to ask for an intimate knowledge of our Lord, who has become man for me, that I may love Him more and follow Him more closely.

(105)

Note

Attention must be called to the following point. The same preparatory prayer without any change, as was mentioned in the beginning, and the three preludes, with such changes of form as the subject demands, are to be made during this Week and during the others that follow.

(106)

First Point

This will be to see the different persons:

First, those on the face of the earth, in such great diversity in dress and in manner of acting. Some are white, some black; some at peace, and some at war; some weeping, some laughing; some well, some sick; some coming into the world, and some dying; etc.

Secondly, I will see and consider the Three Divine Persons seated on the royal dais or throne of the Divine Majesty. They look down upon the whole surface of the earth, and behold all nations in great blindness, going down to death and descending into hell.

Thirdly, I will see our Lady and the angel saluting her.

I will reflect upon this to draw profit from what I see.

(107)

Second Point

This will be to listen to what the persons on the face of the earth say, that is, how they speak to one another, swear and blaspheme, etc. I will also hear what the Divine Persons say, that is, "Let us work the redemption of the human race," etc. Then I will listen to what the angel and our Lady say. Finally, I will reflect upon all I hear to draw profit from their words.

(108)

Third Point

This will be to consider what the persons on the face of the earth do, for example, wound, kill, and go down to hell. Also what the Divine Persons do, namely, work the most holy Incarnation, etc. Likewise, what the Angel and our Lady do; how the Angel carries out his office of ambassador; and how our Lady humbles herself, and offers thanks to the Divine Majesty.

Then I shall reflect upon all to draw some fruit from each of these details.

(109)

Colloquy

The exercise should be closed with a colloquy. I will think over what I ought to say to the Three Divine Persons, or to the eternal Word incarnate, or to His Mother, our Lady. According to the light that I have received, I will beg for grace to follow and imitate more closely our Lord, who has just become man for me.

Close with an Our Father.

(110)

The Second Contemplation

The Nativity

Prayer

The usual preparatory prayer.

(111)

First Prelude

This is the history of the mystery. Here it will be that our Lady, about nine months with child, and, as may be piously believed, seated on an ass, set out from Nazareth. She was accompanied by Joseph and a maid, who was leading an ox. They are going to Bethlehem to pay the tribute that Caesar imposed on those lands. Cf. # 264.

(112)

Second Prelude

This is a mental representation of the place. It will consist here in seeing in imagination the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Consider its length, its breadth; whether level, or through valleys and over hills. Observe also the place or cave where Christ is born; whether big or little; whether high or low; and how it is arranged.

(113)

Third Prelude

This will be the same as in the preceding contemplation and identical in form with it.

(114)

First Point

This will consist in seeing the persons, namely, our Lady, St. Joseph, the maid, and the Child Jesus after His birth. I will make myself a poor little unworthy slave, and as though present, look upon them, contemplate them, and serve them in their needs with all possible homage and reverence.

Then I will reflect on myself that I may reap some fruit.

(115)

Second Point

This is to consider, observe, and contemplate what the persons are saying, and then to reflect on myself and draw some fruit from it.

(116)

Third Point

This will be to see and consider what they are doing, for example, making the journey and laboring that our Lord might be born in extreme poverty, and that after many labors, after hunger, thirst, heat, and cold, after insults and outrages, He might die on the cross, and all this for me.

Then I will reflect and draw some spiritual fruit from what I have seen.

(117)

Colloquy

Close with a colloquy as in the preceding contemplation, and with the Our Father.

(118)

The Third Contemplation

This will be a repetition of the first and second exercises

After the preparatory prayer and the three preludes, a repetition of the First and Second Exercises will be made. In doing this, attention should always be given to some more important parts in which one has experienced understanding, consolation, or desolation.

Close the exercise with a colloquy and an Our Father.

(119)

In this repetition and in all those which follow, the same order of proceeding should be observed as in the repetitions of the First Week. The subject matter is changed but the same form is observed.

(120)

The Fourth Contemplation

This will consist in a repetition of the first and second exercises in the same way as in the repetition given above

(121)

The Fifth Contemplation

This will consist in applying the five senses to the matter of the first and second contemplations

After the preparatory prayer and three preludes, it will be profitable with the aid of the imagination to apply the five senses to the subject matter of the First and Second Contemplation in the following manner:

(122)

First Point

This consists in seeing in imagination the persons, and in contemplating and meditating in detail the circumstances in which they are, and then in drawing some fruit from what has been seen.

(123)/div>

Second Point

This is to hear what they are saying, or what they might say, and then by reflecting on oneself to draw some profit from what has been heard.

(124)

Third Point

This is to smell the infinite fragrance, and taste the infinite sweetness of the divinity. Likewise to apply these senses to the soul and its virtues, and to all according to the person we are contemplating, and to draw fruit from this.

(125)

Fourth Point

This is to apply the sense of touch, for example, by embracing and kissing the place where the persons stand or are seated, always taking care to draw some fruit from this.

(126)

Colloquy

Conclude with a colloquy and with an Our Father as in the First and Second Contemplations.

Notes

  1. (127)

    Attention must be called to the following point. Throughout this Week and the subsequent Weeks, I ought to read only the mystery that I am immediately to contemplate. Hence, I should not read any mystery that is not to be used on that day or at that hour, lest the consideration of one mystery interfere with the contemplation of the other.

  2. (128)

    The First Exercise on the Incarnation should take place at midnight, the second at daybreak, the third about the time of Mass, the fourth near the time of Vespers, and the fifth an hour before supper.

    The same order should be observed on all the following days.

  3. (129)

    If the exercitant is old or weak, or even when strong, if he has come from the First Week rather exhausted, it should be noted that in this Second Week it would be better, at least at times, not to rise at midnight. Then one contemplation would be in the morning, another would be at the time of Mass, a third before dinner, with one repetition of them at the time of Vespers, and the Application of the Senses before supper.

  4. (130)

    Of the ten Additional Directions given during the First Week, the following should be changed during the Second Week: the second, the sixth, the seventh, and part of the tenth.

    The second will be that as soon as I awake, I should place before my mind the subject of the contemplation with the desire to know better the eternal Word Incarnate in order to serve and follow Him more closely.

    The sixth will be to call to mind frequently the mysteries of the life of Christ our Lord from the Incarnation to the place or mystery I am contemplating.

    The seventh will be that the exercitant take care to darken his room, or admit the light; to make use of pleasant or disagreeable weather, in as far as he perceives that it may be of profit, and help to find what he desires.

    In the observance of the tenth Additional Direction, the exercitant must conduct himself as the mysteries he is contemplating demand. Some call for penance; others do not.

    Thus all ten Additional Directions are to be observed with great care.

  5. (131)

    In all the exercises, except the one at midnight and the one in the morning, an equivalent of the second Additional Direction should be observed as follows:

    As soon as I recall that it is time for the exercise in which I ought to engage, before proceeding to it, I will call to mind, where I am going, before whom I am to appear, and briefly sum up the exercise. Then after observing the third Additional Direction, I shall enter upon the exercise.

Second and Third Days

(132)

Second Day

On the second day, for the first and second contemplations, the Presentation in the Temple, # 268, and the Flight into Exile in Egypt, # 269, should be used. Two repetitions will be made of these contemplations, and the Application of the Senses, in the same way as was done on the preceding day.

(133)

Note

Sometimes it will be profitable, even when the exercitant is strong and well-disposed, to make some changes from the second day to the fourth inclusive in order to attain better what is desired. Thus, the first contemplation would be the one on rising. Then there would be a second about the time of Mass, a repetition about the time of Vespers, and the Application of the Senses before supper.

(134)

Third Day

On the third day use the contemplations on the Obedience of the Child Jesus to His parents, # 271, and the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple, # 272. Then will follow the two repetitions and the Application of the Senses.

(135)

Introduction to the Consideration of Different States of Life

The example which Christ our Lord gave of the first state of life, which is that of observing the Commandments, has already been considered in meditating on His obedience to His parents. The example of the second state, which is that of evangelical perfection, has also been considered, when He remained in the temple and left His foster father and His Mother to devote Himself exclusively to the service of His eternal Father.

While continuing to contemplate His life, let us begin to investigate and ask in what kind of life or in what state His Divine Majesty wishes to make use of us.

Therefore, as some introduction to this, in the next exercise, let us consider the intention of Christ our Lord, and on the other hand, that of the enemy of our human nature. Let us also see how we ought to prepare ourselves to arrive at perfection in whatever state or way of life God our Lord may grant us to choose.

(136)

The Fourth Day

A Meditation on Two Standards

The one of Christ, our supreme leader and lord, the other of Lucifer, the deadly enemy of our human nature

Prayer

The usual preparatory prayer.

(137)

First Prelude

This is the history. Here it will be that Christ calls and wants all beneath His standard, and Lucifer, on the other hand, wants all under his.

(138)

Second Prelude

This is a mental representation of the place. It will be here to see a great plain, comprising the whole region about Jerusalem, where the sovereign Commander-in-Chief of all the good is Christ our Lord; and another plain about the region of Babylon, where the chief of the enemy is Lucifer.

(139)

Third Prelude

This is to ask for what I desire. Here it will be to ask for a knowledge of the deceits of the rebel chief and help to guard myself against them; and also to ask for a knowledge of the true life exemplified in the sovereign and true Commander, and the grace to imitate Him.

First Part: The Standard of Satan

(140)

First Point

Imagine you see the chief of all the enemy in the vast plain about Babylon, seated on a great throne of fire and smoke, his appearance inspiring horror and terror.

(141)

Second Point

Consider how he summons innumerable demons, and scatters them, some to one city and some to another, throughout the whole world, so that no province, no place, no state of life, no individual is overlooked.

(142)

Third Point

Consider the address he makes to them, how he goads them on to lay snares for men and bind them with chains. First they are to tempt them to covet riches (as Satan himself is accustomed to do in most cases) that they may the more easily attain the empty honors of this world, and then come to overweening pride.

The first step, then, will be riches, the second honor, the third pride. From these three steps the evil one leads to all other vices.

Second Part: The Standard of Christ

(143)

In a similar way, we are to picture to ourselves the sovereign and true Commander, Christ our Lord.

(144)

First Point

Consider Christ our Lord, standing in a lowly place in a great plain about the region of Jerusalem, His appearance beautiful and attractive.

(145)

Second Point

Consider how the Lord of all the world chooses so many persons, apostles, disciples, etc., and sends them throughout the whole world to spread His sacred doctrine among all men, no matter what their state or condition.

(146)

Third Point

Consider the address which Christ our Lord makes to all His servants and friends whom He sends on this enterprise, recommending to them to seek to help all, first by attracting them to the highest spiritual poverty, and should it please the Divine Majesty, and should He deign to choose them for it, even to actual poverty. Secondly, they should lead them to a desire for insults and contempt, for from these springs humility.

Hence, there will be three steps: the first, poverty as opposed to riches; the second, insults or contempt as opposed to the honor of this world; the third, humility as opposed to pride. From these three steps, let them lead men to all other virtues.

(147)

Colloquy

A colloquy should be addressed to our Lady, asking her to obtain for me from her Son and Lord the grace to be received under His standard, first in the highest spiritual poverty, and should the Divine Majesty be pleased thereby, and deign to choose and accept me, even in actual poverty; secondly, in bearing insults and wrongs, thereby to imitate Him better, provided only I can suffer these without sin on the part of another, and without offense of the Divine Majesty. Then I will say the Hail Mary.

Second Colloquy

This will be to ask her Son to obtain the same favors for me from the Father. Then I will say, Soul of Christ.

Third Colloquy

This will be to beg the Father to grant me the same graces. Then I will say the Our Father.

(148)

Note

This exercise will be made at midnight and again in the morning. There will be two repetitions of the same exercise, one about the time of Mass and the other about the time of Vespers. The same three colloquies, with our Lady, with her Son, and with the Father, will close all these exercises as well as the one on the Three Classes of Men, which follows an hour before supper.

(149)

Three Classes of Men

This is a meditation for the same fourth day to choose that which is better

Prayer

The usual preparatory prayer.

(150)

First Prelude

This is the history of the Three Classes of Men. Each of them has acquired ten thousand ducats, but not entirely as they should have, for the love of God. They all wish to save their souls and find peace in God our Lord by ridding themselves of the burden arising from the attachment to the sum acquired, which impedes the attainment of this end.

(151)

Second Prelude

This is a mental representation of the place. Here it will be to behold myself standing in the presence of God our Lord and of all His saints, that I may know and desire what is more pleasing to His Divine Goodness.

(152)

Third Prelude

This is to ask for what I desire. Here it will be to beg for the grace to choose what is more for the glory of His Divine Majesty and the salvation of my soul.

(153)

The First Class

They would like to rid themselves of the attachment they have to the sum acquired in order to find peace in God our Lord and assure their salvation, but the hour of death comes, and they have not made use of any means.

(154)

The Second Class

They want to rid themselves of the attachment, but they wish to do so in such a way that they retain what they have acquired, so that God is to come to what they desire, and they do not decide to give up the sum of money in order to go to God, though this would be the better way for them.

(155)

The Third Class

These want to rid themselves of the attachment, but they wish to do so in such a way that they desire neither to retain nor to relinquish the sum acquired. They seek only to will and not will as God our Lord inspires them, and as seems better for the service and praise of the Divine Majesty. Meanwhile, they will strive to conduct themselves as if every attachment to it had been broken. They will make efforts neither to want that, nor anything else, unless the service of God our Lord alone move them to do so. As a result, the desire to be better able to serve God our Lord will be the cause of their accepting anything or relinquishing it.

(156)

Threefold Colloquy

I will make use of the same three colloquies employed in the preceding contemplation on Two Standards.

(157)

Note

It should be noted that when we feel an attachment opposed to actual poverty or a repugnance to it, when we are not indifferent to poverty and riches, it will be very helpful in order to overcome the inordinate attachment, even though corrupt nature rebel against it, to beg our Lord in the colloquies to choose us to serve Him in actual poverty. We should insist that we desire it, beg for it, plead for it, provided, of course, that it be for the service and praise of the Divine Goodness.

(158)

Fifth Day

The contemplation on the journey of Christ our Lord from Nazareth to the river Jordan and His baptism. Cf. # 273.

Notes

  1. (159)

    This matter should be contemplated once at midnight, and again in the morning. There will be two repetitions of it, one about the time of Mass and the other about the time of Vespers. Before supper there will be the Application of the Senses to the same mystery.

    In each of these five exercises, there will be at the beginning, the preparatory prayer and the three preludes as was fully explained in the contemplations on the Incarnation and the Nativity. They will conclude with the three colloquies of the meditation on Three Classes of Men, or according to the note which follows this meditation.

  2. (160)

    The Particular Examination of Conscience after dinner and after supper will be made upon the faults and negligences with regard to the exercises of the day and on the Additional Directions. The same will be observed on the subsequent days.

(161)

Sixth Day

The contemplation will be on Christ our Lord’s departure from the river Jordan for the desert and on the temptations. The same directions that were given for the fifth day will be followed here.

Seventh Day

St. Andrew and others follow Christ our Lord. Cf. # 275.

Eighth Day

The Sermon on the Mount, which is on the eight beatitudes, cf. # 278.

Ninth Day

Christ our Lord appears to His disciples on the waves of the sea. Cf. # 280.

Tenth Day

Our Lord preaches in the temple. Cf. # 288.

Eleventh Day

The raising of Lazarus, cf. # 285.

Twelfth Day

Palm Sunday, cf. # 287.

Notes

  1. (162)

    Every one, according to the time he wishes to devote to the contemplations of this Second Week, and according to his progress, may lengthen or shorten this Week.

    If he wishes to lengthen it, let him take the mysteries of the Visitation of our Lady to Elizabeth, the Shepherds, the Circumcision of the Child Jesus, the Three Kings, and also others.

    If he wishes to shorten the Week, he may omit even some of the mysteries that have been assigned. For they serve here to afford an introduction and method for better and more complete meditation later.

  2. (163)

    The treatment of the matter dealing with the Choice of a Way of Life will begin with the contemplation of our Lord’s departure from Nazareth for the Jordan, taken inclusively, that is, on the Fifth Day, as is explained later.

  3. (164)

    Before entering upon the Choice of a Way of Life, in order that we may be filled with love of the true doctrine of Christ our Lord, it will be very useful to consider attentively the following Three Kinds of Humility. These should be thought over from time to time during the whole day, and the three colloquies should also be added as will be indicated further on.

Three Kinds of Humility

(165)

The First Kind of Humility

This is necessary for salvation. It consists in this, that as far as possible I so subject and humble myself as to obey the law of God our Lord in all things, so that not even were I made lord of all creation, or to save my life here on earth, would I consent to violate a commandment, whether divine or human, that binds me under pain of mortal sin.

(166)

The Second Kind of Humility

This is more perfect than the first. I possess it if my attitude of mind is such that I neither desire nor am I inclined to have riches rather than poverty, to seek honor rather than dishonor, to desire a long life rather than a short life, provided only in either alternative I would promote equally the service of God our Lord and the salvation of my soul. Besides this indifference, this second kind of humility supposes that not for all creation, nor to save my life, would I consent to commit a venial sin.

(167)

The Third Kind of Humility

This is the most perfect kind of humility. It consists in this. If we suppose the first and second kind attained, then whenever the praise and glory of the Divine Majesty would be equally served, in order to imitate and be in reality more like Christ our Lord, I desire and choose poverty with Christ poor, rather than riches; insults with Christ loaded with them, rather than honors; I desire to be accounted as worthless and a fool for Christ, rather than to be esteemed as wise and prudent in this world. So Christ was treated before me.

(168)

Note

If one desires to attain this third kind of humility, it will help very much to use the three colloquies at the close of the meditation on the three Classes of Men mentioned above. He should beg our Lord to deign to choose him for this third kind of humility, which is higher and better, that he may the more imitate and serve Him, provided equal or greater praise and service be given to the Divine Majesty.

Making a Choice of a Way of Life

(169)

Introduction to Making a Choice of a Way of Life

In every good choice, as far as depends on us, our intention must be simple. I must consider only the end for which I am created, that is, for the praise of God our Lord and for the salvation of my soul. Hence, whatever I choose must help me to this end for which I am created.

I must not subject and fit the end to the means, but the means to the end. Many first choose marriage, which is a means, and secondarily the service of God our Lord in marriage, though the service of God is the end. So also others first choose to have benefices, and afterwards to serve God in them. Such persons do not go directly to God, but want God to conform wholly to their inordinate attachments. Consequently, they make of the end a means, and of the means an end. As a result, what they ought to seek first, they seek last.

Therefore, my first aim should be to seek to serve God, which is the end, and only after that, if it is more profitable, to have a benefice or marry, for these are means to the end. Nothing must move me to use such means, or to deprive myself of them, save only the service and praise of God our Lord, and the salvation of my soul.

(170)

Matters About Which a Choice Should Be Made

The purpose of this consideration is to afford information on the matters about which a choice should be made. It contains four points and a note

First Point

It is necessary that all matters of which we wish to make a choice be either indifferent or good in themselves, and such that they are lawful within our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church, and not bad or opposed to her.

(171)

Second Point

There are things that fall under an unchangeable choice, such as the priesthood, marriage, etc. There are others with regard to which our choice may be changed, for example, to accept or relinquish a benefice, to receive or renounce temporal goods.

(172)

Third Point

With regard to an unchangeable choice, once it has been made, for instance, by marriage or the priesthood, etc., since it cannot be undone, no further choice is possible. Only this is to be noted. If the choice has not been made as it should have been, and with due order, that is, if it was not made without inordinate attachments, one should be sorry for this, and take care to live well in the life he has chosen.

Since such a choice was inordinate and awry, it does not seem to be a vocation from God, as many erroneously believe. They make a divine call out of a perverse and wicked choice. For every vocation that comes from God is always pure and undefiled, uninfluenced by the flesh or any inordinate attachment.

(173)

Fourth Point

In matters that may be changed, if one has made a choice properly and with due order, without any yielding to the flesh or the world, there seems to be no reason why he should make it over. But let him perfect himself as much as possible in the one he has made.

(174)

Note

It is to be observed that if a choice in matters that are subject to change has not been made sincerely and with due order, then, if one desires to bring forth fruit that is worthwhile and most pleasing in the sight of God our Lord, it will be profitable to make a choice in the proper way.

(175)

Three Times When a Correct and Good Choice of a Way of Life May Be Made

First Time

When God our Lord so moves and attracts the will that a devout soul without hesitation, or the possibility of hesitation, follows what has been manifested to it. St. Paul and St. Matthew acted thus in following Christ our Lord.

(176)

Second Time

When much light and understanding are derived through experience of desolations and consolations and discernment of diverse spirits.

(177)

Third Time

This is a time of tranquillity. One considers first for what purpose man is born, that is, for the praise of God our Lord and for the salvation of his soul. With the desire to attain this before his mind, he chooses as a means to this end a kind of life or state within the bounds of the Church that will be a help in the service of his Lord and for the salvation of his soul.

I said it is a time of tranquillity, that is, a time when the soul is not agitated by different spirits, and has free and peaceful use of its natural powers.

(178)

If a choice of a way of life has not been made in the first and second time, below are given:

Two Ways of Making a Choice of a Way of Life in the Third Time

First Way of Making a Good and Correct Choice of a Way of Life

This contains six points

First Point

This is to place before my mind the object with regard to which I wish to make a choice, for example, an office, or the reception or rejection of a benefice, or anything else that may be the object of a choice subject to change.

(179)

Second Point

It is necessary to keep as my aim the end for which I am created, that is, the praise of God our Lord and the salvation of my soul. Besides this, I must be indifferent, without any inordinate attachment, so that I am not more inclined or disposed to accept the object in question than to relinquish it, nor to give it up than to accept it. I should be like a balance at equilibrium, without leaning to either side, that I might be ready to follow whatever I perceive is more for the glory and praise of God our Lord and for the salvation of my soul.

(180)

Third Point

I should beg God our Lord to deign to move my will, and to bring to my mind what I ought to do in this matter that would be more for His praise and glory. Then I should use the understanding to weigh the matter with care and fidelity, and make my choice in conformity with what would be more pleasing to His most holy will.

(181)

Fourth Point

This will be to weigh the matter by reckoning the number of advantages and benefits that would accrue to me if I had the proposed office or benefice solely for the praise of God our Lord and the salvation of my soul. On the other hand, I should weigh the disadvantages and dangers there might be in having it. I will do the same with the second alternative, that is, weigh the advantages and benefits as well as the disadvantages and danger of not having it.

(182)

Fifth Point

After I have gone over and pondered in this way every aspect of the matter in question, I will consider which alternative appears more reasonable. Then I must come to a decision in the matter under deliberation because of weightier motives presented to my reason, and not because of any sensual inclination.

(183)

Sixth Point

After such a choice or decision, the one who has made it must turn with great diligence to prayer in the presence of God our Lord, and offer Him his choice that the Divine Majesty may deign to accept and confirm it if it is for His greater service and praise.

(184)

Second Way of Making a Correct and Good Choice of a Way of Life

This contains four rules and a note

First Rule

The love that moves and causes one to choose must descend from above, that is, from the love of God, so that before one chooses he should perceive that the greater or less attachment for the object of his choice is solely because of His Creator and Lord.

(185)

Second Rule

I should represent to myself a man whom I have never seen or known, and whom I would like to see practice all perfection. Then I should consider what I would tell him to do and choose for the greater glory of God our Lord and the greater perfection of his soul. I will do the same, and keep the rule I propose to others.

(186)

Third Rule

This is to consider what procedure and norm of action I would wish to have followed in making the present choice if I were at the moment of death. I will guide myself by this and make my decision entirely in conformity with it.

(187)

Fourth Rule

Let me picture and consider myself as standing in the presence of my judge on the last day, and reflect what decision in the present matter I would then wish to have made. I will choose now the rule of life that I would then wish to have observed, that on the day of judgment I may be filled with happiness and joy.

(188)

Note

Guided by the rules given above for my eternal salvation and peace, I will make my decision, and will offer it to God our Lord as directed in the sixth point of the First Way of Making a Choice of a Way of Life.

(189)

Directions for the Amendment and Reformation of One's Way of Living in His State of Life

It must be borne in mind that some may be established in an ecclesiastical office, or may be married, and hence cannot make a choice of a state of life, or, in matters that may be changed and hence are subject to a choice, they may not be very willing to make one.

It will be very profitable for such persons, whether they possess great wealth or not, in place of a choice, to propose a way for each to reform his manner of living in his state by setting before him the purpose of his creation and of his life and position, namely, the glory and praise of God our Lord and the salvation of his soul.

If he is really to attain this end, during the Exercises and during the consideration of the ways of making a choice as explained above, he will have to examine and weigh in all its details how large a household he should maintain, how he ought to rule and govern it, how he ought to teach its members by word and example. So too he should consider what part of his means should be used for his family and household, how much should be set aside for distribution to the poor and other pious purposes.

Let him desire and seek nothing except the greater praise and glory of God our Lord as the aim of all he does. For every one must keep in mind that in all that concerns the spiritual life his progress will be in proportion to his surrender of self-love and of his own will and interests.

Notes on the Translation

The purpose of these notes is to give the reasons for the translation adopted when it differs from the traditional wording.

The marginal number will be placed over the comment on any word or passage occurring in that section. But first a note on the prayer, Soul of Christ.

Soul of Christ

In the breviary and in the missal this prayer occurs in the Thanksgiving after Mass under the heading Aspirationes Sancti Ignatii. This is true, of course, not in the sense that St. Ignatius composed the prayer, but in the sense that it was frequently used and recommended by him. It was not prefixed to the Autograph copy or to the early Latin versions. It first appeared at the beginning of the Exercises in an edition printed in Vilna in 1583. Since then it has become the universal custom to place it at the beginning of all copies of the Exercises.

It is referred to in the Exercises where the Triple Colloquy is explained. Here it serves as the vocal prayer at the close of the Second Colloquy. Cf. # 63, 148. It is also referred to in the Second and Third Methods of Prayer, where it seems to be taken for granted that it is one of the ordinary daily prayers. Cf. # 253, 258.

1

'Introductory Observations,' Spanish, annotaciones. Certainly, nothing was further from the mind of St. Ignatius, with his meagre education and his limping Spanish, than to invent new words or new meanings for old words. Nor do the ideas contained in the Exercises demand it. It is true that in the Exercises new meanings are given to old words, and new word forms are used. This is due to lack of literary training and lack of knowledge of Castilian. There is no reason to perpetuate these defects. What St. Ignatius meant by annotaciones is clear from examining them. They are a numbered series of observations on the Exercises. That they are to serve as some kind of introduction is clearly stated in the title. Evidently, therefore, they are introductory observations, and that is what we have called them. Annotation has not such a meaning in current English and apparently never did have.

'Every method … every way,' in Spanish, todo modo. The Spanish seems to be equivalent to, this whole system. Cf. Nonell, Ars Ignatiana, p. 27. But due to the comparison with bodily exercises it is practically impossible to use any way of expressing this meaning. I have retained the traditional translation which in the context comes practically to the same thing.

'Taking a walk, journeying on foot, running,' pasear, caminar, correr. An attempt has been made to bring out the shades of meaning. Cf. Nonell, Estudio sobre el Texto, Introduction and p. 190, under caminar.

'Attachments,' Spanish, affecciones. St. Ignatius constantly uses affección for afición, attachment. Both Nonell in Los Ejercicios en si Mismos, p. 14, and the Monumenta Historica, Exercitia Spiritualia, p. 127, call attention to this peculiarity. Attachment has commonly been substituted except where it refers to a person.

2

'Let him adhere to the points,' Discuriendo solamente por los puntos. This translation brings out the position of the adverb. A similar way of rendering this passage was adopted by Feder in German. Cf. also Calveras, Ejercicios Espirituales, ad loc., who shows that the passage was thus understood by Faber and in the old Literal Version, which is probably from the hand of St. Ignatius himself.

'Better understood,' Más … sentir. The Spanish verb sentir and the corresponding noun, sentimiento are very frequently used in the transferred sense, to know, to understand, knowledge, understanding. The context constantly demands, perceive, know, understand.

4

'In our search for the fruit that is proper to the matter assigned,' buscando las cosas según la subiecta materia. Since buscar immediately above refers to searching for the fruits of the exercise, I have retained this meaning here. The German of Feder seems to refer it to the adjustment of the lengths of the Weeks. He also translates subiecta materia as circumstances, which does not seem good here though in other cases it is the meaning of the term. Cf. Roothaan, note four, on the Primus modus orandi. The translation adopted here is also suggested by Calveras, op. cit., ad loc.

6

'Additional Directions,' Addiciones. Cf. note on # 73.

'# 316–324,' all cross references are made in these notes and in the translation by means of the marginal numbers.

14

'Unstable in character,' de ligera condición. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc.

'Endowments,' subiecto. I have followed Roothaan's interpretation of subiecto as meaning general ability, physical and moral. Cf. Roothaan, ad loc.; also Calveras, op. cit., ad loc. Hence, where this word occurs as referring to a human being, general words are used which do not explicitly specify mental or physical ability, as fitness, endowments, ability. Cf. notes on # 15, 18. Nonell interprets it as referring to physical condition only, cf. Estudio, p. 203. This is the interpretation preferred by Feder.

15

'Have the required fitness,' tengan subiecto. Cf. note above on # 14.

'Inflame it with love,' Abrasándola. I have followed the reading of the later Spanish texts. Abrazándola seems to be a copyist's error. Cf. Roothaan, ad loc.

16

'Inordinately attached,' affectadadesordinadamente. Cf. note on # 1, referring to attachment. Cf. Nonell, Estudio, p. 188 on the meanings of the verb affectar in the Exercises. Forms of this same verb and of the noun affección occur several times in this Observation. If the faulty translation affection is retained, it is very confusing.

18

'Of little physical strength,' de poco complisión. Cf. note of the editor of the Spanish-Latin edition to Father Roothaan's translation. Toward the end of this same Observation the same idea is expressed in Spanish by de poca capacidad natural. The two expressions are given the same meaning by Nonell and by Roothaan.

'Has little aptitude,' de poco subiecto. Cf. notes on # 14, 15. Here the meaning is practically equivalent to the English, "He would make a poor subject for the Exercises."

'Choice of a Way of Life,' elección, Cf. notes on this in # 169ff.

'Some of the easier exercises,' algunos destos exercicios leves. Cf. the discussion in Nonell in Ars Ignatiana on the meaning of Exercicios leves.

20

'Ordinarily,' por via ordinada. Cf. Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 246, note a, the editor thinks that the Spanish text is a copyist's error for por via ordinaria.

'United with,' se allega. For this translation, cf. Calveras, op, cit., ad loc.

21

'That no decision is made,' sin determinarse. Cf. the discussion on the meaning of the verb, determinar, and the noun, determinatión, in the Exercises, Nonell, Estudio, p. 195. He shows that they mean decide, choose, decision, choice, and practically never, determine, determination.

22

'Presupposition.' This heading in the Autograph occurs only along the top of the page. It has become the custom in later editions to place it over the section.

'Defend the proposition from error,' se salve. Cf. editor's note to Father Roothaan's translation on this point in the Spanish-Latin edition defending the passive sense of se salve instead of the reflexive, save himself, which refers to the neighbor and not to the proposition. The translation, defend the proposition, makes it very clear that there is no question of the salvation of the soul.

23

'First Principle.' The word first has been added because the English word principle has lost much of the force of the Latin principium. Father Morris, though quite literal in his translation, felt the necessity of adding it. Father Feder in German has an equivalent.

'Indifferent.' I should like to get rid of this word because of the ambiguous meaning in English, but it is too deeply rooted in spiritual literature, especially that of the Exercises. Further, detached, the correct word, presents difficulties in the context.

'Our one desire and choice,' solamente deseando y eligiendo. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., p. 25, note. He calls attention to the fact that the contemporaries of St. Ignatius, who certainly understood the Spanish of the time, translated in this way.

24

'First Week.' This is added before #24 for clearness and convenience. Indications of the Weeks occur in the Autograph only as titles along the top of the page. I have placed it here because the Foundation belongs in a sense to all the Weeks.

'Daily Particular Examination,' examen particular y cotidiano. The modifiers, daily and particular have been changed in position because particular examination has come to be looked upon as one idea. Hence, the and can be omitted, and could also be omitted because of the difference in idiom in connecting two modifiers of the same word.

27

'Additional Directions,' for explanation of this term see note on # 73.

28

'To which G is prefixed.' We are not certain why St. Ignatius used the letter G. The editor of the volume on the Exercises in the Monumenta Historica thinks it is an abbreviation for the subject of the Particular Examination, for example, gula. Roothaan changed it to D for day. Cf. Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 258.

31

'Note.' Throughout the translation this term has been kept, though it does not stand for what we commonly mean by note in English. Usually notes are some further explanation of a detail that does not belong in the text, or a reference. In the Exercises they belong to the body of the text and are some additional direction about the Exercises of the Week or of a group of Exercises, or merely a further detail about a previous direction.

They are indicated on the margin in the Autograph. Here they have been centered to draw attention to them and make them easier to find. They are often less prominent in the versions than in the Autograph, which does not make for clearness.

When there is a series of notes in the Autograph, we have merely note on the margin and a number. In the translations NOTES is placed in the center over the series.

The ways of representing the figure for recording the Particular Examination of Conscience differ in the Autograph and in the Vulgate Version. In the Autograph the lines extend the width of the page, but each succeeding day they come closer together. In the Vulgate they are shortened each day.

33

'Thus overcome,' queda vencido. The idiomatic use of quedar as here, and of ir, as in the next section, as auxiliaries of the passive, with little difference of meaning from the ordinary way of expressing the passive, is very common and cannot be imitated in English. In this section we have queda vencido for the same idea in # 34 expressed by va vencido. Cf. note in the Spanish-Latin edition to Roothaan's translation, victa manet. We have translated actively, thus overcome, to keep the subjects the same.

38

The parts in parentheses here and elsewhere are found in the Vulgate Version. I have added such parts because of the great authority of this version, which was made in the lifetime of St. Ignatius, and approved by the Holy See. It was accepted as the official Latin version by the Fifth General Congregation.

47

'A mental representation of the place,' composición viendo el lugar. The explanation given immediately after these words shows what St. Ignatius meant by them. Evidently the Spanish word composición meant something that our English composition does not mean. The force of the Latin root must have been strong in his mind. In the second lesson of the breviary for Easter Monday we have a suggestion of what this was. St. Gregory says: "Fingere namque componere dicimus unde compositores luti figulos vocamus." Since the English word composition has lost this meaning, it is impossible to use it as a translation. Further, in the traditional rendition, "a composition seeing the place," the Spanish viendo is not expressed correctly. It should at least be by seeing. Evidently the phrase means, "A representation of the place by seeing it in imagination." It has been shortened in the translation to, "A mental representation of the place." "Mental" sufficiently renders "by seeing in imagination."

'Where the object is … where Jesus or His Mother is,' donde se halla. The idiomatic uses of the verb to find, so common in some European languages, are almost wholly wanting in English. Hence, we cannot translate, as is often done, "Where he finds himself." The idiomatic uses of the Spanish hallarse are constantly recurring. It is an error to translate by find. It simply means to be.

'See in imagination … and consider,' ver con la vista imaginativa y considerar. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., p. 29, on the "binary character" of the style of St. Ignatius, and the manner of translating. In several places in the translation, if one word expresses the idea sufficiently, the other is omitted.

49

'Note.' Failure to emphasize the parts clearly has done much to add to the difficulty of understanding and using the Exercises. The Autograph has more clear indications of this kind than some of the translations. The word note has been prominently placed as a heading in this translation. In a few cases where the Autograph omits it, it has been inserted and attention called to it.

50

'That they were,' cómo siendo. Though the use of how after verbs of seeing, considering, and the like is perfectly correct and idiomatic English (Cf. Webster's New International Dictionary), it has been replaced very frequently by that, which is more common and gives a more even if less graphic translation. Cómo, how is exceedingly common in the language of the Exercises, far more so than is customary in English.

53

'Begin to speak with Him,' hacer un coloquio. Hacer, to make, to do, is exceedingly common in the Spanish of St. Ignatius. He makes exercises, makes colloquies, makes meditations, makes contemplations, etc. There are very few cases where it is idiomatically correct to keep the verb in English. Hence, we must constantly be looking for another form of expression. Except in very few cases, it has been avoided in the translation. This has caused much apparent change, though it is merely trying to express the ideas in English.

'Reflect on myself,' mirando a mi mismo. The verb mirar is very frequently used in the Exercises in derived meanings, to consider, reflect, examine.

54

'Note on Colloquies.' This heading has been added. This is one of the few cases where a note is given which is not clearly indicated in the Autograph. The heading will help both to remember it and to locate it.

55

'Meditation on our sins,' meditación de los pecados. The article has been changed to a personal pronoun here and in many places in the translation in accordance with the difference of idiom in Spanish and English. We use the personal pronouns very much more.

'Growing and intense sorrow,' crescido y intenso dolor. The Spanish crescido, translated by growing, as Father Roothaan points out, means increasing till it has become great. It is frequently used by St. Ignatius. Cf. notes on # 60 and 320.

56

'The record of my sins,' proceso de los pecados. The Spanish proceso is a legal term, and means both the trial at law and the record of the case. The second meaning is the one that fits here.

Here again the article has been rendered by the possessive. At the close of this section, St. Ignatius makes the construction personal with I as subject. The method of translating commented on in the next note gives additional reason for turning the article to the possessive.

'I will call to mind,' traer a la memoria. St. Ignatius frequently uses an impersonal construction which he turns later to a personal one by the use of the personal pronoun. He begins, "the first point is to see," or even, "the first point, to see," or simply, "to see." Since he often continues with personal pronouns, the whole construction has often been made personal, for example, "First Point. I will see." The emphatic will has been preferred to the mere future. At times the imperative has been substituted as circumstances suggested.

58

'Source of contagion and corruption,' una llaga y postema. Literally, a sore and ulcer. The figure has been changed. The expression adopted seems sufficient to express the idea.

60

'With surging emotion,' con crescido afecto. Surging is one of the ways by which the adjective crescido is translated. Cf. note on # 55.

61

'Pour out your thoughts,' razonar. Cf. note in the Spanish-Latin text to # 199. Roothaan translates by ratiocinari, which refers entirely to a reasoning process, for which St. Ignatius uses raciocinar and not razonar. Nonell, Estudio, p. 200, emphasizes the conversational connotation of the verb, and would prefer converse with. The note of the editor of the Spanish-Latin text referred to above prefers both, converse and reason. The translation has been an attempt to join these two. In other places, other ways of doing this have been adopted according to what seemed best under the circumstances.

62

'With three colloquies,' haciendo tres coloquios. The prepositional phrase has been employed to avoid the unidiomatic make a colloquy. Such devices have been continually used, and will not be mentioned hereafter.

71

'Enter into conversation,' haciendo un coloquio. The translation expresses at once the idea of colloquy and avoids the unidiomatic, make a colloquy.

'(Other Exercises).' The heading and the following note in parentheses have been added in the text. They form a part, we may say, of the approved edition of the Exercises. The two oldest versions, the Vulgate and the Literal Version contain the note. Both were presented to the Holy See and approved. The Literal Version was probably translated by St. Ignatius himself. We have authority for the statement that he himself added the note. Cf. Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 576. There seems to be no reason for adhering to the Autograph in such a way as to assume that it expresses the last word of the author. Wherever a passage in the Vulgate or in the Literal Version seems to be better or to have greater authority it has been used throughout this translation. As a matter of fact, the Vulgate, which was published in the lifetime of St. Ignatius, and carefully corrected and approved by the Fifth General Congregation, remained the official Latin version. Even Father Roothaan published it along with his own literal translation.

72

'Age, condition of health, and physical constitution,' edad, dispusición y temperatura. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc. Temperatura is for temperamento, and has been translated physical constitution, following Feder and Nonell. Cf. Note on # 205, where the same expression occurs.

73

'Additional Directions,' addiciones. Here, as in # 27, Additional Directions is used instead of the traditional additions. It expresses what they are, as their purpose, stated by St. Ignatius in the title, clearly tells us. This translation is clearer and avoids the use of the word addition in a sense not current in English.

82

'Penance.' The heading penance has been put over this Additional Direction to give it prominence and make it easy to find.

86

'The More Suitable and Safe Form of Penance.' The first words of this note have been capitalized to give it prominence. In the Autograph it is distinguished by the word Note on the margin. This has been dropped because it leads to confusion with the set of notes that follow. Immediately after this follows Note I.

87

'Notes.' This heading has been added for clearness. In a set of notes of this kind, the Autograph has no heading but merely Nota, with the number on the margin before each one.

91

'The Kingdom of Christ.' This title of the Exercise is not in the Autograph, but is used in the Vulgate, which was known to St. Ignatius and presented to the Holy See for approval. The title is also in the Directory, which was begun in the lifetime of St. Ignatius, and drawn up on an outline made by him. On this point see Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 306, and the publication of Father Pierre Bouvier, Directoire Composé par St. Ignace, Paris, 1917, on the original Directory of St. Ignatius.

The Vulgate also places Second Week at the head of this Exercise. We cannot follow in this, since it introduces an inconsistency into the Exercises. The meditation on the Kingdom was intended as an Exercise for the day intervening between the First and Second Weeks, as the note in # 99 clearly shows. To put Second Week over it would make the heading in # 101 false. That reads "First Day and First Exercise," although another day and another exercise have preceded if we put the heading Second Week over the Kingdom.

92

'First Part.' This heading has been added for clearness and uniformity. St. Ignatius indicated the second part but not the first.

95

'His summons goes forth … He addresses the words.' For the way of translating by separating the two verbs and applying them to separate objects cf. Calveras, op. cit., p. 29.

98

'The offering of myself,' mi oblación. Since the emphasis is on my offering, I have chosen the more emphatic form.

'State and way of life,' vida y estado. I do not think that this should be translated, as is done at times, as a hendiadys, a state of life. The two should be kept on a par. The state refers to a vocation that cannot be changed, and the life to a manner of living in our vocation. Cf. Introduction to Consideration of Different States of Life, # 135 with note. The expression is equivalent to the longer one used in # 15, estado o modo de vivir. Neither can it be objected that the or between the two members makes them the same. The context shows it does not. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc.

101

'Second Week.' This heading is placed before this Exercise for clearness. In the Autograph such headings occur only along the top of the page, here and for the rest of the Week. In the Vulgate and traditionally it is placed over the Kingdom of Christ. This is certainly not the mind of St. Ignatius, as # 101 begins with the words: "First Exercise and First Contemplation."

109

'According to the light I have received,' según que en si sintiere. As mentioned before in the note on # 2, the forms and derivatives of the verb sentir commonly have a strong intellectual meaning, and rarely a pure sense signification.

124

'Smell the infinite fragrance and taste the infinite sweetness.' For the method of translating by separating the verbs and the objects, cf. Calveras, op. cit., p. 29.

127

'Notes.' The heading has been added for clearness. The Autograph as usual has only First Note, Second Note, etc. on the margin.

129

'Application of the Senses,' el traer de los sentidos. The traditional expression, Application of the Senses, taken from the Vulgate Version, has been almost universally adopted in this translation, although St. Ignatius expresses the same thought in different ways. In # 132, it is el traer los cinco sentidos. In # 123, it is simply traer los sentidos, etc.

135

'Different states of life,' estados. It is evident from the discussion that follows that St. Ignatius has in mind in this document primarily a state of life, a vocation, and not how I should live, or a way of life in a vocation already chosen.

Different and of life are due to the English way of speaking and add nothing to the original.

'In what kind of life or in what state,' en qué vida o estado. I do not consider vida and estado as synonyms despite the or. Hence I have translated them by "kind of life or state." For confirmation of this translation of vida, cf. Nonell, Los Ejercicios, p. 211 and the note on # 98.

140

'First Part,' 'The Standard of Satan.' These headings are wanting in the manuscripts, but have been added for clearness. The same holds for the second part, # 143.

149

'Three Classes of Men.' This heading in the Autograph occurs along the top of the page. It has been placed over the section for convenience and clearness.

Classes, the word used by the Vulgate, and as an alternative by Father Roothaan, has been preferred to pairs, though the latter is more concrete and easy to represent in the imagination.

150

'Find peace in God our Lord,' hallar en paz a Dios. Feder interprets these words in this way. Cf. also Calveras, op. cit., ad loc.; Longridge, ad loc.

153

'Assure their salvation,' saberse salvar. Father Roothaan and most translators after him have taken the first and most literal meaning of the verb saber, to know, and translate, "to know to save themselves." This does not fit the context. It is not a question of knowing how to save themselves, but of using the proper means. Hence, it is rather one of the many idiomatic meanings of the reflexive saberse that should be used. Cf. Father Feder's translation, ad loc.

155

'As if every attachment had been broken,' que todo lo dexa en affecto. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc., and Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 360. Father Roothaan thought that en affecto might be a copyist's error for en effecto. However, all manuscripts have the former and it affords an excellent meaning as the authors cited show.

157

'Attachment opposed to … or repugnance to it,' affecto o repugnancia contra la pobreza. For the manner of translating, cf. Calveras, op. cit., p. 30, and Nonell, op, cit., p. 282.

159

'Notes.' The heading has been added for clearness. The Autograph as usual merely indicates the individual notes on the margin. The same holds for # 162.

163

'Choice of a way of life,' las elecciones. Cf. note on # 169 for a discussion of this translation.

165

'Three Kinds of Humility,' tres maneras de humildad. This title, occurring along the top of the page in the Autograph, has been placed over the section to make this important matter, hidden away in this note, stand out better.

The term kinds of humility has been used because it fits well the meaning and corresponds to the Spanish word maneras. The word degree so often used is not accurate, since the three kinds actually involve five degrees as has been well pointed out by Nonell, op. cit., in discussing this matter. Father Roothaan and the Vulgate use modi, and many translators use mode. I have preferred kind as clearer and more accurate.

'Consent to violate,' sea en deliberar de quebrantar. Cf. the excellent discussion in Nonell, Estudio, p. 194, on the meaning of the Spanish verb deliberar in the Exercises. It never means to weigh reasons for and against. Hence, the traditional translation, "to enter into deliberation about breaking," is simply an error in translation. This has been due to the peculiarities of the language of St. Ignatius which had not been investigated at the time of the translations. The same error occurs in # 166. Cf. also Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 190 and Calveras, ad loc. Deliberar simply means to choose, decide, consent.

166

'Besides this Indifference,' y con esto. The meaning of this adverbial phrase has been strongly emphasized in the translation because of the common error that has entered many versions. The traditional translations put the two things mentioned in this kind of humility on a par, as though they were two ways of saying the same thing. St. Ignatius says that for this kind of humility, besides indifference, something more is necessary. Cf. the discussion on the point in Nonell, op. cit., ad loc., p. 327ff., and also in the Authentic Interpretation of the Foundation, Bouvier, mimeographed translation, West Baden, p. 21.

169

'Choice of a way of life,' elección. Eligir and elección simply mean to choose and a choice. There is no reason whatever for inventing a new word, or for putting a meaning not in current use on an old word. If we say election, to be consistent we should say elect for choose, which is not done. If the language of the Exercises is properly understood, we find that the word electión is expressed in several ways. St. Ignatius in treating this matter uses determinatión, deliberación, and the verbs deliberar, determinar, all in the same sense. Cf. Nonell, Estudio, on these words in the Vocabulario. The difficulty seems to arise from the fact that St. Ignatius uses the word for a special kind of choice, namely, of a way of life. Hence, to eliminate the difficulty we must add of a way of life in English. Just as in Spanish the Saint says estado for state of life, so he says elección for choice of a way of life. I have added way of life and not state, because way is wider, and allows both for state and the manner of living in the state.

Frequently we can leave out way of life and simply say choice after the title, since St. Ignatius himself is often thinking of rules for any kind of choice, not merely of a choice of a way of life.

Allison Peers, who knows sixteenth-century Spanish and modern English, in speaking of the Exercises translates elección by choice. Then, because of the traditional rendering, adds in parentheses "or election as it is usually called." Cf. Studies of Spanish Mystics, London, 1927, Vol. I, p. 13.

170

'Matters About Which a Choice Should Be Made.' This is a part of the heading of the Autograph put above the section for clearness.

179

'I must be indifferent,' hallar me indifferente. This is an illustration of one of the many cases to which attention has been called. The Spanish does not mean to find oneself indifferent but to be indifferent. The same idiom occurs at the end of this section in "to be at equilibrium."

182

'Come to a decision,' hace deliberación. This is an illustration of the use of deliberación in the sense of decision as mentioned above in note # 165 and elsewhere. It also illustrates the use of the deliberación for elección mentioned in # 169. To translate deliberation here, as was commonly done, is an error due to the fact that the language of St. Ignatius had not been investigated. Father Feder translates correctly in German, Entscheidung.

183

'Choice or decision,' electión o deliberación. Here we have clear evidence that St. Ignatius uses these two words in the same sense, and of what they mean.

186

'Make my decision,' haga mi determinación. Here we have an illustration of the use of determinación as a synonym for elección. Cf. Nonell, Estudio, p. 195, and the previous notes on # 21, 183, 182, 169.

187

'Consider myself as standing in the presence of my judge,' considerando cómo me hallaré el día del juicio. Failure to recognize the idiomatic hallarse has led to odd translations, "considering what I shall find myself on the day of judgment." Feder interprets correctly.

'Reflect what decision,' pensar cómo querría haber deliberado. Here the Saint uses the verb deliberar in the sense to make a choice.

189

'One's way of living in his state of life,' vida y estado. Vida is often used for way of life, and estado for state of life. Cf. note on # 98 and on 135.

190

'Third Week.' This heading appears in the Autograph only at the top of the page. It is put before the Exercises of this Week for clearness.

199

'Talk over motives,' razonar. Cf. note of Spanish-Latin text on Father Roothaan's translation. The wording adopted is an attempt to bring out the conversation and the reasoning connoted by the word. Cf. note on # 61, where it is translated, "pour out our thoughts."

'According to circumstances,' según la subiecta materia. This expression usually refers to the subject matter of the meditation or contemplation, but at times refers to the condition and circumstances of the one meditating. Cf. Nonell, Estudio, p. 203. Cf. also Feder, who interprets correctly, nach den jeweilichen Umstaenden.

'Meditation on Two Standards,' meditación de los dos binarios. There is evidently a copyist's error here in the Spanish, since there are three and not two Classes. Whether the passage be corrected to read Two Standards or Three Classes, the mind of St. Ignatius would be equally expressed. Two Standards seems more in harmony with the last sentence. The Saint would hardly repeat the name of the meditation if he meant the same one above. But we have the authority of the Vulgate for Three Classes.

205

'Age, health, and physical constitution,' edad, disposición, y temperatura. Feder's interpretation of disposición as meaning health, and of temperatura as meaning physical constitution has been followed. Temperatura seems to be for temperamento. Cf. Calveras, ad loc. In other cases, too, the context shows that St. Ignatius does not mean attitude of mind but condition of health by disposición. Cf. # 72.

208

On the seventh day St. Ignatius says that a repetition of the whole passion is to be made. He uses the expression junta, together, at one time. It causes difficulty in getting a clear sentence each time it is used. To prevent an ambiguous statement the passage has been modified to read, "at one exercise and again in the morning."

210

'Rules with Regard to Eating.' This heading occurs along the top of the page in the Autograph. The sets of rules in the Exercises are without short titles, but are introduced by a sentence explaining their purpose.

'To secure … due order in the use of food,' ordinarse en el comer. Ordinarse is much stronger than regulate or order oneself. Hence the longer form has been chosen.

212

'As to foods,' acerca de los manjares. Foods in the plural seems to indicate sufficiently the meaning of St. Ignatius. As the end of the rule clearly shows, it is not ordinary food that is referred to but delicacies.

214

'How He looks,' cómo mira. The Spanish refers to the modest reserve with which Christ looks about. Hence the translation of Father Roothaan, quomodo respiciat, and Feder's wie er um sich blickt. The traditional translation ultimately comes to the same thing, and avoids the connotation of looks about or an awkward circumlocution.

2l8

'Fourth Week.' This heading has been placed before the Week. In the Autograph, as in all the Weeks, it is placed at the head of the page.

'# 299.' Though St. Ignatius refers to this mystery in the series of Mysteries of the Life of our Lord, there is nothing in the section to which he refers but a title and a short defense of the apparition of our Lord to Mary. The points must be taken from the First Prelude. Cf. note on #299.

225

'As circumstances suggest,' según subiecta materia. Note that here the phrase subiecta materia is used in the wider sense mentioned in the note to # 199.

230

'Manifest itself in deeds,' se debe poner en las obras. Roothaan and practically all translators after him have interpreted ponerse as passive and translated, "Must be placed in deeds." This gives an exceedingly vague meaning. The reason seems to be because ponerse should be translated reflexively. The uses of the reflexive ponerse are highly idiomatic. Ponerse en razón means simply to be reasonable. So ponerse en las obras would mean to be active. Hence, the sentence should read, "love must be active," that is, expresses itself in deeds, must be a love of deeds and not merely words. Longridge translates correctly, "Love must manifest itself in deeds."

238

'The First Method of Prayer.' This heading has been inserted for clearness. The portion of the Autograph that follows immediately after the title, Three Methods of Prayer, has been dropped down as the heading for # 239 to which it refers. The present section is a general introduction to this method of prayer.

'By which the soul may prepare itself,' cómo el ánima se apareje … en ellos. We have followed the translation suggested by two older Latin MSS. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc. Both Father Roothaan by the parenthetical completion, ad facienda exercitia, and Father Feder by auf die eigentlichen geistlichen Uebungen, suggest that the practices prepare for the Exercises of St. Ignatius, properly so called. This can be understood if we remember that in the eighteenth Introductory Observation St. Ignatius suggests these forms of prayer for those not fit for the Exercises proper. Meschler and Oraá in their commentaries suggest the interpretation "prepare for prayer properly so called." A little thought will show that either interpretation would ultimately come to mean a better preparation for the Exercises of St. Ignatius proper.

239

'1. On the Commandments.' This heading has been brought down from above as mentioned, and makes the arrangement uniform with the other sections.

Throughout the Methods of Prayer the headings: Additional Direction, Preparatory Prayer, Method, and Colloquy have been added where missing in the Autograph to keep uniformity of arrangement.

242

'Note I.' This is missing in the Autograph. We know it should be there from the following Note II.

244

'Capital Sins,' peccados mortales. Formerly the name Deadly Sins was in common use. We now prefer the name Capital Sins.

258

'A measured rhythmical recitation,' por compas. This circumlocution for the Spanish is suggested by Father Roothaan.

261

'Quotation marks,' parénthesis. Quotation marks have been substituted for the parentheses of the Autograph. The quotations are from The Westminster Version of the Sacred Scriptures, except in two cases where the Spanish text of the Vulgate is quite different.

271

The Vulgate has been followed in giving three points since it seems evident that there is a coypist's error. The quotation from Scripture has no reference to the First Point. Cf. Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 460, note.

292

Where the Autograph has no Scripture references they have been inserted from Roothaan here and in # 294. Additional references were inserted to St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke in # 297.

297

The Autograph says, "They gave Him gall and vinegar to drink." The word gall has evidently crept in by error. It has been omitted. The Vulgate has also omitted the word.

299

The heading mentions two subjects not connected by and. There are no points at all. The heading First Point was written and then there follows nothing but the defense of the apparition of our Lord to His Blessed Mother. Judging from the material in the First Prelude in # 219, the apparition to our Lady would be the third point if any were given. What the three points would be may be gathered from the history given in # 219. Cf. F. Hummelauer, Meditationum et Contemplationum Sancti Ignatii de Loyola Puncta, Freiburg, 1909, ad loc.

306

The Autograph says, "He gave them broiled fish and honeycomb." The latter has evidently crept in by error from the mystery recorded in St. Luke 24, 42. The account in St. John mentions bread and this is what we find in the Vulgate, the Literal Version, and the Spanish MSS of Nadal and Domcnech.

311

The three paragraphs are apparently three points and the last part is at the same time a sort of consideration of the whole glorious life as we have at the end of the passion. Cf. Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 508, and Hummelauer, op. cit., p. 495f. The punctuation of the Vulgate has been followed.

313

'Rules for Discernment of Spirits. I.' This traditional heading has been added to facilitate understanding and use.

For the way of translating by separating the two verbs, understanding and recognizing, and joining them with separate objects, cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc., and p. 29.

315

'To harass with anxiety.' The figure of the original, morder, to bite, has been interpreted. Cf. Feder, ad loc.

320

'Overflowing love,' crecido amor. The adjective crecido has been expressed in different ways to suit the context. Cf. Nonell, Estudio, p. 190, and Roothaan in note on Second Prelude to First Exercise, and our note to # 55.

322

The impersonal form, por probarnos, to try us, and similar expressions in this rule evidently suppose God as the subject and it has been so translated: "Because God wishes to try us."

'Build on the property of another,' en cosa ajena pongamos nido. This aphoristic saying seems to be sufficiently clear by slightly modifying it and putting it in a form more easily understood in English. Roothaan, believing that the correct reading was en casa, has changed it to, "in the house of another."

325

'He is a weakling before a show of force and a tyrant if he has his own will,' en ser flaco por fuerza y fuerte de grado. We have tried to make the aphorism clear but have lost in brevity. We might retain the brevity by saying, "Weak perforce and strong by choice." But this would not be very clear. It means that Satan is of necessity weak if we courageously resist, but would gladly tyrannize over us if we give him his way. Cf. Calveras, ad loc.

'Shows he is determined and fearless,' muestra mucho rostro. This might be translated, "If he shows a bold face." We have preferred to interpret the figure.

'Surge up,' es muy crescida. Another attempt to render the connotation in the crescido. At the close of this rule it is rendered by consummate.

328

'Rules for Discernment of Spirits. II.' This heading has been added to facilitate use.

'Further rules … produced in the soul.' Instead of saying with the Autograph "for the same effect," the purpose has been repeated as given in the title of the first set of rules.

332

'Suggesting thoughts that are suited,' entrar con la ánima devota. The translation given is suggested by the editor of the Spanish-Latin edition, p. 303.

334

'By the trail of Evil,' de su, cola serpentina. Literally, "by his serpent's tail." The translation is an attempt to substitute another figure for one not easily understood in English. However, the scriptural connotation is lost.

336

'Reasoning on the relations,' su proprio discurso de habitudines. The interpretation of the editor of the Vol. on the Exercises in the Mon. Hist. has been followed. Cf. note, p. 534. Roothaan and translators generally have rendered habitudines by habits, which in the context does not give a clear meaning. In modern Spanish the word habitudo certainly means habit, but in older Spanish words are often closer to the Latin, and this is true of St. Ignatius. In fact the Latin plural of the word is kept here. The only translation that has relations that has been examined is Feder. He has Beziehungen.

For the way of translating by separating the two verbs consider and distinguish, and joining them to separate objects, cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc., and p. 29.

Similarly, relations of our concepts and consequences of our judgments have been separated. Cf. Calveras, op cit., ad loc, and p. 29.

337

'Rules for Distribution of Alms.' This heading has been inserted for convenience.

'In the ministry of distributing alms.' The word ministry has been retained in the title to preserve the connotation of the original, namely, that the distribution of alms is a part of the Sacred Ministry especially for those who live according to their office on benefices, the goods of God. Unfortunately this also preserves the unfavorable connotations of the word in English.

339

'Judge would be for the glory of God,' juzgo seer tal. The word tal has been explained in the translation according to Calveras, op. cit., ad loc.

345

'Some Notes on Scruples.' The heading has been added for clearness. It has been judged better to keep the term St. Ignatius uses, notes, and not the usual rules. They are exactly what he calls them.

348

'To the spiritual life,' a espirituales exercicios. Since the article is wanting, it seems evident that exercises of the spiritual life are referred to and not the Exercises. Hence the translation adopted. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc.

349

'Paid some heed to venial sin,' algún caso hacía. Venial sin is evidently understood here, and has been inserted, pf. Mon. Hist., Vol. on Ex., p. 546, ad loc, and Calveras, op. cit., ad loc.

352

'Rules for thinking with the Church.' This heading has been added for clearness and is traditional.

'To foster the true attitude of mind.' para el sentido verdadero. To foster is sufficiently in para. Attitude of mind is in sentido verdadero. This has been suggested by Feder, "rechte Gesinnung hegen." The heading and the usual translations are from the Latin of Roothaan, "Ad sentiendum vere."

360

'Praise the building and adornment of Churches,' alabar ornamentos y edificios. The Vulgate has been followed and building put first. This makes adornment necessarily refer to churches. There is just a possibility that the Spanish ornamentos refers to sacred vestments. The Vulgate seems to solve the problem.

Alphabetical Index

(The numbers refer to paragraphs, not to pages.)

A
Abstinence, as to food and drink, 210–212; to be praised, 211, 359; prepares the soul for divine inspirations, 213; ordained by the Church is to be observed, 229.
Adam, the sin of, 51.
Additional Directions, to be diligently observed, 6, 88, 130, 207; for Particular Examination of Conscience, 27–30; why the term Additional Directions is used for the traditional term Additions, note 73; for the First Week, 73–86; for the Second Week, 130; modification of the second Additional Direction, 131; for the Third Week, 206–207; for the Fourth Week, 229.
Affections, v. attachments; those to be cultivated in each Week, 74, 130, 206, 229; to be tested, 342.
Alms, rules for distribution of, 337–344.
Amendment of one's life, directions for, 189.
Angels, v. Satan; sin of the angels, 50.
Annotations, v. Introductory Observations.
Anxiety in prayer to be avoided, 76.
Application of senses, v. senses.
Attachments, purpose of the Exercises to rid ourselves of inordinate, 1, 21; reason for use of term instead of affections, note 1; how to conquer, 16, 155, 157; many want God to come to their inordinate, 169; a vocation from God is without inordinate, 172; what should be done if choice was made because of, 172; must be without inordinate attachments to choose correctly, 179.
Augustine, St., 344.
B
Bernard, St., on vainglory, 351.
Bonaventure, St., 363.
Bread, abstinence from, 210, 211.
Business career not object of vow, 357.
C
Candles lighted in churches, 358.
Carthage, Third Council of, 344.
Choice, of a way of life or state, not to be given to those of little ability, 18, note 18; prepared for by meditation on life of Christ, 135; when treatment of this matter is to begin, 163; why choice is used instead of election, note 169, note 183; introduction to, 169; mutable and immutable choice, 171; about what may choice be made, 170–174; how to correct one not rightly made, 172, 174; three times for making a choice, 175–178; first way of making, 178–183; second way of making, 184–188; v. Life.
Christ, calls and wants all under His standard, 137; standard of, 143–147; to be imitated in manner of eating, 214; what he must do who wishes to imitate, in use of the senses, 248; we are the better and more secure the more we imitate, 344.
Church, building and adornment of, to be praised, 360.
Church, the, rules for thinking with, 352–370; precepts of, to be praised, 361; submission to, 365; governed by the Holy Spirit, 365.
Circumcision, Meditation on, 266.
Classes, meditation on three, 148–157.
Colloquy, greater reverence in, 3; how to make, 54, 199.
Commandments, ten, subject matter for examination on deeds, 42; the first state, that of observing the, 135; First Method of Prayer on, 238–243.
Commandments, of Church, to be praised, 361.
Communion, frequent, 18, 354; at the end of First Week, 44.
Comparison of saints with the living to be avoided, 364.
Composition of place, v. representation, mental.
Confession, general confession in First Week recommended, 44; frequent confession to be praised and recommended, 44, 354.
Conscience, the good spirit rouses remorse of, in sinner, 314; the evil spirit afflicts those progressing with anxiety of, 315, 347; the devil seeks to make delicate conscience extreme, 349, 350; v. Examination.
Consolation, exercitant to be questioned when he experiences none, 6; must prepare for coming consolation in desolation, 7; renders meditation easy, 13; will of God may be recognized from it, 175, 176; what it is, 316; we are moved by the good spirit in consolation, 318.
Contemplation, consists in considering things as present, 114.
Contempt, 146.
Continency, to be praised more than matrimony, 356.
Creation, blessing of, to be considered, 234.
Creatures, avengers of offense against their Creator, 60.
D
Damascus, 51.
Death, meditations on, may be added, 71; consideration of, in making choice, 186; consideration of, in distributing alms, 340.
Deceits of the devil, pray that we may know them, 139; the devil does not want deceits to be revealed, 326; how to guard against ordinary, 334.
Decision, 21, as translation of determinación, note 21; as meaning of deliberación, note 182, note 183.
Deeds, examination of, 42; love manifests itself rather in deeds, 230.
Defect, Particular Examination against particular defect, 24–31; sin of revealing the defects of another, 41; v. faults.
Deliberate, deliberation, not a translation of deliberación, deliberar, note 165, note 182, note 183, note 187.
Desolation, what to do if none is experienced, 6; how to deal with exercitant in, 7; meditation difficult in time of, 13; use of, in making choice, 176; description of, 317; how to act in, 319–321; causes of, 322.
Determination, determine, not translation of determinar, determinación, note 21, note 169.
Detraction, 41.
Devil, v. Satan.
Director, he who gives the Exercises, Introductory Observations for help of, 1; how he should explain the points, 2; manner of acting when the exercitant experiences no movements of different spirits, 6; in desolation, 7; when he should explain rules of Discernment of Spirits, 9; what he should do when the exercitant is tempted under the appearance of good, 10; should guard exercitant against rash vows, etc., 15; should not seek to know sins of exercitant but should know movements of different spirits, 17.
Discernment of spirits, rules for, when they are to be explained, 6–10; rules for First Week, 313ff; rules for Second Week, 328.
Disorder, ask for grace to know, 63.
Divinity of Christ, hides itself in the passion, 196; remains united with both soul and body after the death of Christ, 219; manifests itself in the Resurrection, 223.
Doctors, positive and scholastic, 363.
Drink, more complete abstinence necessary with regard to, 211.
Duration of Exercise, v. time.
E
Eating, penance concerning, 83; rules with regard to, 210.
Education, the Exercises to be adapted to the education of the exercitant, 18; what exercises should be given one without education, 18.
End, for which man was created, 23; must be kept in view in making choice of way of life, 179; in Reform of Life, 189.
Enemy of our human nature, v. Satan.
Eucharist, institution of, 289; v. communion.
Evil one, evil spirit, v. Satan.
Examination, of conscience, ways of examining to be explained to exercitant, 18, 19; particular, 24–31, note 24; general, 32–43; of success in prayer, 77; purpose and subject of, during the Exercises, 90, 160, 207.
Exercise, each to last a full hour, 12; in time of desolation rather more than less, 13.
Exercises, the Spiritual, he who gives the Exercises, v. director; explanation of term, 1; how they are to be proposed by director, 2; duration for about thirty days, 4; to be adapted to exercitant, 18; time of the exercises of the day, 72, 128, 159; order and number of exercises of Second Week, 128, 159; number each day, 129, 133; of in Third Week, 204; of Fourth Week, 226, 227.
Eyes, to be restrained, 81.
F
Faith, grows in consolation, 316; seems to be wanting in desolation, 317; we must not speak of it in such a way as to mislead, 366, 368, 369.
Fasts, must be observed, 229; we must praise the regulations of the Church about, 359.
Faults, v. defect; ask pardon for faults committed, 43; make us grow cold in love of God, 65; particular examination of faults, 90, 160, 207; be sorry for faults found in prayer on commandments, 241; are the cause of loss of consolation, 322.
Fear, when exercitant is tempted because of fear for his good name, 9; if love grows cold at least fear may keep us from sin, 65; servile fear leads to filial fear which is always acceptable, 370.
Following of Christ, may be read in Second and subsequent Weeks, 100.
Food, quality and quantity, 212, 213, 217.
Foundation, first principle and, 23.
Friend, separation from friends to devote oneself to the Exercises, 20; distribution of alms to friends, 338–342.
G
Generosity, exercitant to enter on retreat with, 5.
God, man created for His glory, 23, 169, 179; what am I compared with, 58; compare His attributes with the opposite in me, 59.
Gospels, reading from them during Second Week and thereafter profitable, 100.
Grace, 366, 369.
H
Hell, meditation on, 65–71.
Honor, temptation of the evil one, second step leading to destruction, 142.
Hope, the virtue of, grows in consolation, 316; apparent absence of, in desolation, 317.
Humility, three kinds of, 164–168; kinds not degrees, note 165; consideration of three kinds a preparation for choice of a way of life, 164; the third kind to be sought in colloquies after contemplations, 168.
Hymns, singing of hymns to be praised, 355.
I
Illuminative way, v. way.
Images, to be praised and venerated for the subject they represent, 360.
Imitation of Christ, v. Christ, and also Following of Christ.
Incarnation, Meditation on, 101–109, 262.
Indifference, 23; discussion of term, note 23; of the Third Class, 155; of Second Kind of Humility, 166; necessary disposition for choice of a way of life, 179.
Indulgences, to be praised, 358; v. indults.
Indults, crusade, to be praised, 358.
Intention, must be pure for choice of a way of life, 169.
Introductory observations, 1–20; discussion of term, note 1.
J
Jubilees, should be praised, 358.
Judgment, day of, exercises on judgment may be given, note at end of, 71; consider what I would like to have chosen on, 187; consider how I would wish to have distributed alms on, 341.
K
Kingdom of Christ, meditation on, 91–99; use of the term, Kingdom of Christ, note 91.
L
Laughter, not to laugh or cause laughter, 80.
Lazarus, raising of, 161; at the banquet in Simon's house, 285.
Lent, fast and abstinence of, to be praised, 359.
Light, use of the light of day in different weeks, 79, 130, 229.
Love, carnal, those who wish to do more will act against, 97; neglect penance because of, 89.
Love of God, because of faults we forget the love of God, 65; must lead to choice of way of life, 184; in what does true love consist, 230–231; Contemplation to Attain Love, 232–237; must motivate almsgiving, 338; relation of filial fear to love, 370.
Lucifer, v. Satan.
M
Magdalene, conversion of, 282; at resuscitation of Lazarus, 285; anoints Jesus at the supper in the house of Simon, 286; Jesus appears to, 300.
Magi come to adore the child, 162, 267.
Magnanimity, exercitant to enter retreat with, 5.
Man, why created, 23.
Martha, sister of Lazarus, 285.
Mary, Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, colloquy to, 63, 147; at the Annunciation, 102–108; desolation of, 208; to imitate in the use of the senses, 248; farewell to her Son, 273.
Mary Magdalene, v. Magdalene.
Mass, exercitant should be free to attend each day, 20; praise frequent hearing of, 355.
Matrimony, not to be praised as much as virginity, 356.
Matthew, St., his call to be an Apostle, 175.
Memory, use in meditation, 50–52.
Mercy, works of, to be explained to uneducated exercitant, 18; Colloquy of, 61, 71.
Mysteries of the life of our Lord, 262–312.
N
Nativity, contemplation on, 110, 264.
Note, meaning of term in Exercises and way of indicating them, note 31, note 49.
O
Oaths, 38–40.
Obedience due to Church, 353, 365.
Orders of superiors must be upheld, 362.
P
Palm Sunday, 4, 161, 287.
Particular examination of conscience, v. examination.
Passion, matter for the Third Week, 4; how to contemplate, 190–198, 200–209; repetition of the whole passion in one day, 208, 7th day; 209.
Patience, to be practiced in desolation, 321.
Paul, St., his call to be an Apostle, 175; Christ appears to him, 311.
Penance, kinds of, and fruits of, 82–89; in Second Week, 130; in Fourth Week, 229; more should be done in time of desolation, 319; praise both exterior and interior, 359.
Perfection, outside the Exercises we may urge those fit to every form of perfection, 15; how we are to attain it in whatever vocation God gives us, 135; we must seek it in a choice well made, 173; rule for practicing it, 185, 339; how to make progress in it, 189; praise works conducive to perfection, 357.
Perseverance in prayer, 12, 13.
Peter, St., in the garden, 201, 290, 291; called three times, 275; walks upon the waters, 280; at the Transfiguration, 284; Christ washes his feet, 289; denies Christ, 291, 292; comes to the sepulcher and sees Christ, 302; receives primacy, 306.
Petition, made in prelude before meditation, in First Week, 48, 55, 65; in Second Week, 91, 104, 139, 152; in Third Week, 193, 203; in Fourth Week, 221; in Contemplation to Attain Love, 233.
Pilate declares Christ innocent, 293; sends Christ to Herod, 294; has Christ scourged, 295; ecce homo and condemnation, 295, 296.
Pilgrimages, to be praised, 358.
Points of meditation, to be given briefly, 2; definite number to be carefully prepared, 228; on the life of Christ, 261–312.
Positive doctors, 363.
Posture at prayer, 76, 239, 252.
Poverty, outside of the Exercises may urge others to vow of poverty, 14; must be indifferent with regard to poverty, 23; offering ourselves for the highest poverty, 98; Christ born in the greatest poverty, 116; Christ counsels poverty as first step to perfection, 146; pray to be received by God in greatest poverty, 147, 157; indifference to poverty is required for Second Kind of Humility, 166; the vow of poverty should be praised, 357.
Powers, natural, we are more free to use them in seclusion, 20; exercise employing the three powers of the soul, 45, 51; the method of prayer on the three powers, 238, 246.
Prayer, Three Methods of Prayer, 238–360; we must insist more on prayer in desolation, 319; praise long prayers, Divine Office, etc., 355; praise prayer to saints, 358.
Prayer, preparatory, what it contains, 46; made before all exercises without change, 49, 105; in the Three Methods of Prayer an equivalent is made, 240, 244, 246, 248, 251.
Prayer, vocal, at close of the examination of conscience, 43; Our Father at end of meditations and contemplations if there is only one colloquy, 54, 61; Hail Mary, Soul of Christ, Our Father in threefold colloquy, 63, 147; in the methods of prayer, 241, 248, 253–255.
Predestination, 366, 367.
Prelude, mental representation of the place, in the First Week it is the first prelude, 47; in the Second and subsequent Weeks it is the second, 103; history of the mystery is the first prelude in Second and Subsequent Weeks, 102; the petition, how to make it, 48; it is the second prelude of First Week and third of Second and subsequent Weeks, 48, 104.
Preludes, always to be made before the meditations and contemplations and to be adapted to subject matter, 49, 105.
Presence of God, place yourself in the presence of God before prayer, 75, 239; God dwells in creatures in many ways, 235; God present in creatures by essence, power, and presence, 39.
Presupposition, 22; note on this heading, note 22.
Pride, cause of the fall of the angels, 50; third step in Satan's plan for our ruin, 142; cause of desolation, 322.
Principle, first principle and foundation, 23; why first is added, note 23.
Progress, the Exercises should be given according to the progress of the exercitant, 17; way to progress, 189 near end.
Promise, director should warn against rash promises, 14; should not advise promises during retreat, 15.
Proposition, v. statement.
Psalmody, to be praised, 355.
Purgative way, v. way.
R
Reading, passages from the Gospel, Following of Christ, Lives of Saints during Second and subsequent Weeks, 100; only the mystery about to be contemplated should be read, 127.
Reformation of one's life, 189.
Relics to be praised and reverenced, 358.
Religious life, caution about rashly making promise to enter, 14; the director must not urge the exercitant to religious life, 15; praise religious life, 356; must praise vows of religion, 357.
Repetitions, how to make them, 62, 118, 119.
Representation, mental, of the place, how it is made, 47; discussion of term adopted, note 47.
Repugnance, what to do when there is a repugnance to poverty, 157.
Reverence, greater reverence required in acts of the will, 3; the reverence required in oaths, 38, 39; act of reverence to God at beginning of prayer, 75.
Riches, should not be preferred to poverty, 23; desire of, snare of Satan, 142; what to do when one is not indifferent to, 157; second kind of humility is indifferent to riches, 166; third kind of humility chooses poverty rather than riches, 167; friends share riches, 231.
Rules, for making a good choice, 184–189; with regard to eating, 210–217; for discernment of spirits, 313–336; concerning scruples, 345–351; for distribution of alms, 337–344; for thinking with the Church, 352–370.
S
Saints, lives of, may be read in Second Week and after, 100; may occupy ourselves while eating with the lives of the saints, 215; we must praise the relics of, and pray to the saints, 358.
Satan, his sin and punishment, 50; leader of the enemy, 140; standard of, 140–142.
Scruples, notes on, 345–351.
Seclusion, recommended for the Exercises, 20.
Secret, the devil wishes his temptations to be kept secret, 326.
Senses, the first method of prayer on the five senses to be explained to the uneducated, 18; application of, 65–70, 121–126 , 129, 132–134, 204, 208, 209, 226, 227; first method of prayer on five senses, 247–248; to imitate Christ or the Blessed Virgin in the use of, 248.
Shepherds, meditation on, 162, 265.
Sin, venial and mortal sin, 35, 36; exercise on sin, 45–64; method of prayer on Capital Sins, 244, 245.
Singing of hymns and psalms to be praised, 355.
Sleep, recalling exercises before sleep and on waking from sleep, 73, 74; external penance with regard to sleep, 84.
Solitude, recommended for Exercises, 20.
Sorrow for sins, 55–61.
Spirits, rules for discernment of different spirits, 313–336.
Standards, two, meditation on, 136–148; colloquy of, 147, 156, 168.
State of life, v. choice of a way of life, way of life.
Station Churches to be praised, 358.
Steps, to pride and all sin, 142; three steps to humility and all the virtues, 146.
Summary of an exercise, Fourth Exercise of the First Week, 64.
Superiors, 42, 362.
Supper, last, 190–199, 289.
Suscipe, v. Take Lord and receive.
T
Take Lord and receive, 234.
Tears, for sin, 55, 87; over passion of Christ, 195.
Temperance, avoidance of what is superfluous in food and drink is temperance not penance, 83, 84; temperance rather than penance appropriate for Fourth Week, 229.
Temptation, when open and gross rules of Second Week not to be explained, 9; Satan tempts under appearance of good, 10, 332; to shorten exercise, 12, 13; Satan tempts first to covet riches, etc., 142; notes on scruples for the understanding of temptations, 345; the anxiety of a scruple is a temptation, 347; temptation to give up good work intended, 351.
Thanks, for benefits first point of examination, 43.
Theology, both positive and Scholastic to be praised, 363.
Thinking, rules for thinking with the Church, 352–370.
Thoughts, useful for director to know thoughts, 17, 326; but not to pry into private thoughts, 17; may come from good or bad spirit or from self, 17, 32, 317, 332–334, 351; examination of thoughts, 32–37; cherish thoughts in harmony with the exercise, 74, 78, 130, 206, 229; those that spring from desolation are the opposite of those that come from consolation, 317; in time of desolation and consolation, 320, 323, 324; the whole course of thought by which we were led astray should be examined, 333, 334.
Touch in the application of the senses, 70, 125.
V
Vespers, attending vespers during the Exercises, 20.
Vigils, fast and abstinence on, to be praised, 359.
Virginity, 15, 356.
Vocation, may recommend religious vocation to those fit, but in retreat it is better to permit God to act, 15; one from God is always pure, 172; vocation of the Apostles, 275.
Vows, 14, 357.
Vulgate Version of the Exercises, its authority, note 38, note 71.
W
Way, of life, v. choice; the purgative way corresponds to the First Week of the Exercises, 10; the illuminative way corresponds to the Second Week, 10.
Week, meaning of term in the Exercises, 4; may be shortened or lengthened, 4; purpose of First Week, 4; the First Week corresponds to the purgative way, 10; the Second Week corresponds to the illuminative way, 10; the place for the heading, First Week, note 24; proper place for the heading Second Week, notes 91, 101; how to lengthen or shorten the Second Week, 162; how to lengthen or shorten the Third Week, 209.
Will of God, the Spiritual Exercises are every way of preparing and disposing oneself to seek and find, I; exercitant is to offer himself to the divine Majesty that He may dispose of him according to His will, 5, 234; in the Exercises the exercitant should seek the divine will, 15.
Will of man, greater reverence necessary in making acts of the will, 3; total surrender of the will to God, 5, 234; thoughts arising from my free will, 32; use of the will in the Exercises, 50, 51, 52; the first time for a correct choice is when God so moves the will that one cannot doubt, 175; progress will be the greater the more we abandon self-will, 189; free will not to be discredited by unguarded talk on faith and grace, 369.
Words, examination of conscience on, 38–41; idle words, 40; reflect on the words of the persons to draw profit from them, 107; love consists in deeds rather than in words, 230.
Works, a good work done with a vow more meritorious, 14; works of mercy to be explained to the exercitant without education, 18; Apostles so to live that men may see their good works, 278; good works not to be omitted from fear, 351; neglect of good works due to misunderstanding of predestination, 367; faith and grace should not be spoken of in such a way that works seem worthless, 368, 369.
World, fear of loss of good name before the world, 9; ask for knowledge of, 63; Satan tempts to seek the empty honor of the world, 142.
Worldly love, v. love, carnal.

A Note on the Type in which this Book was Set

This book has been set in Granjon, a lovely Linotype face designed by George W. Jones, one of England's great printers, to meet his own exacting requirements for fine book and publication work. Like most useful types, Granjon is neither wholly new nor wholly old. It is not a copy of a classic face nor an original creation, but rather something between the two—drawing its basic design from classic Garamond sources, but never hesitating to deviate from the model where four centuries of type-cutting experience indicate an improvement or where modern methods of punch-cutting make possible a refinement far beyond the skill of the originator.

Third Week

First Day

(190)

The First Contemplation at Midnight

Christ our Lord goes from Bethany to Jerusalem and the Last Supper. # 289. It contains the preparatory prayer, three preludes, six points, and a colloquy

Prayer

The usual preparatory prayer.

(191)

First Prelude

This is the history. Here it will be to recall that Christ our Lord sent two of His disciples from Bethany to Jerusalem to prepare the Supper, and afterwards, He himself went there with His disciples. After they had eaten the Paschal Lamb and supped, He washed their feet, and gave His most Sacred Body and Precious Blood to His disciples. When Judas had gone out to sell his Lord, Christ addressed His disciples.

(192)

Second Prelude

This is a mental representation of the place. Here it will be to consider the way from Bethany to Jerusalem, whether narrow or broad, whether level, etc.; also the place of the Supper, whether great or small, whether of this or that appearance.

(193)

Third Prelude

This is to ask for what I desire. Here it will be to ask for sorrow, compassion, and shame because the Lord is going to His suffering for my sins.

(194)

First Point

This is to see the persons at the Supper, and to reflect upon myself, and strive to draw some profit from them.

Second Point

This is to listen to their conversation, and likewise seek to draw fruit from it.

Third Point

This is to see what they are doing, and to seek to draw some fruit from it.

(195)

Fourth Point

This will be to consider what Christ our Lord suffers in His human nature, or according to the passage contemplated, what he desires to suffer. Then I will begin with great effort to strive to grieve, be sad, and weep. In this way I will labor through all the points that follow.

(196)

Fifth Point

This is to consider how the divinity hides itself; for example, it could destroy its enemies and does not do so, but leaves the most sacred humanity to suffer so cruelly.

(197)

Sixth Point

This is to consider that Christ suffers all this for my sins, and what I ought to do and suffer for Him.

(198)

Colloquy

Close with a colloquy to Christ our Lord, and at the end, say the Our Father.

(199)

Note

Attention must be called to the following point which was mentioned before and in part explained. In the colloquy, one should talk over motives and present petitions according to circumstances. Thus he may be tempted or he may enjoy consolation, may desire to have this virtue or another, may want to dispose himself in this or that way, may seek to grieve or rejoice according to the matter that he is contemplating. Finally, he should ask what he more earnestly desires with regard to some particular interests.

Following this advice, he may engage in only one colloquy with Christ our Lord, or, if the matter and his devotion prompt him to do so, he may use three colloquies, one with the Mother of our Lord, one with her Son, and one with the Father. If three colloquies are used, the same form should be followed that was given in the meditation on Two Standards, and the note that follows after the Three Classes of Men should be observed.

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Second Contemplation

In the morning. From the Last Supper to the Agony in the Garden inclusive

Prayer

The usual preparatory prayer.

(201)

First Prelude

This is the history of the mystery. Here it will be as follows: Christ our Lord descended with the eleven disciples from Mt. Sion, where the Supper was held, to the Valley of Josaphat. Eight of the disciples were left at a place in the valley, and the other three in a part of the garden. Then Jesus began His prayer, and His sweat became as drops of blood. Three times He prayed to His Father and went to rouse His disciples from sleep. After His enemies had fallen to the ground at His word, and Judas had given Him the kiss, after St. Peter had cut off the ear of Malchus, and Christ had healed it, Jesus was seized as a malefactor, and led down through the valley and again up the slope to the house of Annas.

(202)

Second Prelude

This is to see the place. It will be here to consider the way from Mt. Sion to the Valley of Josaphat, likewise the garden, its breadth, its length, and appearance.

(203)

Third Prelude

This is to ask for what I desire. In the Passion it is proper to ask for sorrow with Christ in sorrow, anguish with Christ in anguish, tears and deep grief because of the great affliction Christ endures for me.

Notes

  1. (204)

    In this second contemplation, after the preparatory prayer and the three preludes given above, the same way of proceeding in the points and colloquies is to be observed as was followed in the first contemplation on the Supper.

    About the time of Mass and Vespers, two repetitions are to be made of the first and second contemplations. Before supper the Application of the Senses should be made on the subject matter of the two contemplations. The preparatory prayer, and the preludes, adapted to the subject of the exercise, are always to precede. The form to be observed is the same as that given and explained in the Second Week.

  2. (205)

    As far as age, health, and physical constitution permit the exercitant to do so, he will use five exercises each day, or fewer.

  3. (206)

    In the Third Week some modification of the second and sixth Additional Directions is necessary.

    The second will be that as soon as I awake I will call to mind where I am going and the purpose. I will briefly summarize the contemplation on which I am about to enter. According to the subject matter, I will make an effort while rising and dressing to be sad and grieve because of the great sorrow and suffering of Christ our Lord.

    The sixth Additional Direction will be changed as follows. I will take care not to bring up pleasing thoughts, even though they are good and holy, for example, of the Resurrection and the glory of heaven. Rather I will rouse myself to sorrow, suffering, and anguish by frequently calling to mind the labors, fatigue, and suffering which Christ our Lord endured from the time of His birth down to the mystery of the passion upon which I am engaged at present.

  4. (207)

    NOTE IV. The Particular Examination of Conscience should be made on the Exercises and the Additional Directions as applied to this Week, as was done in the past Week.

Second Through Sixth Days

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Second Day

At midnight the contemplation will be on the events from the Garden to the house of Annas inclusive. Cf. # 291.

In the morning, from the house of Annas to the house of Caiphas inclusive. Cf. # 292.

There will be two repetitions and the Application of the Senses as explained above.

Third Day

At midnight, from the house of Caiphas to the house of Pilate inclusive. Cf. # 293.

In the morning, from Pilate to Herod inclusive. Cf. # 294.

Then the repetitions and the Application of the Senses in the same way as has been noted.

Fourth Day

At midnight, from Herod to Pilate, # 295, using for this contemplation only the first half of what occurred in the house of Pilate, and afterwards in the morning, the remaining part.

There will be the two repetitions and the Application of the Senses as explained.

Fifth Day

At midnight, from the house of Pilate to the Crucifixion, # 296, and in the morning, from the raising of the cross to His death, # 297.

Thereafter the repetitions and the Application of the Senses.

Sixth Day

At midnight from the taking down from the cross to the burial exclusive, # 298, and in the morning from the burial inclusive to the house to which our Lady retired after the burial of her Son.

Seventh Day

The contemplation of the whole passion in one exercise at midnight, and again in the morning.

In place of the two repetitions and the Application of the Senses, one should consider as frequently as possible throughout this whole day that the most Sacred Body of Christ our Lord remained separated from the soul, and the place and manner of burial. Let him consider, likewise, the desolation of our Lady, her great sorrow and weariness, and also that of the disciples.

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Note

If one wishes to spend more time on the passion, he should use fewer mysteries in each contemplation, thus, in the first, only the Supper; in the second, only the washing of feet; in the third, the institution of the Blessed Sacrament; in the fourth, Christ’s parting address, and so on for the other contemplations and mysteries.

In like manner, after the passion is finished, he may devote one whole day to the consideration of the first half of the passion, and a second day to the other half, and a third day to the whole passion.

On the other hand, if he should wish to spend less time on the passion, he may take the Supper at midnight, the Agony in the Garden in the morning; about the time of Mass, Jesus before Annas; about the time of Vespers, Jesus before Caiphas; and instead of the Application of the Senses at the hour before supper, Jesus before Pilate. In this way, without repetitions or Applications of the Senses, there should be five exercises each day, using for each one a distinct mystery of the life of Christ our Lord. After he has finished the whole passion in this way, he may use another day to go through the entire passion, either in one exercise or in several, as is deemed best for his greater profit.

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Rules with Regard to Eating

To secure for the future due order in the use of food

First Rule

There is less need of abstinence from bread, since it is not a food concerning which the appetite is wont to be so inordinate and temptation so insistent as with other kinds of food.

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Second Rule

As to drink, abstinence seems to be more necessary than in eating bread. Hence, one should consider carefully what would be helpful, and therefore to be permitted; and what would be harmful, and to be avoided.

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Third Rule

As to foods, greater and more complete abstinence is to be observed. For with regard to them the appetite tends more readily to be excessive, and temptation to be insistent. To avoid disorder concerning foods, abstinence may be practiced in two ways:

First, by accustoming oneself to eat coarser foods;

Secondly, if delicacies are taken, to eat of them only sparingly.

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Fourth Rule

Provided care is taken not to fall sick, the more one retrenches from a sufficient diet, the more speedily he will arrive at the mean he should observe in the matter of food and drink. There are two reasons for this:

First, by thus using the means to dispose himself, he will often experience more abundantly within the soul lights, consolations, and divine inspirations by which the proper mean will become evident to him.

Secondly, if he perceives that with such abstinence he has not sufficient strength and health for the Spiritual Exercises, he will easily come to understand what is more suitable to sustain his body.

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Fifth Rule

While one is eating, let him imagine he sees Christ our Lord and His disciples at table, and consider how He eats and drinks, how He looks, how He speaks, and then strive to imitate Him. In this way, his mind will be occupied principally with our Lord, and less with the provision for the body. Thus he will come to greater harmony and order in the way he ought to conduct himself.

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Sixth Rule

While eating, one may also occupy himself with some other consideration, either of the life of the saints, or of some pious reflection, or of a spiritual work he has on hand. For when a person is attentive to anything of this kind, there will be less sensible gratification in the nourishment of the body.

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Seventh Rule

Above all, let him be on his guard against being wholly intent upon what he is eating, and against being carried away by his appetite so as to eat hurriedly. Let him always be master of himself, both in the manner of eating and in the amount he eats.

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Eighth Rule

To do away with what is inordinate, it will be very helpful after dinner or after supper, or at any time when one does not feel a desire for food, to arrange for the next dinner or supper, and so every day to fix the amount that is proper for him to eat. Let him not exceed this, no matter what his appetite or the temptation. Rather, to overcome better every disorderly appetite and temptation of the enemy, if he is tempted to eat more let him eat less.

Fourth Week

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First Contemplation

The apparition of Christ our Lord to our Lady. # 299

Prayer

The usual preparatory prayer.

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First Prelude

This is the history. Here it is how after Christ expired on the cross His body remained separated from the soul, but always united with the divinity. His soul, likewise united with the divinity, descended into hell. There he sets free the souls of the just, then comes to the sepulcher, and rising, appears in body and soul to His Blessed Mother.

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Second Prelude

This is a mental representation of the place. Here it will be to see the arrangement of the holy sepulcher and the place or house of our Lady. I will note its different parts, and also her room, her oratory, etc.

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Third Prelude

This will be to ask for what I desire. Here it will be to ask for the grace to be glad and rejoice intensely because of the great joy and the glory of Christ our Lord.

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The First, Second, and Third Points

These will be the usual ones as presented in the contemplation on the Last Supper.

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Fourth Point

This will be to consider the divinity, which seemed to hide itself during the passion, now appearing and manifesting itself so miraculously in the most holy Resurrection in its true and most sacred effects.

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Fifth Point

Consider the office of consoler that Christ our Lord exercises, and compare it with the way in which friends are wont to console each other.

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Colloquy

Close with a colloquy, or colloquies, as the circumstances suggest, and at the end say the Our Father.

Notes

  1. (226)

    In the subsequent contemplations, all the mysteries from the Resurrection to the Ascension inclusive are to be gone through in the manner indicated below. As for the rest, throughout the whole Week of the Resurrection, let the same form be used and the same method observed as were followed during the entire Week devoted to the passion.

    The first contemplation on the Resurrection, given above, will serve as a guide. The preludes will be the same, but adapted to the matter being considered. The five points will be the same. The Additional Directions will be as given below. In all the rest, for example, with regard to the repetitions, the Application of the Senses, the shortening or lengthening of the mysteries, etc., the Week devoted to the passion may serve as a model.

  2. (227)

    Ordinarily, it is more in keeping with this Week than with those that have passed to have four exercises a day instead of five.

    In that case the first will be on rising in the morning, the second about the time of Mass, or before dinner, in place of the first repetition. The third, about the time of Vespers, will be in place of the second repetition. The fourth, before supper, will be the Application of the Senses to the matter of the three contemplations of the day.

    In making the Application of the Senses, attention and more time is to be given to the more important parts and to points where the soul was more deeply moved and spiritual relish was greater.

  3. (228)

    Though in all the contemplations a definite number of points is given, say three, or five, etc., the one who is contemplating may make use of more or fewer as seems better for him. For this reason it will be very useful before entering on the contemplation to foresee and determine a definite number of points that are to be used.

  4. (229)

    In the Fourth Week a change is to be made in the second, sixth, seventh, and tenth Additional Directions.

    The second will be, as soon as I awake, to place before my mind the contemplation I am to enter upon, and then to strive to feel joy and happiness at the great joy and happiness of Christ our Lord.

    The sixth will be to call to mind and think on what causes pleasure, happiness, and spiritual joy, for instance, the glory of heaven.

    The seventh will be, as far as there is reason to believe that it might help us to rejoice in our Creator and Redeemer, to make use of the light and the pleasures of the seasons, for example, in summer of the refreshing coolness, in the winter of the sun and fire.

    The tenth will be, instead of penance, to attend to temperance and moderation in all, except on days of fast and abstinence ordained by the Church, which must always be observed if there is no legitimate excuse.

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Contemplation to Attain the Love of God

Note

Before presenting this exercise it will be good to call attention to two points:

  1. The first is that love ought to manifest itself in deeds rather than in words.

  2. (231)

    The second is that love consists in a mutual sharing of goods, for example, the lover gives and shares with the beloved what he possesses, or something of that which he has or is able to give; and vice versa, the beloved shares with the lover. Hence, if one has knowledge, he shares it with the one who does not possess it; and so also if one has honors, or riches. Thus, one always gives to the other.

Prayer

The usual prayer.

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First Prelude

This is the representation of the place, which here is to behold myself standing in the presence of God our Lord and of His angels and saints, who intercede for me.

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Second Prelude

This is to ask for what I desire. Here it will be to ask for an intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.

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First Point

This is to recall to mind the blessings of creation and redemption, and the special favors I have received.

I will ponder with great affection how much God our Lord has done for me, and how much He has given me of what He possesses, and finally, how much, as far as He can, the same Lord desires to give Himself to me according to His divine decrees.

Then I will reflect upon myself, and consider, according to all reason and justice, what I ought to offer the Divine Majesty, that is, all I possess and myself with it. Thus, as one would do who is moved by great feeling, I will make this offering of myself:

Take, Lord, and Receive

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O Lord, I return it. All is Thine, dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and Thy grace, for this is sufficient for me.

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Second Point

This is to reflect how God dwells in creatures: in the elements giving them existence, in the plants giving them life, in the animals conferring upon them sensation, in man bestowing understanding. So He dwells in me and gives me being, life, sensation, intelligence; and makes a temple of me, since I am created in the likeness and image of the Divine Majesty.

Then I will reflect upon myself again in the manner stated in the first point, or in some other way that may seem better.

The same should be observed with regard to each of the points given below.

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Third Point

This is to consider how God works and labors for me in all creatures upon the face of the earth, that is, He conducts Himself as one who labors. Thus, in the heavens, the elements, the plants, the fruits, the cattle, etc., He gives being, conserves them, confers life and sensation, etc.

Then I will reflect on myself.

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Fourth Point

This is to consider all blessings and gifts as descending from above. Thus, my limited power comes from the supreme and infinite power above, and so, too, justice, goodness, mercy, etc., descend from above as the rays of light descend from the sun, and as the waters flow from their fountains, etc.

Then I will reflect on myself, as has been said.

Conclude with a colloquy and the Our Father.

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Three Methods of Prayer

The First Method of Prayer

The First Method of Prayer is on the Ten Commandments, the Seven Capital Sins, the three powers of the soul, and the five senses.

This manner of praying is not meant so much to provide a form and method of prayer properly so called, but rather to supply a way of proceeding and some practices by which the soul may prepare itself and profit so that its prayer may be acceptable to God.

On the Ten Commandments

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Additional Direction

First an equivalent of the second Additional Direction as given in the Second Week is to be observed, that is, before entering on the prayer I recollect myself for a while, and either seated or walking up and down, as may seem better, I will consider where I am going, and for what purpose. The same direction should be observed at the beginning of all the methods of prayer.

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Prayer

A preparatory prayer should be made, for example, I ask God our Lord for grace to know how I have failed in the observance of the Ten Commandments, and also for grace and help to amend for the future. I will beg for a perfect understanding of them in order to observe them better and glorify and praise the Divine Majesty more.

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Method

In this first method of prayer I should consider and think over the First Commandment, asking myself, how I have observed it, and in what I have failed. I will use as a measure of this consideration the space of time it takes to recite three times the Our Father and the Hail Mary. If during this time I find faults I have committed, I will ask forgiveness and say an Our Father. This same method will be followed with each of the Ten Commandments.

Notes

  1. (242)

    If one comes to the consideration of a Commandment against which he is not in the habit of committing any sins, it is not necessary to delay so long on it. According as he finds that he sins more or less against a Commandment, he should devote more or less time to the examination and consideration of it. The same rule should be observed with regard to the Capital Sins.

  2. (243)

    After one has finished the consideration of all the Commandments as indicated above, and has accused himself of his faults, and asked for grace and help to amend for the future, he should close with a colloquy to God our Lord, adapted to the subject matter.

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On the Capital Sins

Method

With regard to the Seven Capital Sins, after the Additional Direction, the preparatory prayer should be made in the way prescribed, but with the modification that the object is the sins to be avoided, whereas before, it was the Commandments to be observed. In like manner the method prescribed, the regulation of the time, and the colloquy are to be observed.

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Note

In order to understand better the faults committed that come under the Seven Capital Sins, let the contrary virtues be considered. So also, the better to avoid these sins, one should resolve to endeavor by devout exercises to acquire and retain the seven virtues contrary to them.

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On the Three Powers of the Soul

Method

With regard to the three powers of the soul, observe the same method, measure of time, and additional direction as for the Commandments. As there, use a preparatory prayer and colloquy.

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On the Five Senses of the Body

Method

With regard to the five senses of the body, the same method should always be observed, only the subject matter is changed.

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Note

If anyone wishes to imitate Christ our Lord in the use of the senses, he should recommend himself to His Divine Majesty in the preparatory prayer, and after the consideration of each, sense say a Hail Mary or an Our Father.

If he wishes to imitate our Lady in the use of his senses, he should recommend himself to her in the preparatory prayer that she obtain for him this grace from her Son and Lord, and after the consideration of each sense say a Hail Mary.

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Second Method of Prayer

This consists in contemplating the meaning of each word of a prayer

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Additional Direction

The same Additional Direction used in the First Method of Prayer should be used here also.

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Preparatory Prayer

This should be made according to the person to whom the prayer is addressed.

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Method

This is as follows: One may kneel or sit, as may be better suited to his disposition and more conducive to devotion. He should keep his eyes closed, or fixed in one position without permitting them to roam. Then let him say, "Father," and continue meditating upon this word as long as he finds various meanings, comparisons, relish, and consolation in the consideration of it. The same method should be followed with each word of the Our Father, or of any other prayer which he wishes to use for this method.

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Rule I

He should continue for an hour in the way described, going through the whole Our Father. When he has finished, let him say the Hail Mary, the Creed, Soul of Christ, and Hail Holy Queen, vocally or mentally, in the usual way.

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Rule II

If in contemplation, say on the Our Father, he finds in one or two words abundant matter for thought and much relish and consolation, he should not be anxious to go on, though the whole hour be taken up with what he has found. When the hour is over, let him say the rest of the Our Father in the usual way.

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Rule III

If he has been occupied with one or two words of the Our Father for a whole hour, when he wishes to pray on another day, let him say those words in the ordinary way, and commence to contemplate as stated in the second rule with the words that follow immediately after them.

Notes

  1. (256)

    After one or more days, when he has finished the Our Father, he should use the Hail Mary for prayer in the same way, then other forms of prayer, so that for some time he is always engaged with one of them.

  2. (257)

    At the end of the prayer, he should turn to the person to whom the prayer is directed, and in a few words ask for the virtues or graces which he sees he needs most.

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Third Method of Prayer

A Measured Rhythmical Recitation

Additional Direction

The same Additional Direction will be observed here as in the First and Second Methods.

Prayer

The preparatory prayer will be as in the Second Method of Prayer.

Method

This is as follows: With each breath or respiration, one should pray mentally while saying a single word of the Our Father, or other prayer that is being recited, in such a way that from one breath to another a single word is said. For this same space of time, the attention is chiefly directed to the meaning of the word, to the person who is addressed, to our own lowliness, or the difference between the greatness of the person and our own littleness. In this way, observing the same measure of time, he should go through the other words of the Our Father. Let the other prayers, the Hail Mary, the Soul of Christ, the Creed, and the Hail Holy Queen, be recited in the ordinary way.

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Rule I

On another day, or at some other time, when he wishes to pray, he may recite the Hail Mary in this measured rhythm, and the other prayers in the ordinary way.

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Rule II

He who wishes to spend more time in this measured prayer, may say all the prayers mentioned above, or a part of them in this way. But let him keep the same method of a breath for the measure as has been explained above.

The Mysteries of the Life of Our Lord

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The Mysteries of the Life of Our Lord

Note

In all the mysteries given below, all the words that are in quotation marks are from the Gospel itself, but not those that are outside the quotation marks. Usually three points are given in order to make it easier to meditate and contemplate on the mysteries.

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The Annunciation to Our Lady

St. Luke 1, 26–38

First Point

The angel, St. Gabriel, salutes our Lady, and announces to her the conception of Christ our Lord: “He went in unto her and said, ‘Hail full of grace. . . . Thou shalt conceive in the womb and bring forth a son.’”

Second Point

The angel confirms what he had said to her by announcing to her the conception of St. John the Baptist: “And behold Elizabeth thy kinswoman, she also has conceived a son in her old age.”

Third Point

Our Lady replied to the angel: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word.”

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The Visitation of Our Lady to Elizabeth

St. Luke 1, 39–56

First Point

When our Lady visited Elizabeth, St. John the Baptist in his mother’s womb knew the visit of our Lady. “And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe in her womb leapt and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she lifted up her voice with a loud cry and said, ‘Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.’”

Second Point

Our Lady chants the Magnificat, saying, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.”

Third Point

“Mary stayed with her about three months, and returned to her own home.”

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Birth of Christ Our Lord

St. Luke 2, 1–14

First Point

Our Lady and her spouse Joseph go from Nazareth to Bethlehem. “Joseph also went up from Galilee to Bethlehem to profess his subjection to Caesar with Mary his espoused wife who was with child.”

Second Point

“She brought forth her first-born son and she swathed him round and laid him in a manger.”

Third Point

“There appeared with the angel a great multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest.’ ”

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The Shepherds

St. Luke 2, 8–20

First Point

The birth of Christ our Lord was made known to the shepherds by the angel: “I bring to you glad tidings of great joy . . . for there has been born to you this day a Savior.”

Second Point

The shepherds go to Bethlehem. “They went with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in the manger.”

Third Point

“The shepherds returned glorifying and praising God.”

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The Circumcision

St. Luke 2, 21

First Point

They circumcised the Child Jesus.

Second Point

“His name was called Jesus, whereby he was called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

Third Point

They returned the Child to His Mother who felt compassion for Him because of the blood He shed.

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The Magi

St. Matthew 2, 1–12

First Point

The Three Kings, Magi, guided by the star came to adore Jesus, saying, “We have seen his star in the East and have come to adore him.”

Second Point

They adore Him and offer Him gifts, “And falling down they worshipped him . . . and offered him gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

Third Point

“Being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they withdrew to their own country by another way.”

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The Purification of Our Lady and the Presentation of the Child Jesus

St. Luke 2, 22–39

First Point

They take the Child Jesus to the temple to be offered as the first-born to the Lord, and they offer for him “a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.”

Second Point

Coming into the temple, Simeon received Him into his arms saying, “Now thou dost dismiss, O Master, thy servant in peace.”

Third Point

Anna “came upon them and gave thanks to God, and spoke of the Child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.”

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The Flight into Egypt

St. Matthew 2, 13–18

First Point

Herod wished to kill the Child Jesus and so killed the Innocents, but before their death the angel warned Joseph that he should flee: “Arise, take the child and his mother and flee into Egypt.”

Second Point

He withdrew into Egypt: “So he arose . . . by night and withdrew into Egypt.”

Third Point

“There he remained till the death of Herod.”

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The Return from Egypt

St. Matthew 2, 19–23

First Point

The angel admonished Joseph to return to Israel: “Arise, take the child and his mother and go into the land of Israel.”

Second Point

“He arose . . . and came into the land of Israel.”

Third Point

“Since Archelaus, the son of Herod, ruled in Judea, he withdrew to Nazareth.”

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The Life of Christ Our Lord from the Age of Twelve to the Age of Thirty

St. Luke 2, 51–52

First Point

He was obedient to His parents.

Second Point

“Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and grace.”

Third Point

He appears to have practiced the trade of a carpenter, as St. Mark seems to show in chapter six: “Is not this the carpenter?”

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Jesus Goes Up to the Temple at the Age of Twelve

St. Luke 2, 41–50

First Point

Christ our Lord at the age of twelve years goes up from Nazareth to Jerusalem.

Second Point

Christ our Lord remained in Jerusalem, and His parents did not know it.

Third Point

After three days they found him disputing in the temple, and seated in the midst of the doctors, and when they asked Him where he had been, He answered, “Know you not that I needs must be about my Father’s business?”

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The Baptism of Christ

St. Matthew 3, 13–17

First Point

After Christ our Lord had bidden farewell to His blessed Mother, He went from Nazareth to the River Jordan where St. John the Baptist was.

Second Point

St. John baptized Christ our Lord. When he wished to excuse himself because he thought himself unworthy to baptize Him, our Lord said to him: “Let it be so at this time; for so it becometh to fulfill all justness.”

Third Point

The Holy Spirit descended upon Him, and the voice of the Father from heaven testified, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

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The Temptation of Christ

St. Luke 4, 1–13; St. Matthew 4, 1–11

First Point

After He had been baptized, Jesus went to the desert where He fasted for forty days and forty nights.

Second Point

He was tempted by the enemy three times: “The tempter drew near and said to Him, ‘If thou art the Son of God command that these stones become loaves. . . . Cast thyself down. . . . All these things I will give thee if falling down thou wilt worship me!’”

Third Point

“The angels came and ministered to Him.”

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The Vocation of the Apostles

First Point

St. Peter and St. Andrew seem to have been called three times. First, to some knowledge of our Lord. This is evident from the first chapter of St. John. Secondly, to a following of Christ in some way, but with the intention of returning to the possessions they had left. St. Luke tells us this in the fifth chapter. Thirdly, to follow Christ our Lord forever, St. Matthew, chapter four, and St. Mark, chapter one.

Second Point

He called Philip, as we read in the first chapter of St. John. He called Matthew, as is recorded by St. Matthew himself in the ninth chapter.

Third Point

He called the other Apostles, of whom no special call is mentioned in the Gospel.

Three other points must also be considered:

  1. That the Apostles were uneducated and from a humble condition of life.

  2. The dignity to which they were so gently called.

  3. The gifts and graces by which they were raised above all the Fathers of the Old and New Testaments.

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The First Miracle Performed at the Marriage Feast of Cana in Galilee

St. John 2, 1–11

First Point

Christ our Lord and the disciples were invited to the marriage feast.

Second Point

His Mother calls attention to the shortage of wine, saying to Him, “They have no wine.” She bids the servants, “Whatsoever He shall say to you do.”

Third Point

He changed the water into wine, “And he manifested his glory and his disciples believed in him.”

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Christ Casts the Sellers from the Temple

St. John 2, 13–22

First Point

With a whip made of cords He casts all those who sell out of the Temple.

Second Point

He overturned the tables and scattered the money of the wealthy money-changers who were in the Temple.

Third Point

To the poor venders of doves He said kindly, “Take these away! Make not the house of my Father a house of traffic.”

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The Sermon on the Mount

St. Matthew 5

First Point

He proposes the eight beatitudes to His beloved disciples apart: “Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . the meek . . . the merciful . . . they that mourn . . . they that hunger . . . the peace-makers . . . those that suffer persecution.”

Second Point

He exhorts them to use their talents, “So let your light shine before men in order that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Third Point

He shows Himself not a transgressor of the Law but a fulfiller. He explains the commandments not to kill, not to commit adultery, not to swear falsely, and commands us to love our enemies: “I say, love your enemies, do good to them that hate you.”

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Christ Calms the Storm

St. Matthew 8, 23–27

First Point

While Christ our Lord was asleep in the boat on the sea, a great storm arose.

Second Point

His terrified disciples awaken Him. He reprehends them for the little faith they have, and says to them, “Why are ye afraid, O ye of little faith?”

Third Point

He commanded the wind and sea to cease, and they obeyed, and the sea became calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What manner of man is this that even the winds and the sea obey him?”

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Christ Walks Upon the Waters

St. Matthew 14, 22–33

First Point

While Christ our Lord remained on the mountain, He commanded His disciples to go away in the boat, and after He had dismissed the crowd, He began to pray alone.

Second Point

The boat was buffeted by the waves. Christ came toward them walking upon the waters, and the disciples thought they saw an apparition.

Third Point

Christ says to them, “It is I, fear not.” St. Peter at His command walked upon the waters and came to Jesus, but when he doubted, he began to sink. Christ saved him and reprehended him for his little faith. They entered into the boat and the wind ceased.

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The Apostles Are Sent to Preach

St. Matthew 10, 1–16

First Point

Christ calls His beloved disciples and gives them power to cast our devils from the bodies of men, and to heal all their infirmities.

Second Point

He teaches them prudence and patience, “Behold I send you forth as sheep into the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and guileless as doves.”

Third Point

He tells them how they should go, “Do not possess gold or silver.” “Freely ye have received, freely give.” And he told them what to preach: “As ye go, preach saying, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand.’”

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The Conversion of Magdalene

St. Luke 7, 36–50

First Point

Magdalene, carrying an alabaster vase full of ointment, enters the house of the Pharisee where Christ is seated at table.

Second Point

She stood behind our Lord near His feet, and began to wash them with her tears, and wiped them with her hair. She kissed His feet, and anointed them with ointment.

Third Point

When the Pharisee accused Magdalene, Christ spoke in her defense, saying, “Her many sins are forgiven because she has loved much . . .. But he said to the woman, ‘Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace.’”

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Christ Feeds Five Thousand

St. Matthew 14, 13–21

First Point

Since it was getting late, the disciples asked Jesus to dismiss the multitude of people who were with Him.

Second Point

Christ our Lord commanded them to bring the loaves of bread to Him, and ordered the people to sit down. Then He blessed the bread, broke it, and gave it to the disciples who gave it to the multitude.

Third Point

“And they all ate and had their fill, and they took up the fragments that were left over, twelve full baskets.”

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The Transfiguration

St. Matthew 17, 1–9

First Point

Jesus took with Him His beloved disciples, Peter, James, and John, and He was transfigured before them. His face became resplendent as the sun, and His garments like snow.

Second Point

He spoke with Moses and Elias.

Third Point

When St. Peter said that they should build three tabernacles, a voice was heard from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son. . . . Hear ye him.” When the disciples heard this voice, they fell down for fear, their faces to the ground. Jesus came and touched them, and said to them, “Arise and fear not. . . . Tell not the vision to any one till the Son of Man be risen from the dead.”

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The Raising of Lazarus

St. John 11, 1–45

First Point

Mary and Martha inform Jesus of the sickness of Lazarus. After He was informed of this, He delayed for two days that the miracle might be more evident.

Second Point

Before He raised him, He asked faith of both Mary and Martha, saying, “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me even though he die shall live.”

Third Point

Jesus raises him after He had wept and said a prayer. The way in which He raised him was by a command, “Lazarus, come forth.”

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The Supper at Bethany

St. Matthew 26, 6–10

First Point

Our Lord eats in the house of Simon the leper together with Lazarus.

Second Point

Mary pours out the ointment upon the head of Christ.

Third Point

Judas murmurs with the words, “Why this waste?” But Jesus defends Magdalene again, saying, “Why do you trouble this woman? She hath wrought a good work upon me.”

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Palm Sunday

St. Matthew 21, 1–17

First Point

Our Lord sends for the ass and the foal, saying, “Loose them and bring them to me, and if anyone say ought to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord hath need of them,’ and straightway he will let them go.”

Second Point

After the ass was covered with the garments of the Apostles, Jesus mounted it.

Third Point

The people came forth to meet Jesus, and spread their garments and the branches of trees in the way, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

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Jesus Preaches in the Temple

St. Luke 19, 47–48

First Point

He was teaching daily in the temple.

Second Point

After His teaching, since there was no one in Jerusalem who would receive Him, He returned to Bethania.

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The Last Supper

St. Matthew 26, 20–30; St. John 13, 1–30

First Point

He eats the Paschal Lamb with His disciples, to whom He predicts His death: “Amen I say to you, one of you shall betray me.”

Second Point

He washes the feet of the disciples, even those of Judas. He begins with St. Peter, but St. Peter, considering the majesty of the Lord and his own lowliness, does not want to permit it, and says, “Lord dost thou wash my feet?” St. Peter did not know that Christ was giving an example of humility in this, and therefore, Jesus said to him, “I have given you an example that as I have done you also ought to do.”

Third Point

He institutes the most holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist, the greatest proof of His love. He says to them, “Take and eat.” When the supper was finished, Judas went forth to sell our Lord.

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From the Last Supper to the Agony Inclusive

St. Matthew 26, 30–46; St. Mark 14, 32–44

First Point

When the Supper was finished, and after the hymn was sung, Jesus, full of fear, goes forth with His disciples to Mt. Olivet. He left eight of them in Gethsemani, saying, “Sit you here whilst I go yonder and pray.”

Second Point

Accompanied by St. Peter, St. James, and St. John, He prays three times to the Father, saying, “My Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me, yet not as I will but as thou wilt.” “And falling into an agony He prayed the more earnestly.”

Third Point

So great was the fear that overwhelmed Him that he said: “My soul is sorrowful unto death.” And He sweat blood so copiously that St. Luke says, “His sweat became as drops of blood falling down to the ground.” This supposes that His garments were saturated with blood.

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From the Garden to the House of Annas Inclusive

St. Matthew 26, 47–58; St. Luke 22, 47–57; St. Mark 14, 44–54 & 66–68

First Point

Our Lord allows Himself to be kissed by Judas, and to be seized as a robber. He says to them: “Are ye come out as against a robber with swords and clubs to arrest me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching and you seized me not.” When he said, “Whom seek ye?” His enemies fell to the ground.

Second Point

St. Peter wounds the servant of the High Priest. The meek Lord says to him, “Put back thy sword into its place.” And He healed the wound of the servant.

Third Point

Deserted by His disciples, He is led to Annas. There St. Peter, who had followed Him afar off, denied Him once. Christ was struck in the face and asked, “Answerest thou thus the High Priest?”

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From the House of Annas to the House of Caiphas Inclusive

St. Matthew 26; St. Mark 14; St. Luke 22; St. John 18

First Point

They led Him bound from the house of Annas to that of Caiphas, where St. Peter denied Him twice. When our Lord looked upon him, he went out and wept bitterly.

Second Point

Jesus remained bound the whole night.

Third Point

Those who kept Him bound scoffed at Him, buffeted Him, covered His face and struck Him with the palms of their hands, and asked Him, “Prophesy who it was that struck Thee.” And similar things they said, blaspheming Him.

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From the House of Caiphas to the House of Pilate Inclusive

St. Matthew 27; St. Luke 23; St. Mark 15

First Point

The whole multitude of Jews took Him to Pilate, and accused Him before the governor, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar.”

Second Point

After Pilate had examined Him several times, he said: “I find no crime in this man.”

Third Point

Barabbas, the robber, was preferred to Him: “They, therefore, shouted again, saying, ‘Not this man but Barabbas.’”

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From the House of Pilate to the House of Herod

St. Luke 23, 6–11

First Point

Pilate sent Jesus, the Galilean, to Herod, the tetrarch of Galilee.

Second Point

Herod curiously asked many questions, and Jesus answered nothing, though the scribes and priests accused Him constantly.

Third Point

Herod and his court mocked Jesus, and clothed Him with a white garment.

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From the House of Herod to That of Pilate

St. Matthew 27; St. Luke 23; St. Mark 15; St. John 19

First Point

Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate, and because of this they became friends, though before they were enemies.

Second Point

Pilate took Jesus and had Him scourged, and the soldiers made a crown of thorns and placed it upon His head. They put a purple cloak about Him, and came to Him and said, “Hail king of the Jews!” “And they gave Him blows.”

Third Point

Pilate led Him forth before all: “Jesus, therefore, came forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple garment. And he said to them, ‘Behold the man!’” When the chief priests saw Him they cried out, “Crucify him, Crucify him!”

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From the House of Pilate to the Cross Inclusive

St. John 19, 13–22

First Point

Sitting in judgment, Pilate delivered up Jesus to be crucified after the Jews had denied that He was their king, saying, “We have no king but Caesar.”

Second Point

He carried the cross upon His shoulders, and when He was no longer able to do so, Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry it after Jesus.

Third Point

They crucified Him between two thieves. The title placed over the cross read: “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”

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Jesus Dies Upon the Cross

St. John 19, 23–37; St. Matthew 27, 35–52; St. Mark 15, 24–38; St. Luke 23, 34–46

First Point

He spoke seven words upon the cross: He prayed for those who crucified Him; He pardoned the thief; He recommended St. John to His Mother; He said with a loud voice, “I thirst,” and they gave Him vinegar to drink; He said that He was forsaken; He said, “It is consummated”; He said, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”

Second Point

The sun was darkened, the rocks rent, the graves opened, and the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

Third Point

They blasphemed Him saying, “Thou who wouldst overthrow the temple . . . come down from the cross.” His garments were divided, His side was pierced with a lance, and blood and water came forth.

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From the Cross to the Sepulcher Inclusive

Ibidem

First Point

He was taken down from the cross by Joseph and Nicodemus in the presence of His sorrowful Mother.

Second Point

The body was borne to the sepulcher, and anointed, and buried.

Third Point

Guards were stationed.

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The Resurrection of Christ Our Lord—The First Apparition

First Point

He appeared to the Virgin Mary. Though this is not mentioned explicitly in the Scripture it must be considered as stated when Scripture says that He appeared to many others. For Scripture supposes that we have understanding, as it is written, “Are you also without understanding?”

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The Second Apparition

St. Mark 16, 1–11

First Point

Very early in the morning Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome go to the tomb. They say to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”

Second Point

They see the stone rolled back and the angel who says to them: “Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth . . . He is risen, he is not here.”

Third Point

He appeared to Mary who remained near the tomb after the others left.

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The Third Apparition

St. Matthew 28

First Point

The two Marys go from the sepulcher with great fear and joy to announce the Resurrection of the Lord to the disciples.

Second Point

Christ our Lord appears to them on the way, and says to them, “Hail!” and they went up to Him, and fell down at His feet and adored Him.

Third Point

Jesus says to them: “Fear not! Go tell my brethren to depart into Galilee. There they shall see me.”

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The Fourth Apparition

St. Luke 24, 9–12 & 33–34

First Point

When St. Peter heard from the women that Christ has risen, he went with haste to the tomb.

Second Point

He entered the tomb and saw only the linens with which the body of Christ had been covered, and nothing more.

Third Point

While St. Peter was thinking of these things, Christ appeared to him. That is why the Apostles said, “The Lord is risen indeed and has appeared to Simon.”

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The Fifth Apparition

St. Luke 24

First Point

He appeared to His disciples who were going to Emmaus and were talking of Christ.

Second Point

He reprehends them, showing them by the Scriptures that Christ must die and rise again: “O senseless men and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and so to enter into his glory?”

Third Point

At their request He remains there, and was with them till He gave them Holy Communion. Then He disappeared. Thereupon they returned to the disciples and told them how they recognized Him in Holy Communion.

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The Sixth Apparition

St. John 20, 19–23

First Point

The disciples, except St. Thomas, were gathered together “for fear of the Jews.”

Second Point

Jesus appeared to them, the doors being locked, and standing in their midst said, “Peace be to you!”

Third Point

He gives them the Holy Spirit, saying, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost, whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven.”

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The Seventh Apparition

St. John 20, 24–29

First Point

Since St. Thomas was not present at the preceding apparition, he would not believe and said, “Unless I see . . . I will not believe.”

Second Point

Eight days after, Jesus appeared to them, the doors closed, and He said to Thomas, “Reach hither thy finger and see . . . and be not unbelieving but believing.”

Third Point

St. Thomas believed, saying, “My Lord and my God.” Christ said to him, “Blessed are they who have not seen and have believed.”

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The Eighth Apparition

St. John 21, 1–17

First Point

Jesus appeared to seven of His disciples who were fishing. They had fished all night and caught nothing. But casting the net at His command “they were not able to haul it in for the multitude of fishes.”

Second Point

Through this miracle St. John recognized Him, and said to St. Peter, “It is the Lord.” St. Peter cast himself into the sea and came to Christ.

Third Point

He gave them bread and part of a broiled fish to eat. After He had first tested three times the love of St. Peter, He recommended His sheep to him with the words, “Feed my sheep.”

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The Ninth Apparition

St. Matthew 28, 16–20

First Point

The disciples at the command of Christ go to Mt. Thabor.

Second Point

Christ appears to them and says: “All power is given to me in heaven and on earth.”

Third Point

He sent them throughout the world to teach, saying, “Go ye, therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”

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The Tenth Apparition

1 Corinthians 15, 6

“After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at once.”

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The Eleventh Apparition

1 Corinthians 15, 7

“After that he appeared to James.”

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The Twelfth Apparition

He appeared to Joseph of Arimathea, as may be piously believed, and as is read in the Lives of the Saints.

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The Thirteenth Apparition

1 Corinthians 15, 8

He appeared to St. Paul after His Ascension: “Last of all, as to one born out of due time, He appeared to me.”

He appeared also in soul to the Fathers in limbo;

He appeared to them likewise after He had taken them from there and assumed His body again.

He appeared many times to His disciples and conversed with them.

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The Ascension of Christ Our Lord

Acts 1, 1–12

First Point

After He had manifested Himself for forty days to the Apostles, and had given them many proofs, and worked many miracles, and had spoken to them of the Kingdom of God, He commanded them to await in Jerusalem the promise of the Holy Spirit.

Second Point

He led them to Mt. Olivet “and He was lifted up before their eyes and a cloud received Him out of their sight.”

Third Point

While they were gazing up into heaven, the angels said to them: “Men of Galilee, why stand ye looking up into heaven? This Jesus who hath been taken up from you into heaven will come after the same manner wherein ye have beheld him going up into heaven.”

Part

Various Rules

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Rules for the Discernment of Spirits

The First Week

Rules for understanding to some extent the different movements produced in the soul and for recognizing those that are good to admit them, and those that are bad, to reject them. These rules are more suited to the first week

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    In the case of those who go from one mortal sin to another, the enemy is ordinarily accustomed to propose apparent pleasures. He fills their imagination with sensual delights and gratifications, the more readily to keep them in their vices and increase the number of their sins.

    With such persons the good spirit uses a method which is the reverse of the above. Making use of the light of reason, he will rouse the sting of conscience and fill them with remorse.

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    In the case of those who go on earnestly striving to cleanse their souls from sin and who seek to rise in the service of God our Lord to greater perfection, the method pursued is the opposite of that mentioned in the first rule.

    Then it is characteristic of the evil spirit to harass with anxiety, to afflict with sadness, to raise obstacles backed by fallacious reasonings that disturb the soul. Thus he seeks to prevent the soul from advancing.

    It is characteristic of the good spirit, however, to give courage and strength, consolations, tears, inspirations, and peace. This He does by making all easy, by removing all obstacles so that the soul goes forward in doing good.

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    Spiritual Consolation. I call it consolation when an interior movement is aroused in the soul, by which it is inflamed with love of its Creator and Lord, and as a consequence, can love no creature on the face of the earth for its own sake, but only in the Creator of them all. It is likewise consolation when one sheds tears that move to the love of God, whether it be because of sorrow for sins, or because of the sufferings of Christ our Lord, or for any other reason that is immediately directed to the praise and service of God. Finally, I call consolation every increase of faith, hope, and love, and all interior joy that invites and attracts to what is heavenly and to the salvation of one’s soul by filling it with peace and quiet in its Creator and Lord.

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    Spiritual Desolation. I call desolation what is entirely the opposite of what is described in the third rule, as darkness of soul, turmoil of spirit, inclination to what is low and earthly, restlessness rising from many disturbances and temptations which lead to want of faith, want of hope, want of love. The soul is wholly slothful, tepid, sad, and separated, as it were, from its Creator and Lord. For just as consolation is the opposite of desolation, so the thoughts that spring from consolation are the opposite of those that spring from desolation.

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    In time of desolation we should never make any change, but remain firm and constant in the resolution and decision which guided us the day before the desolation, or in the decision to which we adhered in the preceding consolation. For just as in consolation the good spirit guides and counsels us, so in desolation the evil spirit guides and counsels. Following his counsels we can never find the way to a right decision.

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    Though in desolation we must never change our former resolutions, it will be very advantageous to intensify our activity against the desolation. We can insist more upon prayer, upon meditation, and on much examination of ourselves. We can make an effort in a suitable way to do some penance.

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    When one is in desolation, he should be mindful that God has left him to his natural powers to resist the different agitations and temptations of the enemy in order to try him. He can resist with the help of God, which always remains, though he may not clearly perceive it. For though God has taken from him the abundance of fervor and overflowing love and the intensity of His favors, nevertheless, he has sufficient grace for eternal salvation.

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    When one is in desolation, he should strive to persevere in patience. This reacts against the vexations that have overtaken him. Let him consider, too, that consolation will soon return, and in the meantime, he must diligently use the means against desolation which have been given in the sixth rule.

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    The principal reasons why we suffer from desolation are three:

    The first is because we have been tepid and slothful or negligent in our exercises of piety, and so through our own fault spiritual consolation has been taken away from us.

    The second reason is because God wishes to try us, to see how much we are worth, and how much we will advance in His service and praise when left without the generous reward of consolations and signal favors.

    The third reason is because God wishes to give us a true knowledge and understanding of ourselves, so that we may have an intimate perception of the fact that it is not within our power to acquire and attain great devotion, intense love, tears, or any other spiritual consolation; but that all this is the gift and grace of God our Lord. God does not wish us to build on the property of another, to rise up in spirit in a certain pride and vainglory and attribute to ourselves the devotion and other effects of spiritual consolation.

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    When one enjoys consolation, let him consider how he will conduct himself during the time of ensuing desolation, and store up a supply of strength as defense against that day.

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    He who enjoys consolation should take care to humble himself and lower himself as much as possible. Let him recall how little he is able to do in time of desolation, when he is left without such grace or consolation.

    On the other hand, one who suffers desolation should remember that by making use of the sufficient grace offered him, he can do much to withstand all his enemies. Let him find his strength in his Creator and Lord.

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    The enemy conducts himself as a woman. He is a weakling before a show of strength, and a tyrant if he has his will. It is characteristic of a woman in a quarrel with a man to lose courage and take to flight if the man shows that he is determined and fearless. However, if the man loses courage and begins to flee, the anger, vindictiveness, and rage of the woman surge up and know no bounds. In the same way, the enemy becomes weak, loses courage, and turns to flight with his seductions as soon as one leading a spiritual life faces his temptations boldly, and does exactly the opposite of what he suggests. However, if one begins to be afraid and to lose courage in temptations, no wild animal on earth can be more fierce than the enemy of our human nature. He will carry out his perverse intentions with consummate malice.

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    Our enemy may also be compared in his manner of acting to a false lover. He seeks to remain hidden and does not want to be discovered. If such a lover speaks with evil intention to the daughter of a good father, or to the wife of a good husband, and seeks to seduce them, he wants his words and solicitations kept secret. He is greatly displeased if his evil suggestions and depraved intentions are revealed by the daughter to her father, or by the wife to her husband. Then he readily sees he will not succeed in what he has begun. In the same way, when the enemy of our human nature tempts a just soul with his wiles and seductions, he earnestly desires that they be received secretly and kept secret. But if one manifests them to a confessor, or to some other spiritual person who understands his deceits and malicious designs, the evil one is very much vexed. For he knows that he cannot succeed in his evil undertaking, once his evident deceits have been revealed.

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    The conduct of our enemy may also be compared to the tactics of a leader intent upon seizing and plundering a position he desires. A commander and leader of an army will encamp, explore the fortifications and defenses of the stronghold, and attack at the weakest point. In the same way, the enemy of our human nature investigates from every side all our virtues, theological, cardinal and moral. Where he finds the defenses of eternal salvation weakest and most deficient, there he attacks and tries to take us by storm.

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The Second Week

Further rules for understanding the different movements produced in the soul. They serve for a more accurate discernment of spirits and are more suitable for the second week

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    It is characteristic of God and His Angels, when they act upon the soul, to give true happiness and spiritual joy, and to banish all the sadness and disturbances which are caused by the enemy.

    It is characteristic of the evil one to fight against such happiness and consolation by proposing fallacious reasonings, subtilties, and continual deceptions.

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    God alone can give consolation to the soul without any previous cause. It belongs solely to the Creator to come into a soul, to leave it, to act upon it, to draw it wholly to the love of His Divine Majesty. I said without previous cause, that is, without any preceding perception or knowledge of any subject by which a soul might be led to such a consolation through its own acts of intellect and will.

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    If a cause precedes, both the good angel and the evil spirit can give consolation to a soul, but for a quite different purpose. The good angel consoles for the progress of the soul, that it may advance and rise to what is more perfect. The evil spirit consoles for purposes that are the contrary, and that afterwards he might draw the soul to his own perverse intentions and wickedness.

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    It is a mark of the evil spirit to assume the appearance of an angel of light. He begins by suggesting thoughts that are suited to a devout soul, and ends by suggesting his own. For example, he will suggest holy and pious thoughts that are wholly in conformity with the sanctity of the soul. Afterwards, he will endeavor little by little to end by drawing the soul into his hidden snares and evil designs.

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    We must carefully observe the whole course of our thoughts. If the beginning and middle and end of the course of thoughts are wholly good and directed to what is entirely right, it is a sign that they are from the good angel. But the course of thoughts suggested to us may terminate in something evil, or distracting, or less good than the soul had formerly proposed to do. Again, it may end in what weakens the soul, or disquiets it; or by destroying the peace, tranquillity, and quiet which it had before, it may cause disturbance to the soul. These things are a clear sign that the thoughts are proceeding from the evil spirit, the enemy of our progress and eternal salvation.

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    When the enemy of our human nature has been detected and recognized by the trail of evil marking his course and by the wicked end to which he leads us, it will be profitable for one who has been tempted to review immediately the whole course of the temptation. Let him consider the series of good thoughts, how they arose, how the evil one gradually attempted to make him step down from the state of spiritual delight and joy in which he was, till finally he drew him to his wicked designs. The purpose of this review is that once such an experience has been understood and carefully observed, we may guard ourselves for the future against the customary deceits of the enemy.

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    In souls that are progressing to greater perfection, the action of the good angel is delicate, gentle, delightful. It may be compared to a drop of water penetrating a sponge.

    The action of the evil spirit upon such souls is violent, noisy, and disturbing. It may be compared to a drop of water falling upon a stone.

    In souls that are going from bad to worse, the action of the spirits mentioned above is just the reverse. The reason for this is to be sought in the opposition or similarity of these souls to the different kinds of spirits. When the disposition is contrary to that of the spirits, they enter with noise and commotion that are easily perceived. When the disposition is similar to that of the spirits, they enter silently, as one coming into his own house when the doors are open.

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    When consolation is without previous cause, as was said, there can be no deception in it, since it can proceed from God our Lord only. But a spiritual person who has received such a consolation must consider it very attentively, and must cautiously distinguish the actual time of the consolation from the period which follows it. At such a time the soul is still fervent and favored with the grace and aftereffects of the consolation which has passed. In this second period the soul frequently forms various resolutions and plans which are not granted directly by God our Lord. They may come from our own reasoning on the relations of our concepts and on the consequences of our judgments, or they may come from the good or evil spirit. Hence, they must be carefully examined before they are given full approval and put into execution.

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Rules for the Distribution of Alms

In the ministry of distributing alms the following rules should be observed

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    If I distribute alms to my relatives or friends or persons to whom I am attached, there are four things that must be considered. Some of these were mentioned in treating the Choice of a Way of Life.

    The first is that the love that moves me and causes me to give the alms must be from above, that is, from the love of God our Lord. Hence, I should be conscious within myself that God is the motive of the greater or less love that I bear toward these persons, and that God is manifestly the cause of my loving them more.

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    I should place before my mind a person whom I have never seen or known, and whom I wish to be wholly perfect in the office and state of life which he occupies. Now the same standard of action that I would like him to follow in his way of distributing alms for the greater glory of God and the perfection of his soul I myself will observe, and do neither more nor less. The same rule I would like him to follow, and the norm I judge would be for the glory of God I shall abide by myself.

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    I should picture myself at the hour of my death, and ponder well the way and norm I would then wish to have observed in carrying out the duties of my office. I will lay down the same rule for myself now, and keep it in my distribution of alms.

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    I should imagine myself before my judge on the last day, and weigh well the manner in which I would wish then to have done my duty in carrying out this office. The same rule that I would then wish to have observed I will keep now.

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    When one finds that he is inclined or attached to some persons to whom he wishes to give alms, let him stop and ponder well the four rules given above. He must investigate and test his affection by them. He should not give the alms until in conformity with these rules he has completely put off and cast aside his inordinate attachment.

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    It is true that there is no wrong in receiving the goods of God our Lord for distribution if a person is called by God our Lord to such a service. Nevertheless, there may be question of a fault and excess in the amount he retains and applies to his own needs of what he holds to give to others. Hence one can reform his way of living in his state by the rules given above.

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    For these and many other reasons it will always be better and safer in all matters concerning himself and his household, if one is saving and cuts down expenses as much as possible, if he imitates as closely as he can our great High Priest, model, and guide, Christ our Lord.

    It was in conformity with this doctrine that the Third Council of Carthage, at which St. Augustine was present, decided and decreed that the furniture of the bishop should be cheap and poor.

    The same consideration applies to all stations in life, but attention must be given to adapting it to each one’s condition and rank.

    In matrimony we have the example of St. Joachim and St. Anne. They divided their resources into three parts. The first they gave to the poor. The second they donated to the ministrations and services of the Temple. The third they used for the support of themselves and their household.

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Some Notes Concerning Scruples

The following notes will aid us to understand scruples and the temptations of our enemy

  1. (346)

    It is common for people to speak of something as a scruple though it has proceeded from their own judgment and free will, for example, when I freely decide that something is a sin which is not a sin. Thus it may happen that after one has chanced to step upon a cross formed by straws, he decides according to his own way of thinking that he has sinned. In reality, this is an erroneous judgment and not a real scruple.

  2. (347)

    After I have stepped upon such a cross, or after anything else I may have thought, said, or done, the suggestion may come to me from without that I have sinned, and on the other hand, it may seem to me that I have not sinned. Then if I continue to be anxious about the matter, doubting and not doubting that I sinned, there is a real scruple properly so called and a temptation from our enemy.

  3. (348)

    The kind of scruple mentioned in the first note should be much abhorred, since it is wholly erroneous. But the scruple described in the second note may for a while prove to be of no little advantage for a soul devoting itself to the spiritual life. It may in fact greatly purify and cleanse such a soul by doing much to free it from even the appearance of sin. St. Gregory has said: "It is characteristic of a devout soul to see a fault where there is none."

  4. (349)

    The enemy considers carefully whether one has a lax or a delicate conscience. If one has a delicate conscience, the evil one seeks to make it excessively sensitive, in order to disturb and upset it more easily. Thus, if he sees that one will not consent to mortal sin, or venial sin, or even to the appearance of deliberate sin, since he cannot cause him to fall in a matter that appears sinful, he strives to make the soul judge that there is a sin, for example, in a word or passing thought where there is no sin.

    If one has a lax conscience, the enemy endeavors to make it more so. Thus, if before a soul did not bother about venial sin, the enemy will contrive that it make light of mortal sin. If before it paid some heed to venial sin, his efforts will be that now it cares much less or not at all.

  5. (350)

    A soul that wishes to make progress in the spiritual life must always act in a manner contrary to that of the enemy. If the enemy seeks to make the conscience lax, one must endeavor to make it more sensitive. If the enemy strives to make the conscience delicate with a view to leading it to excess, the soul must endeavor to establish itself firmly in a moderate course so that in all things it may preserve itself in peace.

  6. (351)

    If a devout soul wishes to do something that is not contrary to the spirit of the Church or the mind of superiors and that may be for the glory of God our Lord, there may come a thought or temptation from without not to say or do it. Apparent reasons may be adduced for this, such as that it is motivated by vainglory or some other imperfect intention, etc. In such cases one should raise his mind to his Creator and Lord, and if he sees that what he is about to do is in keeping with God’s service, or at least not opposed to it, he should act directly against the temptation. According to St. Bernard, we must answer the tempter, "I did not undertake this because of you, and I am not going to relinquish it because of you."

(352)

Rules for Thinking with the Church

The following rules should be observed to foster the true attitude of mind we ought to have in the church militant

  1. (353)

    We must put aside all judgment of our own, and keep the mind ever ready and prompt to obey in all things the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, our holy Mother, the hierarchical Church.

  2. (354)

    We should praise sacramental confession, the yearly reception of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and praise more highly monthly reception, and still more weekly Communion, provided requisite and proper dispositions are present.

  3. (355)

    We ought to praise the frequent hearing of Mass, the singing of hymns, psalmody, and long prayers whether in the church or outside; likewise, the hours arranged at fixed times for the whole Divine Office, for every kind of prayer, and for the canonical hours.

  4. (356)

    We must praise highly religious life, virginity, and continency; and matrimony ought not be praised as much as any of these.

  5. (357)

    We should praise vows of religion, obedience, poverty, chastity, and vows to perform other works of supererogation conducive to perfection. However, it must be remembered that a vow deals with matters that lead us closer to evangelical perfection. Hence, whatever tends to withdraw one from perfection may not be made the object of a vow, for example, a business career, the married state, and so forth.

  6. (358)

    We should show our esteem for the relics of the saints by venerating them and praying to the saints. We should praise visits to the Station Churches, pilgrimages, indulgences, jubilees, crusade indults, and the lighting of candles in churches.

  7. (359)

    We must praise the regulations of the Church with regard to fast and abstinence, for example, in Lent, on Ember Days, Vigils, Fridays, and Saturdays. We should praise works of penance, not only those that are interior but also those that are exterior.

  8. (360)

    We ought to praise not only the building and adornment of churches, but also images and veneration of them according to the subject they represent.

  9. (361)

    Finally, we must praise all the commandments of the Church, and be on the alert to find reasons to defend them, and by no means in order to criticize them.

  10. (362)

    We should be more ready to approve and praise the orders, recommendations, and way of acting of our superiors than to find fault with them. Though some of the orders, etc., may not have been praiseworthy, yet to speak against them, either when preaching in public or in speaking before the people, would rather be the cause of murmuring and scandal than of profit. As a consequence, the people would become angry with their superiors, whether secular or spiritual. But while it does harm in the absence of our superiors to speak evil of them before the people, it may be profitable to discuss their bad conduct with those who can apply a remedy.

  11. (363)

    We should praise both positive theology and that of the Scholastics.

    It is characteristic of the positive doctors, such as St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Gregory, and others, to rouse the affections so that we are moved to love and serve God our Lord in all things.

    On the other hand, it is more characteristic of the scholastic doctors, such as St. Thomas, St. Bonaventure, the Master of the Sentences, and others, to define and state clearly, according to the needs of our times, the doctrines that are necessary for eternal salvation, and that more efficaciously help to refute all errors and expose all fallacies.

    Further, just because scholastic doctors belong to more recent times, they not only have the advantage of correct understanding of Holy Scripture and of the teaching of the saints and positive doctors, but, enlightened by the grace of God, they also make use of the decisions of the Councils and of the definitions and decrees of our holy Mother Church.

  12. (364)

    We must be on our guard against making comparisons between those who are still living and the saints who have gone before us, for no small error is committed if we say: "This man is wiser than St. Augustine," "He is another St. Francis or even greater," "He is equal to St. Paul in goodness and sanctity," and so on.

  13. (365)

    If we wish to proceed securely in all things, we must hold fast to the following principle: What seems to me white, I will believe black if the hierarchical Church so defines. For I must be convinced that in Christ our Lord, the bridegroom, and in His spouse the Church, only one Spirit holds sway, which governs and rules for the salvation of souls. For it is by the same Spirit and Lord who gave the Ten Commandments that our holy Mother Church is ruled and governed.

  14. (366)

    Granted that it be very true that no one can be saved without being predestined and without having faith and grace, still we must be very cautious about the way in which we speak of all these things and discuss them with others.

  15. (367)

    We should not make it a habit of speaking much of predestination. If somehow at times it comes to be spoken of, it must be done in such a way that the people are not led into any error. They are at times misled, so that they say: "Whether I shall be saved or lost, has already been determined, and this cannot be changed whether my actions are good or bad." So they become indolent and neglect the works that are conducive to the salvation and spiritual progress of their souls.

  16. (368)

    In the same way, much caution is necessary, lest by much talk about faith, and much insistence on it without any distinctions or explanations, occasion be given to the people, whether before or after they have faith informed by charity, to become slothful and lazy in good works.

  17. (369)

    Likewise we ought not to speak of grace at such length and with such emphasis that the poison of doing away with liberty is engendered.

    Hence, as far as is possible with the help of God, one may speak of faith and grace that the Divine Majesty may be praised. But let it not be done in such a way, above all not in times which are as dangerous as ours, that works and free will suffer harm, or that they are considered of no value.

  18. (370)

    Though the zealous service of God our Lord out of pure love should be esteemed above all, we ought also to praise highly the fear of the Divine Majesty. For not only filial fear but also servile fear is pious and very holy. When nothing higher or more useful is attained, it is very helpful for rising from mortal sin, and once this is accomplished, one may easily advance to filial fear, which is wholly pleasing and agreeable to God our Lord since it is inseparably associated with the love of Him.

Notes on the Translation

The purpose of these notes is to give the reasons for the translation adopted when it differs from the traditional wording.

The marginal number will be placed over the comment on any word or passage occurring in that section. But first a note on the prayer, Soul of Christ.

Soul of Christ

In the breviary and in the missal this prayer occurs in the Thanksgiving after Mass under the heading Aspirationes Sancti Ignatii. This is true, of course, not in the sense that St. Ignatius composed the prayer, but in the sense that it was frequently used and recommended by him. It was not prefixed to the Autograph copy or to the early Latin versions. It first appeared at the beginning of the Exercises in an edition printed in Vilna in 1583. Since then it has become the universal custom to place it at the beginning of all copies of the Exercises.

It is referred to in the Exercises where the Triple Colloquy is explained. Here it serves as the vocal prayer at the close of the Second Colloquy. Cf. # 63, 148. It is also referred to in the Second and Third Methods of Prayer, where it seems to be taken for granted that it is one of the ordinary daily prayers. Cf. # 253, 258.

1

'Introductory Observations,' Spanish, annotaciones. Certainly, nothing was further from the mind of St. Ignatius, with his meagre education and his limping Spanish, than to invent new words or new meanings for old words. Nor do the ideas contained in the Exercises demand it. It is true that in the Exercises new meanings are given to old words, and new word forms are used. This is due to lack of literary training and lack of knowledge of Castilian. There is no reason to perpetuate these defects. What St. Ignatius meant by annotaciones is clear from examining them. They are a numbered series of observations on the Exercises. That they are to serve as some kind of introduction is clearly stated in the title. Evidently, therefore, they are introductory observations, and that is what we have called them. Annotation has not such a meaning in current English and apparently never did have.

'Every method … every way,' in Spanish, todo modo. The Spanish seems to be equivalent to, this whole system. Cf. Nonell, Ars Ignatiana, p. 27. But due to the comparison with bodily exercises it is practically impossible to use any way of expressing this meaning. I have retained the traditional translation which in the context comes practically to the same thing.

'Taking a walk, journeying on foot, running,' pasear, caminar, correr. An attempt has been made to bring out the shades of meaning. Cf. Nonell, Estudio sobre el Texto, Introduction and p. 190, under caminar.

'Attachments,' Spanish, affecciones. St. Ignatius constantly uses affección for afición, attachment. Both Nonell in Los Ejercicios en si Mismos, p. 14, and the Monumenta Historica, Exercitia Spiritualia, p. 127, call attention to this peculiarity. Attachment has commonly been substituted except where it refers to a person.

2

'Let him adhere to the points,' Discuriendo solamente por los puntos. This translation brings out the position of the adverb. A similar way of rendering this passage was adopted by Feder in German. Cf. also Calveras, Ejercicios Espirituales, ad loc., who shows that the passage was thus understood by Faber and in the old Literal Version, which is probably from the hand of St. Ignatius himself.

'Better understood,' Más … sentir. The Spanish verb sentir and the corresponding noun, sentimiento are very frequently used in the transferred sense, to know, to understand, knowledge, understanding. The context constantly demands, perceive, know, understand.

4

'In our search for the fruit that is proper to the matter assigned,' buscando las cosas según la subiecta materia. Since buscar immediately above refers to searching for the fruits of the exercise, I have retained this meaning here. The German of Feder seems to refer it to the adjustment of the lengths of the Weeks. He also translates subiecta materia as circumstances, which does not seem good here though in other cases it is the meaning of the term. Cf. Roothaan, note four, on the Primus modus orandi. The translation adopted here is also suggested by Calveras, op. cit., ad loc.

6

'Additional Directions,' Addiciones. Cf. note on # 73.

'# 316–324,' all cross references are made in these notes and in the translation by means of the marginal numbers.

14

'Unstable in character,' de ligera condición. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc.

'Endowments,' subiecto. I have followed Roothaan's interpretation of subiecto as meaning general ability, physical and moral. Cf. Roothaan, ad loc.; also Calveras, op. cit., ad loc. Hence, where this word occurs as referring to a human being, general words are used which do not explicitly specify mental or physical ability, as fitness, endowments, ability. Cf. notes on # 15, 18. Nonell interprets it as referring to physical condition only, cf. Estudio, p. 203. This is the interpretation preferred by Feder.

15

'Have the required fitness,' tengan subiecto. Cf. note above on # 14.

'Inflame it with love,' Abrasándola. I have followed the reading of the later Spanish texts. Abrazándola seems to be a copyist's error. Cf. Roothaan, ad loc.

16

'Inordinately attached,' affectadadesordinadamente. Cf. note on # 1, referring to attachment. Cf. Nonell, Estudio, p. 188 on the meanings of the verb affectar in the Exercises. Forms of this same verb and of the noun affección occur several times in this Observation. If the faulty translation affection is retained, it is very confusing.

18

'Of little physical strength,' de poco complisión. Cf. note of the editor of the Spanish-Latin edition to Father Roothaan's translation. Toward the end of this same Observation the same idea is expressed in Spanish by de poca capacidad natural. The two expressions are given the same meaning by Nonell and by Roothaan.

'Has little aptitude,' de poco subiecto. Cf. notes on # 14, 15. Here the meaning is practically equivalent to the English, "He would make a poor subject for the Exercises."

'Choice of a Way of Life,' elección, Cf. notes on this in # 169ff.

'Some of the easier exercises,' algunos destos exercicios leves. Cf. the discussion in Nonell in Ars Ignatiana on the meaning of Exercicios leves.

20

'Ordinarily,' por via ordinada. Cf. Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 246, note a, the editor thinks that the Spanish text is a copyist's error for por via ordinaria.

'United with,' se allega. For this translation, cf. Calveras, op, cit., ad loc.

21

'That no decision is made,' sin determinarse. Cf. the discussion on the meaning of the verb, determinar, and the noun, determinatión, in the Exercises, Nonell, Estudio, p. 195. He shows that they mean decide, choose, decision, choice, and practically never, determine, determination.

22

'Presupposition.' This heading in the Autograph occurs only along the top of the page. It has become the custom in later editions to place it over the section.

'Defend the proposition from error,' se salve. Cf. editor's note to Father Roothaan's translation on this point in the Spanish-Latin edition defending the passive sense of se salve instead of the reflexive, save himself, which refers to the neighbor and not to the proposition. The translation, defend the proposition, makes it very clear that there is no question of the salvation of the soul.

23

'First Principle.' The word first has been added because the English word principle has lost much of the force of the Latin principium. Father Morris, though quite literal in his translation, felt the necessity of adding it. Father Feder in German has an equivalent.

'Indifferent.' I should like to get rid of this word because of the ambiguous meaning in English, but it is too deeply rooted in spiritual literature, especially that of the Exercises. Further, detached, the correct word, presents difficulties in the context.

'Our one desire and choice,' solamente deseando y eligiendo. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., p. 25, note. He calls attention to the fact that the contemporaries of St. Ignatius, who certainly understood the Spanish of the time, translated in this way.

24

'First Week.' This is added before #24 for clearness and convenience. Indications of the Weeks occur in the Autograph only as titles along the top of the page. I have placed it here because the Foundation belongs in a sense to all the Weeks.

'Daily Particular Examination,' examen particular y cotidiano. The modifiers, daily and particular have been changed in position because particular examination has come to be looked upon as one idea. Hence, the and can be omitted, and could also be omitted because of the difference in idiom in connecting two modifiers of the same word.

27

'Additional Directions,' for explanation of this term see note on # 73.

28

'To which G is prefixed.' We are not certain why St. Ignatius used the letter G. The editor of the volume on the Exercises in the Monumenta Historica thinks it is an abbreviation for the subject of the Particular Examination, for example, gula. Roothaan changed it to D for day. Cf. Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 258.

31

'Note.' Throughout the translation this term has been kept, though it does not stand for what we commonly mean by note in English. Usually notes are some further explanation of a detail that does not belong in the text, or a reference. In the Exercises they belong to the body of the text and are some additional direction about the Exercises of the Week or of a group of Exercises, or merely a further detail about a previous direction.

They are indicated on the margin in the Autograph. Here they have been centered to draw attention to them and make them easier to find. They are often less prominent in the versions than in the Autograph, which does not make for clearness.

When there is a series of notes in the Autograph, we have merely note on the margin and a number. In the translations NOTES is placed in the center over the series.

The ways of representing the figure for recording the Particular Examination of Conscience differ in the Autograph and in the Vulgate Version. In the Autograph the lines extend the width of the page, but each succeeding day they come closer together. In the Vulgate they are shortened each day.

33

'Thus overcome,' queda vencido. The idiomatic use of quedar as here, and of ir, as in the next section, as auxiliaries of the passive, with little difference of meaning from the ordinary way of expressing the passive, is very common and cannot be imitated in English. In this section we have queda vencido for the same idea in # 34 expressed by va vencido. Cf. note in the Spanish-Latin edition to Roothaan's translation, victa manet. We have translated actively, thus overcome, to keep the subjects the same.

38

The parts in parentheses here and elsewhere are found in the Vulgate Version. I have added such parts because of the great authority of this version, which was made in the lifetime of St. Ignatius, and approved by the Holy See. It was accepted as the official Latin version by the Fifth General Congregation.

47

'A mental representation of the place,' composición viendo el lugar. The explanation given immediately after these words shows what St. Ignatius meant by them. Evidently the Spanish word composición meant something that our English composition does not mean. The force of the Latin root must have been strong in his mind. In the second lesson of the breviary for Easter Monday we have a suggestion of what this was. St. Gregory says: "Fingere namque componere dicimus unde compositores luti figulos vocamus." Since the English word composition has lost this meaning, it is impossible to use it as a translation. Further, in the traditional rendition, "a composition seeing the place," the Spanish viendo is not expressed correctly. It should at least be by seeing. Evidently the phrase means, "A representation of the place by seeing it in imagination." It has been shortened in the translation to, "A mental representation of the place." "Mental" sufficiently renders "by seeing in imagination."

'Where the object is … where Jesus or His Mother is,' donde se halla. The idiomatic uses of the verb to find, so common in some European languages, are almost wholly wanting in English. Hence, we cannot translate, as is often done, "Where he finds himself." The idiomatic uses of the Spanish hallarse are constantly recurring. It is an error to translate by find. It simply means to be.

'See in imagination … and consider,' ver con la vista imaginativa y considerar. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., p. 29, on the "binary character" of the style of St. Ignatius, and the manner of translating. In several places in the translation, if one word expresses the idea sufficiently, the other is omitted.

49

'Note.' Failure to emphasize the parts clearly has done much to add to the difficulty of understanding and using the Exercises. The Autograph has more clear indications of this kind than some of the translations. The word note has been prominently placed as a heading in this translation. In a few cases where the Autograph omits it, it has been inserted and attention called to it.

50

'That they were,' cómo siendo. Though the use of how after verbs of seeing, considering, and the like is perfectly correct and idiomatic English (Cf. Webster's New International Dictionary), it has been replaced very frequently by that, which is more common and gives a more even if less graphic translation. Cómo, how is exceedingly common in the language of the Exercises, far more so than is customary in English.

53

'Begin to speak with Him,' hacer un coloquio. Hacer, to make, to do, is exceedingly common in the Spanish of St. Ignatius. He makes exercises, makes colloquies, makes meditations, makes contemplations, etc. There are very few cases where it is idiomatically correct to keep the verb in English. Hence, we must constantly be looking for another form of expression. Except in very few cases, it has been avoided in the translation. This has caused much apparent change, though it is merely trying to express the ideas in English.

'Reflect on myself,' mirando a mi mismo. The verb mirar is very frequently used in the Exercises in derived meanings, to consider, reflect, examine.

54

'Note on Colloquies.' This heading has been added. This is one of the few cases where a note is given which is not clearly indicated in the Autograph. The heading will help both to remember it and to locate it.

55

'Meditation on our sins,' meditación de los pecados. The article has been changed to a personal pronoun here and in many places in the translation in accordance with the difference of idiom in Spanish and English. We use the personal pronouns very much more.

'Growing and intense sorrow,' crescido y intenso dolor. The Spanish crescido, translated by growing, as Father Roothaan points out, means increasing till it has become great. It is frequently used by St. Ignatius. Cf. notes on # 60 and 320.

56

'The record of my sins,' proceso de los pecados. The Spanish proceso is a legal term, and means both the trial at law and the record of the case. The second meaning is the one that fits here.

Here again the article has been rendered by the possessive. At the close of this section, St. Ignatius makes the construction personal with I as subject. The method of translating commented on in the next note gives additional reason for turning the article to the possessive.

'I will call to mind,' traer a la memoria. St. Ignatius frequently uses an impersonal construction which he turns later to a personal one by the use of the personal pronoun. He begins, "the first point is to see," or even, "the first point, to see," or simply, "to see." Since he often continues with personal pronouns, the whole construction has often been made personal, for example, "First Point. I will see." The emphatic will has been preferred to the mere future. At times the imperative has been substituted as circumstances suggested.

58

'Source of contagion and corruption,' una llaga y postema. Literally, a sore and ulcer. The figure has been changed. The expression adopted seems sufficient to express the idea.

60

'With surging emotion,' con crescido afecto. Surging is one of the ways by which the adjective crescido is translated. Cf. note on # 55.

61

'Pour out your thoughts,' razonar. Cf. note in the Spanish-Latin text to # 199. Roothaan translates by ratiocinari, which refers entirely to a reasoning process, for which St. Ignatius uses raciocinar and not razonar. Nonell, Estudio, p. 200, emphasizes the conversational connotation of the verb, and would prefer converse with. The note of the editor of the Spanish-Latin text referred to above prefers both, converse and reason. The translation has been an attempt to join these two. In other places, other ways of doing this have been adopted according to what seemed best under the circumstances.

62

'With three colloquies,' haciendo tres coloquios. The prepositional phrase has been employed to avoid the unidiomatic make a colloquy. Such devices have been continually used, and will not be mentioned hereafter.

71

'Enter into conversation,' haciendo un coloquio. The translation expresses at once the idea of colloquy and avoids the unidiomatic, make a colloquy.

'(Other Exercises).' The heading and the following note in parentheses have been added in the text. They form a part, we may say, of the approved edition of the Exercises. The two oldest versions, the Vulgate and the Literal Version contain the note. Both were presented to the Holy See and approved. The Literal Version was probably translated by St. Ignatius himself. We have authority for the statement that he himself added the note. Cf. Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 576. There seems to be no reason for adhering to the Autograph in such a way as to assume that it expresses the last word of the author. Wherever a passage in the Vulgate or in the Literal Version seems to be better or to have greater authority it has been used throughout this translation. As a matter of fact, the Vulgate, which was published in the lifetime of St. Ignatius, and carefully corrected and approved by the Fifth General Congregation, remained the official Latin version. Even Father Roothaan published it along with his own literal translation.

72

'Age, condition of health, and physical constitution,' edad, dispusición y temperatura. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc. Temperatura is for temperamento, and has been translated physical constitution, following Feder and Nonell. Cf. Note on # 205, where the same expression occurs.

73

'Additional Directions,' addiciones. Here, as in # 27, Additional Directions is used instead of the traditional additions. It expresses what they are, as their purpose, stated by St. Ignatius in the title, clearly tells us. This translation is clearer and avoids the use of the word addition in a sense not current in English.

82

'Penance.' The heading penance has been put over this Additional Direction to give it prominence and make it easy to find.

86

'The More Suitable and Safe Form of Penance.' The first words of this note have been capitalized to give it prominence. In the Autograph it is distinguished by the word Note on the margin. This has been dropped because it leads to confusion with the set of notes that follow. Immediately after this follows Note I.

87

'Notes.' This heading has been added for clearness. In a set of notes of this kind, the Autograph has no heading but merely Nota, with the number on the margin before each one.

91

'The Kingdom of Christ.' This title of the Exercise is not in the Autograph, but is used in the Vulgate, which was known to St. Ignatius and presented to the Holy See for approval. The title is also in the Directory, which was begun in the lifetime of St. Ignatius, and drawn up on an outline made by him. On this point see Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 306, and the publication of Father Pierre Bouvier, Directoire Composé par St. Ignace, Paris, 1917, on the original Directory of St. Ignatius.

The Vulgate also places Second Week at the head of this Exercise. We cannot follow in this, since it introduces an inconsistency into the Exercises. The meditation on the Kingdom was intended as an Exercise for the day intervening between the First and Second Weeks, as the note in # 99 clearly shows. To put Second Week over it would make the heading in # 101 false. That reads "First Day and First Exercise," although another day and another exercise have preceded if we put the heading Second Week over the Kingdom.

92

'First Part.' This heading has been added for clearness and uniformity. St. Ignatius indicated the second part but not the first.

95

'His summons goes forth … He addresses the words.' For the way of translating by separating the two verbs and applying them to separate objects cf. Calveras, op. cit., p. 29.

98

'The offering of myself,' mi oblación. Since the emphasis is on my offering, I have chosen the more emphatic form.

'State and way of life,' vida y estado. I do not think that this should be translated, as is done at times, as a hendiadys, a state of life. The two should be kept on a par. The state refers to a vocation that cannot be changed, and the life to a manner of living in our vocation. Cf. Introduction to Consideration of Different States of Life, # 135 with note. The expression is equivalent to the longer one used in # 15, estado o modo de vivir. Neither can it be objected that the or between the two members makes them the same. The context shows it does not. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc.

101

'Second Week.' This heading is placed before this Exercise for clearness. In the Autograph such headings occur only along the top of the page, here and for the rest of the Week. In the Vulgate and traditionally it is placed over the Kingdom of Christ. This is certainly not the mind of St. Ignatius, as # 101 begins with the words: "First Exercise and First Contemplation."

109

'According to the light I have received,' según que en si sintiere. As mentioned before in the note on # 2, the forms and derivatives of the verb sentir commonly have a strong intellectual meaning, and rarely a pure sense signification.

124

'Smell the infinite fragrance and taste the infinite sweetness.' For the method of translating by separating the verbs and the objects, cf. Calveras, op. cit., p. 29.

127

'Notes.' The heading has been added for clearness. The Autograph as usual has only First Note, Second Note, etc. on the margin.

129

'Application of the Senses,' el traer de los sentidos. The traditional expression, Application of the Senses, taken from the Vulgate Version, has been almost universally adopted in this translation, although St. Ignatius expresses the same thought in different ways. In # 132, it is el traer los cinco sentidos. In # 123, it is simply traer los sentidos, etc.

135

'Different states of life,' estados. It is evident from the discussion that follows that St. Ignatius has in mind in this document primarily a state of life, a vocation, and not how I should live, or a way of life in a vocation already chosen.

Different and of life are due to the English way of speaking and add nothing to the original.

'In what kind of life or in what state,' en qué vida o estado. I do not consider vida and estado as synonyms despite the or. Hence I have translated them by "kind of life or state." For confirmation of this translation of vida, cf. Nonell, Los Ejercicios, p. 211 and the note on # 98.

140

'First Part,' 'The Standard of Satan.' These headings are wanting in the manuscripts, but have been added for clearness. The same holds for the second part, # 143.

149

'Three Classes of Men.' This heading in the Autograph occurs along the top of the page. It has been placed over the section for convenience and clearness.

Classes, the word used by the Vulgate, and as an alternative by Father Roothaan, has been preferred to pairs, though the latter is more concrete and easy to represent in the imagination.

150

'Find peace in God our Lord,' hallar en paz a Dios. Feder interprets these words in this way. Cf. also Calveras, op. cit., ad loc.; Longridge, ad loc.

153

'Assure their salvation,' saberse salvar. Father Roothaan and most translators after him have taken the first and most literal meaning of the verb saber, to know, and translate, "to know to save themselves." This does not fit the context. It is not a question of knowing how to save themselves, but of using the proper means. Hence, it is rather one of the many idiomatic meanings of the reflexive saberse that should be used. Cf. Father Feder's translation, ad loc.

155

'As if every attachment had been broken,' que todo lo dexa en affecto. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc., and Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 360. Father Roothaan thought that en affecto might be a copyist's error for en effecto. However, all manuscripts have the former and it affords an excellent meaning as the authors cited show.

157

'Attachment opposed to … or repugnance to it,' affecto o repugnancia contra la pobreza. For the manner of translating, cf. Calveras, op. cit., p. 30, and Nonell, op, cit., p. 282.

159

'Notes.' The heading has been added for clearness. The Autograph as usual merely indicates the individual notes on the margin. The same holds for # 162.

163

'Choice of a way of life,' las elecciones. Cf. note on # 169 for a discussion of this translation.

165

'Three Kinds of Humility,' tres maneras de humildad. This title, occurring along the top of the page in the Autograph, has been placed over the section to make this important matter, hidden away in this note, stand out better.

The term kinds of humility has been used because it fits well the meaning and corresponds to the Spanish word maneras. The word degree so often used is not accurate, since the three kinds actually involve five degrees as has been well pointed out by Nonell, op. cit., in discussing this matter. Father Roothaan and the Vulgate use modi, and many translators use mode. I have preferred kind as clearer and more accurate.

'Consent to violate,' sea en deliberar de quebrantar. Cf. the excellent discussion in Nonell, Estudio, p. 194, on the meaning of the Spanish verb deliberar in the Exercises. It never means to weigh reasons for and against. Hence, the traditional translation, "to enter into deliberation about breaking," is simply an error in translation. This has been due to the peculiarities of the language of St. Ignatius which had not been investigated at the time of the translations. The same error occurs in # 166. Cf. also Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 190 and Calveras, ad loc. Deliberar simply means to choose, decide, consent.

166

'Besides this Indifference,' y con esto. The meaning of this adverbial phrase has been strongly emphasized in the translation because of the common error that has entered many versions. The traditional translations put the two things mentioned in this kind of humility on a par, as though they were two ways of saying the same thing. St. Ignatius says that for this kind of humility, besides indifference, something more is necessary. Cf. the discussion on the point in Nonell, op. cit., ad loc., p. 327ff., and also in the Authentic Interpretation of the Foundation, Bouvier, mimeographed translation, West Baden, p. 21.

169

'Choice of a way of life,' elección. Eligir and elección simply mean to choose and a choice. There is no reason whatever for inventing a new word, or for putting a meaning not in current use on an old word. If we say election, to be consistent we should say elect for choose, which is not done. If the language of the Exercises is properly understood, we find that the word electión is expressed in several ways. St. Ignatius in treating this matter uses determinatión, deliberación, and the verbs deliberar, determinar, all in the same sense. Cf. Nonell, Estudio, on these words in the Vocabulario. The difficulty seems to arise from the fact that St. Ignatius uses the word for a special kind of choice, namely, of a way of life. Hence, to eliminate the difficulty we must add of a way of life in English. Just as in Spanish the Saint says estado for state of life, so he says elección for choice of a way of life. I have added way of life and not state, because way is wider, and allows both for state and the manner of living in the state.

Frequently we can leave out way of life and simply say choice after the title, since St. Ignatius himself is often thinking of rules for any kind of choice, not merely of a choice of a way of life.

Allison Peers, who knows sixteenth-century Spanish and modern English, in speaking of the Exercises translates elección by choice. Then, because of the traditional rendering, adds in parentheses "or election as it is usually called." Cf. Studies of Spanish Mystics, London, 1927, Vol. I, p. 13.

170

'Matters About Which a Choice Should Be Made.' This is a part of the heading of the Autograph put above the section for clearness.

179

'I must be indifferent,' hallar me indifferente. This is an illustration of one of the many cases to which attention has been called. The Spanish does not mean to find oneself indifferent but to be indifferent. The same idiom occurs at the end of this section in "to be at equilibrium."

182

'Come to a decision,' hace deliberación. This is an illustration of the use of deliberación in the sense of decision as mentioned above in note # 165 and elsewhere. It also illustrates the use of the deliberación for elección mentioned in # 169. To translate deliberation here, as was commonly done, is an error due to the fact that the language of St. Ignatius had not been investigated. Father Feder translates correctly in German, Entscheidung.

183

'Choice or decision,' electión o deliberación. Here we have clear evidence that St. Ignatius uses these two words in the same sense, and of what they mean.

186

'Make my decision,' haga mi determinación. Here we have an illustration of the use of determinación as a synonym for elección. Cf. Nonell, Estudio, p. 195, and the previous notes on # 21, 183, 182, 169.

187

'Consider myself as standing in the presence of my judge,' considerando cómo me hallaré el día del juicio. Failure to recognize the idiomatic hallarse has led to odd translations, "considering what I shall find myself on the day of judgment." Feder interprets correctly.

'Reflect what decision,' pensar cómo querría haber deliberado. Here the Saint uses the verb deliberar in the sense to make a choice.

189

'One's way of living in his state of life,' vida y estado. Vida is often used for way of life, and estado for state of life. Cf. note on # 98 and on 135.

190

'Third Week.' This heading appears in the Autograph only at the top of the page. It is put before the Exercises of this Week for clearness.

199

'Talk over motives,' razonar. Cf. note of Spanish-Latin text on Father Roothaan's translation. The wording adopted is an attempt to bring out the conversation and the reasoning connoted by the word. Cf. note on # 61, where it is translated, "pour out our thoughts."

According to circumstances,' según la subiecta materia. This expression usually refers to the subject matter of the meditation or contemplation, but at times refers to the condition and circumstances of the one meditating. Cf. Nonell, Estudio, p. 203. Cf. also Feder, who interprets correctly, nach den jeweilichen Umstaenden.

'Meditation on Two Standards,' meditación de los dos binarios. There is evidently a copyist's error here in the Spanish, since there are three and not two Classes. Whether the passage be corrected to read Two Standards or Three Classes, the mind of St. Ignatius would be equally expressed. Two Standards seems more in harmony with the last sentence. The Saint would hardly repeat the name of the meditation if he meant the same one above. But we have the authority of the Vulgate for Three Classes.

205

'Age, health, and physical constitution,' edad, disposición, y temperatura. Feder's interpretation of disposición as meaning health, and of temperatura as meaning physical constitution has been followed. Temperatura seems to be for temperamento. Cf. Calveras, ad loc. In other cases, too, the context shows that St. Ignatius does not mean attitude of mind but condition of health by disposición. Cf. # 72.

208

On the seventh day St. Ignatius says that a repetition of the whole passion is to be made. He uses the expression junta, together, at one time. It causes difficulty in getting a clear sentence each time it is used. To prevent an ambiguous statement the passage has been modified to read, "at one exercise and again in the morning."

210

'Rules with Regard to Eating.' This heading occurs along the top of the page in the Autograph. The sets of rules in the Exercises are without short titles, but are introduced by a sentence explaining their purpose.

'To secure … due order in the use of food,' ordinarse en el comer. Ordinarse is much stronger than regulate or order oneself. Hence the longer form has been chosen.

212

'As to foods,' acerca de los manjares. Foods in the plural seems to indicate sufficiently the meaning of St. Ignatius. As the end of the rule clearly shows, it is not ordinary food that is referred to but delicacies.

214

'How He looks,' cómo mira. The Spanish refers to the modest reserve with which Christ looks about. Hence the translation of Father Roothaan, quomodo respiciat, and Feder's wie er um sich blickt. The traditional translation ultimately comes to the same thing, and avoids the connotation of looks about or an awkward circumlocution.

2l8

'Fourth Week.' This heading has been placed before the Week. In the Autograph, as in all the Weeks, it is placed at the head of the page.

'# 299.' Though St. Ignatius refers to this mystery in the series of Mysteries of the Life of our Lord, there is nothing in the section to which he refers but a title and a short defense of the apparition of our Lord to Mary. The points must be taken from the First Prelude. Cf. note on #299.

225

'As circumstances suggest,' según subiecta materia. Note that here the phrase subiecta materia is used in the wider sense mentioned in the note to # 199.

230

'Manifest itself in deeds,' se debe poner en las obras. Roothaan and practically all translators after him have interpreted ponerse as passive and translated, "Must be placed in deeds." This gives an exceedingly vague meaning. The reason seems to be because ponerse should be translated reflexively. The uses of the reflexive ponerse are highly idiomatic. Ponerse en razón means simply to be reasonable. So ponerse en las obras would mean to be active. Hence, the sentence should read, "love must be active," that is, expresses itself in deeds, must be a love of deeds and not merely words. Longridge translates correctly, "Love must manifest itself in deeds.

238

'The First Method of Prayer.' This heading has been inserted for clearness. The portion of the Autograph that follows immediately after the title, Three Methods of Prayer, has been dropped down as the heading for # 239 to which it refers. The present section is a general introduction to this method of prayer.

'By which the soul may prepare itself,' cómo el ánima se apareje … en ellos. We have followed the translation suggested by two older Latin MSS. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc. Both Father Roothaan by the parenthetical completion, ad facienda exercitia, and Father Feder by auf die eigentlichen geistlichen Uebungen, suggest that the practices prepare for the Exercises of St. Ignatius, properly so called. This can be understood if we remember that in the eighteenth Introductory Observation St. Ignatius suggests these forms of prayer for those not fit for the Exercises proper. Meschler and Oraá in their commentaries suggest the interpretation "prepare for prayer properly so called." A little thought will show that either interpretation would ultimately come to mean a better preparation for the Exercises of St. Ignatius proper.

239

'1. On the Commandments.' This heading has been brought down from above as mentioned, and makes the arrangement uniform with the other sections.

Throughout the Methods of Prayer the headings: Additional Direction, Preparatory Prayer, Method, and Colloquy have been added where missing in the Autograph to keep uniformity of arrangement.

242

'Note I.' This is missing in the Autograph. We know it should be there from the following Note II.

244

'Capital Sins,' peccados mortales. Formerly the name Deadly Sins was in common use. We now prefer the name Capital Sins.

258

'A measured rhythmical recitation,' por compas. This circumlocution for the Spanish is suggested by Father Roothaan.

261

'Quotation marks,' parénthesis. Quotation marks have been substituted for the parentheses of the Autograph. The quotations are from The Westminster Version of the Sacred Scriptures, except in two cases where the Spanish text of the Vulgate is quite different.

271

The Vulgate has been followed in giving three points since it seems evident that there is a coypist's error. The quotation from Scripture has no reference to the First Point. Cf. Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 460, note.

292

Where the Autograph has no Scripture references they have been inserted from Roothaan here and in # 294. Additional references were inserted to St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke in # 297.

297

The Autograph says, "They gave Him gall and vinegar to drink." The word gall has evidently crept in by error. It has been omitted. The Vulgate has also omitted the word.

299

The heading mentions two subjects not connected by and. There are no points at all. The heading First Point was written and then there follows nothing but the defense of the apparition of our Lord to His Blessed Mother. Judging from the material in the First Prelude in # 219, the apparition to our Lady would be the third point if any were given. What the three points would be may be gathered from the history given in # 219. Cf. F. Hummelauer, Meditationum et Contemplationum Sancti Ignatii de Loyola Puncta, Freiburg, 1909, ad loc.

306

The Autograph says, "He gave them broiled fish and honeycomb." The latter has evidently crept in by error from the mystery recorded in St. Luke 24, 42. The account in St. John mentions bread and this is what we find in the Vulgate, the Literal Version, and the Spanish MSS of Nadal and Domcnech.

311

The three paragraphs are apparently three points and the last part is at the same time a sort of consideration of the whole glorious life as we have at the end of the passion. Cf. Monumenta Historica, op. cit., p. 508, and Hummelauer, op. cit., p. 495f. The punctuation of the Vulgate has been followed.

313

'Rules for Discernment of Spirits. I.' This traditional heading has been added to facilitate understanding and use.

For the way of translating by separating the two verbs, understanding and recognizing, and joining them with separate objects, cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc., and p. 29.

315

'To harass with anxiety.' The figure of the original, morder, to bite, has been interpreted. Cf. Feder, ad loc.

320

'Overflowing love,' crecido amor. The adjective crecido has been expressed in different ways to suit the context. Cf. Nonell, Estudio, p. 190, and Roothaan in note on Second Prelude to First Exercise, and our note to # 55.

322

The impersonal form, por probarnos, to try us, and similar expressions in this rule evidently suppose God as the subject and it has been so translated: "Because God wishes to try us."

'Build on the property of another,' en cosa ajena pongamos nido. This aphoristic saying seems to be sufficiently clear by slightly modifying it and putting it in a form more easily understood in English. Roothaan, believing that the correct reading was en casa, has changed it to, "in the house of another."

325

'He is a weakling before a show of force and a tyrant if he has his own will,' en ser flaco por fuerza y fuerte de grado. We have tried to make the aphorism clear but have lost in brevity. We might retain the brevity by saying, "Weak perforce and strong by choice." But this would not be very clear. It means that Satan is of necessity weak if we courageously resist, but would gladly tyrannize over us if we give him his way. Cf. Calveras, ad loc.

'Shows he is determined and fearless,' muestra mucho rostro. This might be translated, "If he shows a bold face." We have preferred to interpret the figure.

'Surge up,' es muy crescida. Another attempt to render the connotation in the crescido. At the close of this rule it is rendered by consummate.

328

'Rules for Discernment of Spirits. II.' This heading has been added to facilitate use.

'Further rules … produced in the soul.' Instead of saying with the Autograph "for the same effect," the purpose has been repeated as given in the title of the first set of rules.

332

'Suggesting thoughts that are suited,' entrar con la ánima devota. The translation given is suggested by the editor of the Spanish-Latin edition, p. 303.

334

'By the trail of Evil,' de su, cola serpentina. Literally, "by his serpent's tail." The translation is an attempt to substitute another figure for one not easily understood in English. However, the scriptural connotation is lost.

336

'Reasoning on the relations,' su proprio discurso de habitudines. The interpretation of the editor of the Vol. on the Exercises in the Mon. Hist. has been followed. Cf. note, p. 534. Roothaan and translators generally have rendered habitudines by habits, which in the context does not give a clear meaning. In modern Spanish the word habitudo certainly means habit, but in older Spanish words are often closer to the Latin, and this is true of St. Ignatius. In fact the Latin plural of the word is kept here. The only translation that has relations that has been examined is Feder. He has Beziehungen.

For the way of translating by separating the two verbs consider and distinguish, and joining them to separate objects, cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc., and p. 29.

Similarly, relations of our concepts and consequences of our judgments have been separated. Cf. Calveras, op cit., ad loc, and p. 29.

337

'Rules for Distribution of Alms.' This heading has been inserted for convenience.

'In the ministry of distributing alms.' The word ministry has been retained in the title to preserve the connotation of the original, namely, that the distribution of alms is a part of the Sacred Ministry especially for those who live according to their office on benefices, the goods of God. Unfortunately this also preserves the unfavorable connotations of the word in English.

339

'Judge would be for the glory of God,' juzgo seer tal. The word tal has been explained in the translation according to Calveras, op. cit., ad loc.

345

'Some Notes on Scruples.' The heading has been added for clearness. It has been judged better to keep the term St. Ignatius uses, notes, and not the usual rules. They are exactly what he calls them.

348

'To the spiritual life,' a espirituales exercicios. Since the article is wanting, it seems evident that exercises of the spiritual life are referred to and not the Exercises. Hence the translation adopted. Cf. Calveras, op. cit., ad loc.

349

'Paid some heed to venial sin,' algún caso hacía. Venial sin is evidently understood here, and has been inserted, pf. Mon. Hist., Vol. on Ex., p. 546, ad loc, and Calveras, op. cit., ad loc.

352

'Rules for thinking with the Church.' This heading has been added for clearness and is traditional.

'To foster the true attitude of mind.' para el sentido verdadero. To foster is sufficiently in para. Attitude of mind is in sentido verdadero. This has been suggested by Feder, "rechte Gesinnung hegen." The heading and the usual translations are from the Latin of Roothaan, "Ad sentiendum vere"

360

'Praise the building and adornment of Churches,' alabar ornamentos y edificios. The Vulgate has been followed and building put first. This makes adornment necessarily refer to churches. There is just a possibility that the Spanish ornamentos refers to sacred vestments. The Vulgate seems to solve the problem.

Alphabetical Index

(The numbers refer to paragraphs, not to pages.)

A
Abstinence, as to food and drink, 210–212; to be praised, 211, 359; prepares the soul for divine inspirations, 213; ordained by the Church is to be observed, 229.
Adam, the sin of, 51.
Additional Directions, to be diligently observed, 6, 88, 130, 207; for Particular Examination of Conscience, 27–30; why the term Additional Directions is used for the traditional term Additions, note 73; for the First Week, 73–86; for the Second Week, 130; modification of the second Additional Direction, 131; for the Third Week, 206–207; for the Fourth Week, 229.
Affections, v. attachments; those to be cultivated in each Week, 74, 130, 206, 229; to be tested, 342.
Alms, rules for distribution of, 337–344.
Amendment of one's life, directions for, 189.
Angels, v. Satan; sin of the angels, 50.
Annotations, v. Introductory Observations.
Anxiety in prayer to be avoided, 76.
Application of senses, v. senses.
Attachments, purpose of the Exercises to rid ourselves of inordinate, 1, 21; reason for use of term instead of affections, note 1; how to conquer, 16, 155, 157; many want God to come to their inordinate, 169; a vocation from God is without inordinate, 172; what should be done if choice was made because of, 172; must be without inordinate attachments to choose correctly, 179.
Augustine, St., 344.
B
Bernard, St., on vainglory, 351.
Bonaventure, St., 363.
Bread, abstinence from, 210, 211.
Business career not object of vow, 357.
C
Candles lighted in churches, 358.
Carthage, Third Council of, 344.
Choice, of a way of life or state, not to be given to those of little ability, 18, note 18; prepared for by meditation on life of Christ, 135; when treatment of this matter is to begin, 163; why choice is used instead of election, note 169, note 183; introduction to, 169; mutable and immutable choice, 171; about what may choice be made, 170–174; how to correct one not rightly made, 172, 174; three times for making a choice, 175–178; first way of making, 178–183; second way of making, 184–188; v. Life.
Christ, calls and wants all under His standard, 137; standard of, 143–147; to be imitated in manner of eating, 214; what he must do who wishes to imitate, in use of the senses, 248; we are the better and more secure the more we imitate, 344.
Church, building and adornment of, to be praised, 360.
Church, the, rules for thinking with, 352–370; precepts of, to be praised, 361; submission to, 365; governed by the Holy Spirit, 365.
Circumcision, Meditation on, 266.
Classes, meditation on three, 148–157.
Colloquy, greater reverence in, 3; how to make, 54, 199.
Commandments, ten, subject matter for examination on deeds, 42; the first state, that of observing the, 135; First Method of Prayer on, 238–243.
Commandments, of Church, to be praised, 361.
Communion, frequent, 18, 354; at the end of First Week, 44.
Comparison of saints with the living to be avoided, 364.
Composition of place, v. representation, mental.
Confession, general confession in First Week recommended, 44; frequent confession to be praised and recommended, 44, 354.
Conscience, the good spirit rouses remorse of, in sinner, 314; the evil spirit afflicts those progressing with anxiety of, 315, 347; the devil seeks to make delicate conscience extreme, 349, 350; v. Examination.
Consolation, exercitant to be questioned when he experiences none, 6; must prepare for coming consolation in desolation, 7; renders meditation easy, 13; will of God may be recognized from it, 175, 176; what it is, 316; we are moved by the good spirit in consolation, 318.
Contemplation, consists in considering things as present, 114.
Contempt, 146.
Continency, to be praised more than matrimony, 356.
Creation, blessing of, to be considered, 234.
Creatures, avengers of offense against their Creator, 60.
D
Damascus, 51.
Death, meditations on, may be added, 71; consideration of, in making choice, 186; consideration of, in distributing alms, 340.
Deceits of the devil, pray that we may know them, 139; the devil does not want deceits to be revealed, 326; how to guard against ordinary, 334.
Decision, 21, as translation of determinación, note 21; as meaning of deliberación, note 182, note 183.
Deeds, examination of, 42; love manifests itself rather in deeds, 230.
Defect, Particular Examination against particular defect, 24–31; sin of revealing the defects of another, 41; v. faults.
Deliberate, deliberation, not a translation of deliberación, deliberar, note 165, note 182, note 183, note 187.
Desolation, what to do if none is experienced, 6; how to deal with exercitant in, 7; meditation difficult in time of, 13; use of, in making choice, 176; description of, 317; how to act in, 319–321; causes of, 322.
Determination, determine, not translation of determinar, determinación, note 21, note 169.
Detraction, 41.
Devil, v. Satan.
Director, he who gives the Exercises, Introductory Observations for help of, 1; how he should explain the points, 2; manner of acting when the exercitant experiences no movements of different spirits, 6; in desolation, 7; when he should explain rules of Discernment of Spirits, 9; what he should do when the exercitant is tempted under the appearance of good, 10; should guard exercitant against rash vows, etc., 15; should not seek to know sins of exercitant but should know movements of different spirits, 17.
Discernment of spirits, rules for, when they are to be explained, 6–10; rules for First Week, 313ff; rules for Second Week, 328.
Disorder, ask for grace to know, 63.
Divinity of Christ, hides itself in the passion, 196; remains united with both soul and body after the death of Christ, 219; manifests itself in the Resurrection, 223.
Doctors, positive and scholastic, 363.
Drink, more complete abstinence necessary with regard to, 211.
Duration of Exercise, v. time.
E
Eating, penance concerning, 83; rules with regard to, 210.
Education, the Exercises to be adapted to the education of the exercitant, 18; what exercises should be given one without education, 18.
End, for which man was created, 23; must be kept in view in making choice of way of life, 179; in Reform of Life, 189.
Enemy of our human nature, v. Satan.
Eucharist, institution of, 289; v. communion.
Evil one, evil spirit, v. Satan.
Examination, of conscience, ways of examining to be explained to exercitant, 18, 19; particular, 24–31, note 24; general, 32–43; of success in prayer, 77; purpose and subject of, during the Exercises, 90, 160, 207.
Exercise, each to last a full hour, 12; in time of desolation rather more than less, 13.
Exercises, the Spiritual, he who gives the Exercises, v. director; explanation of term, 1; how they are to be proposed by director, 2; duration for about thirty days, 4; to be adapted to exercitant, 18; time of the exercises of the day, 72, 128, 159; order and number of exercises of Second Week, 128, 159; number each day, 129, 133; of in Third Week, 204; of Fourth Week, 226, 227.
Eyes, to be restrained, 81.
F
Faith, grows in consolation, 316; seems to be wanting in desolation, 317; we must not speak of it in such a way as to mislead, 366, 368, 369.
Fasts, must be observed, 229; we must praise the regulations of the Church about, 359.
Faults, v. defect; ask pardon for faults committed, 43; make us grow cold in love of God, 65; particular examination of faults, 90, 160, 207; be sorry for faults found in prayer on commandments, 241; are the cause of loss of consolation, 322.
Fear, when exercitant is tempted because of fear for his good name, 9; if love grows cold at least fear may keep us from sin, 65; servile fear leads to filial fear which is always acceptable, 370.
Following of Christ, may be read in Second and subsequent Weeks, 100.
Food, quality and quantity, 212, 213, 217.
Foundation, first principle and, 23.
Friend, separation from friends to devote oneself to the Exercises, 20; distribution of alms to friends, 338–342.
G
Generosity, exercitant to enter on retreat with, 5.
God, man created for His glory, 23, 169, 179; what am I compared with, 58; compare His attributes with the opposite in me, 59.
Gospels, reading from them during Second Week and thereafter profitable, 100.
Grace, 366, 369.
H
Hell, meditation on, 65–71.
Honor, temptation of the evil one, second step leading to destruction, 142.
Hope, the virtue of, grows in consolation, 316; apparent absence of, in desolation, 317.
Humility, three kinds of, 164–168; kinds not degrees, note 165; consideration of three kinds a preparation for choice of a way of life, 164; the third kind to be sought in colloquies after contemplations, 168.
Hymns, singing of hymns to be praised, 355.
I
Illuminative way, v. way.
Images, to be praised and venerated for the subject they represent, 360.
Imitation of Christ, v. Christ, and also Following of Christ.
Incarnation, Meditation on, 101–109, 262.
Indifference, 23; discussion of term, note 23; of the Third Class, 155; of Second Kind of Humility, 166; necessary disposition for choice of a way of life, 179.
Indulgences, to be praised, 358; v. indults.
Indults, crusade, to be praised, 358.
Intention, must be pure for choice of a way of life, 169.
Introductory observations, 1–20; discussion of term, note 1.
J
Jubilees, should be praised, 358.
Judgment, day of, exercises on judgment may be given, note at end of, 71; consider what I would like to have chosen on, 187; consider how I would wish to have distributed alms on, 341.
K
Kingdom of Christ, meditation on, 91–99; use of the term, Kingdom of Christ, note 91.
L
Laughter, not to laugh or cause laughter, 80.
Lazarus, raising of, 161; at the banquet in Simon's house, 285.
Lent, fast and abstinence of, to be praised, 359.
Light, use of the light of day in different weeks, 79, 130, 229.
Love, carnal, those who wish to do more will act against, 97; neglect penance because of, 89.
Love of God, because of faults we forget the love of God, 65; must lead to choice of way of life, 184; in what does true love consist, 230–231; Contemplation to Attain Love, 232–237; must motivate almsgiving, 338; relation of filial fear to love, 370.
Lucifer, v. Satan.
M
Magdalene, conversion of, 282; at resuscitation of Lazarus, 285; anoints Jesus at the supper in the house of Simon, 286; Jesus appears to, 300.
Magi come to adore the child, 162, 267.
Magnanimity, exercitant to enter retreat with, 5.
Man, why created, 23.
Martha, sister of Lazarus, 285.
Mary, Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, colloquy to, 63, 147; at the Annunciation, 102–108; desolation of, 208; to imitate in the use of the senses, 248; farewell to her Son, 273.
Mary Magdalene, v. Magdalene.
Mass, exercitant should be free to attend each day, 20; praise frequent hearing of, 355.
Matrimony, not to be praised as much as virginity, 356.
Matthew, St., his call to be an Apostle, 175.
Memory, use in meditation, 50–52.
Mercy, works of, to be explained to uneducated exercitant, 18; Colloquy of, 61, 71.
Mysteries of the life of our Lord, 262–312.
N
Nativity, contemplation on, 110, 264.
Note, meaning of term in Exercises and way of indicating them, note 31, note 49.
O
Oaths, 38–40.
Obedience due to Church, 353, 365.
Orders of superiors must be upheld, 362.
P
Palm Sunday, 4, 161, 287.
Particular examination of conscience, v. examination.
Passion, matter for the Third Week, 4; how to contemplate, 190–198, 200–209; repetition of the whole passion in one day, 208, 7th day; 209.
Patience, to be practiced in desolation, 321.
Paul, St., his call to be an Apostle, 175; Christ appears to him, 311.
Penance, kinds of, and fruits of, 82–89; in Second Week, 130; in Fourth Week, 229; more should be done in time of desolation, 319; praise both exterior and interior, 359.
Perfection, outside the Exercises we may urge those fit to every form of perfection, 15; how we are to attain it in whatever vocation God gives us, 135; we must seek it in a choice well made, 173; rule for practicing it, 185, 339; how to make progress in it, 189; praise works conducive to perfection, 357.
Perseverance in prayer, 12, 13.
Peter, St., in the garden, 201, 290, 291; called three times, 275; walks upon the waters, 280; at the Transfiguration, 284; Christ washes his feet, 289; denies Christ, 291, 292; comes to the sepulcher and sees Christ, 302; receives primacy, 306.
Petition, made in prelude before meditation, in First Week, 48, 55, 65; in Second Week, 91, 104, 139, 152; in Third Week, 193, 203; in Fourth Week, 221; in Contemplation to Attain Love, 233.
Pilate declares Christ innocent, 293; sends Christ to Herod, 294; has Christ scourged, 295; ecce homo and condemnation, 295, 296.
Pilgrimages, to be praised, 358.
Points of meditation, to be given briefly, 2; definite number to be carefully prepared, 228; on the life of Christ, 261–312.
Positive doctors, 363.
Posture at prayer, 76, 239, 252.
Poverty, outside of the Exercises may urge others to vow of poverty, 14; must be indifferent with regard to poverty, 23; offering ourselves for the highest poverty, 98; Christ born in the greatest poverty, 116; Christ counsels poverty as first step to perfection, 146; pray to be received by God in greatest poverty, 147, 157; indifference to poverty is required for Second Kind of Humility, 166; the vow of poverty should be praised, 357.
Powers, natural, we are more free to use them in seclusion, 20; exercise employing the three powers of the soul, 45, 51; the method of prayer on the three powers, 238, 246.
Prayer, Three Methods of Prayer, 238–360; we must insist more on prayer in desolation, 319; praise long prayers, Divine Office, etc., 355; praise prayer to saints, 358.
Prayer, preparatory, what it contains, 46; made before all exercises without change, 49, 105; in the Three Methods of Prayer an equivalent is made, 240, 244, 246, 248, 251.
Prayer, vocal, at close of the examination of conscience, 43; Our Father at end of meditations and contemplations if there is only one colloquy, 54, 61; Hail Mary, Soul of Christ, Our Father in threefold colloquy, 63, 147; in the methods of prayer, 241, 248, 253–255.
Predestination, 366, 367.
Prelude, mental representation of the place, in the First Week it is the first prelude, 47; in the Second and subsequent Weeks it is the second, 103; history of the mystery is the first prelude in Second and Subsequent Weeks, 102; the petition, how to make it, 48; it is the second prelude of First Week and third of Second and subsequent Weeks, 48, 104.
Preludes, always to be made before the meditations and contemplations and to be adapted to subject matter, 49, 105.
Presence of God, place yourself in the presence of God before prayer, 75, 239; God dwells in creatures in many ways, 235; God present in creatures by essence, power, and presence, 39.
Presupposition, 22; note on this heading, note 22.
Pride, cause of the fall of the angels, 50; third step in Satan's plan for our ruin, 142; cause of desolation, 322.
Principle, first principle and foundation, 23; why first is added, note 23.
Progress, the Exercises should be given according to the progress of the exercitant, 17; way to progress, 189 near end.
Promise, director should warn against rash promises, 14; should not advise promises during retreat, 15.
Proposition, v. statement.
Psalmody, to be praised, 355.
Purgative way, v. way.
R
Reading, passages from the Gospel, Following of Christ, Lives of Saints during Second and subsequent Weeks, 100; only the mystery about to be contemplated should be read, 127.
Reformation of one's life, 189.
Relics to be praised and reverenced, 358.
Religious life, caution about rashly making promise to enter, 14; the director must not urge the exercitant to religious life, 15; praise religious life, 356; must praise vows of religion, 357.
Repetitions, how to make them, 62, 118, 119.
Representation, mental, of the place, how it is made, 47; discussion of term adopted, note 47.
Repugnance, what to do when there is a repugnance to poverty, 157.
Reverence, greater reverence required in acts of the will, 3; the reverence required in oaths, 38, 39; act of reverence to God at beginning of prayer, 75.
Riches, should not be preferred to poverty, 23; desire of, snare of Satan, 142; what to do when one is not indifferent to, 157; second kind of humility is indifferent to riches, 166; third kind of humility chooses poverty rather than riches, 167; friends share riches, 231.
Rules, for making a good choice, 184–189; with regard to eating, 210–217; for discernment of spirits, 313–336; concerning scruples, 345–351; for distribution of alms, 337–344; for thinking with the Church, 352–370.
S
Saints, lives of, may be read in Second Week and after, 100; may occupy ourselves while eating with the lives of the saints, 215; we must praise the relics of, and pray to the saints, 358.
Satan, his sin and punishment, 50; leader of the enemy, 140; standard of, 140–142.
Scruples, notes on, 345–351.
Seclusion, recommended for the Exercises, 20.
Secret, the devil wishes his temptations to be kept secret, 326.
Senses, the first method of prayer on the five senses to be explained to the uneducated, 18; application of, 65–70, 121–126 , 129, 132–134, 204, 208, 209, 226, 227; first method of prayer on five senses, 247–248; to imitate Christ or the Blessed Virgin in the use of, 248.
Shepherds, meditation on, 162, 265.
Sin, venial and mortal sin, 35, 36; exercise on sin, 45–64; method of prayer on Capital Sins, 244, 245.
Singing of hymns and psalms to be praised, 355.
Sleep, recalling exercises before sleep and on waking from sleep, 73, 74; external penance with regard to sleep, 84.
Solitude, recommended for Exercises, 20.
Sorrow for sins, 55–61.
Spirits, rules for discernment of different spirits, 313–336.
Standards, two, meditation on, 136–148; colloquy of, 147, 156, 168.
State of life, v. choice of a way of life, way of life.
Station Churches to be praised, 358.
Steps, to pride and all sin, 142; three steps to humility and all the virtues, 146.
Summary of an exercise, Fourth Exercise of the First Week, 64.
Superiors, 42, 362.
Supper, last, 190–199, 289.
Suscipe, v. Take Lord and receive.
T
Take Lord and receive, 234.
Tears, for sin, 55, 87; over passion of Christ, 195.
Temperance, avoidance of what is superfluous in food and drink is temperance not penance, 83, 84; temperance rather than penance appropriate for Fourth Week, 229.
Temptation, when open and gross rules of Second Week not to be explained, 9; Satan tempts under appearance of good, 10, 332; to shorten exercise, 12, 13; Satan tempts first to covet riches, etc., 142; notes on scruples for the understanding of temptations, 345; the anxiety of a scruple is a temptation, 347; temptation to give up good work intended, 351.
Thanks, for benefits first point of examination, 43.
Theology, both positive and Scholastic to be praised, 363.
Thinking, rules for thinking with the Church, 352–370.
Thoughts, useful for director to know thoughts, 17, 326; but not to pry into private thoughts, 17; may come from good or bad spirit or from self, 17, 32, 317, 332–334, 351; examination of thoughts, 32–37; cherish thoughts in harmony with the exercise, 74, 78, 130, 206, 229; those that spring from desolation are the opposite of those that come from consolation, 317; in time of desolation and consolation, 320, 323, 324; the whole course of thought by which we were led astray should be examined, 333, 334.
Touch in the application of the senses, 70, 125.
V
Vespers, attending vespers during the Exercises, 20.
Vigils, fast and abstinence on, to be praised, 359.
Virginity, 15, 356.
Vocation, may recommend religious vocation to those fit, but in retreat it is better to permit God to act, 15; one from God is always pure, 172; vocation of the Apostles, 275.
Vows, 14, 357.
Vulgate Version of the Exercises, its authority, note 38, note 71.
W
Way, of life, v. choice; the purgative way corresponds to the First Week of the Exercises, 10; the illuminative way corresponds to the Second Week, 10.
Week, meaning of term in the Exercises, 4; may be shortened or lengthened, 4; purpose of First Week, 4; the First Week corresponds to the purgative way, 10; the Second Week corresponds to the illuminative way, 10; the place for the heading, First Week, note 24; proper place for the heading Second Week, notes 91, 101; how to lengthen or shorten the Second Week, 162; how to lengthen or shorten the Third Week, 209.
Will of God, the Spiritual Exercises are every way of preparing and disposing oneself to seek and find, I; exercitant is to offer himself to the divine Majesty that He may dispose of him according to His will, 5, 234; in the Exercises the exercitant should seek the divine will, 15.
Will of man, greater reverence necessary in making acts of the will, 3; total surrender of the will to God, 5, 234; thoughts arising from my free will, 32; use of the will in the Exercises, 50, 51, 52; the first time for a correct choice is when God so moves the will that one cannot doubt, 175; progress will be the greater the more we abandon self-will, 189; free will not to be discredited by unguarded talk on faith and grace, 369.
Words, examination of conscience on, 38–41; idle words, 40; reflect on the words of the persons to draw profit from them, 107; love consists in deeds rather than in words, 230.
Works, a good work done with a vow more meritorious, 14; works of mercy to be explained to the exercitant without education, 18; Apostles so to live that men may see their good works, 278; good works not to be omitted from fear, 351; neglect of good works due to misunderstanding of predestination, 367; faith and grace should not be spoken of in such a way that works seem worthless, 368, 369.
World, fear of loss of good name before the world, 9; ask for knowledge of, 63; Satan tempts to seek the empty honor of the world, 142.
Worldly love, v. love, carnal.

A Note on the Type in which this Book was Set

This book has been set in Granjon, a lovely Linotype face designed by George W. Jones, one of England's great printers, to meet his own exacting requirements for fine book and publication work. Like most useful types, Granjon is neither wholly new nor wholly old. It is not a copy of a classic face nor an original creation, but rather something between the two—drawing its basic design from classic Garamond sources, but never hesitating to deviate from the model where four centuries of type-cutting experience indicate an improvement or where modern methods of punch-cutting make possible a refinement far beyond the skill of the originator.

(023)

On one level, the Principle and Foundation can be seen as diagnostic. It explores whether a person has truly grasped at an interior level the experience of God’s creative and sustaining love. . . . Even those advanced in the spiritual life need to experience anew that foundational experience of God’s love before progressing further in the Exercises. Until people can claim that gift of God’s love on a personal level, they cannot hear God’s words of forgiveness or the call in freedom in the rest of the Exercises. To enter into the meditations on sin in the first week of the Exercises without a genuine experience of God’s love can be a destructive experience. A person cannot come to honest self-knowledge without first knowing they are loved.

Put another way, the Principle and Foundation explores a person’s operative image of God.

Putting on the Heart of Christ: How the Spiritual Exercises Invite Us to a Virtuous Life by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

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(023)

Just by being of the earth, then, each of us has a unique original purpose. But God is also creating each of us directly, so it is God who puts into each of us a unique original purpose. We each have a personal vocation from God. No one else can do what God calls each one of us to do, for evolution careens on through time and space.

You are unique and unrepeatable—well, what are you for? Who are you to become? These are questions of more than personal importance, for God’s hope for the world depends on your realizing God’s hopes in you.

Making Choices in Christ: The Foundations of Ignatian Spirituality by Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ

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(023)

After the named things one “ought not to seek,” (health, wealth, honor) comes a fascinating phrase, “and so on in other matters.” What might the “and so ons” be for women in contemporary society? Cultural myths, certainly, including beauty, body shape, youthful appearance, dependence on external validation—especially from men—stylish dress, security and doing it “right.” Having the one making the Exercises list her own “and so ons” could prove helpful.

Desires also intimately relate to the Principle and Foundation because desires flow from a worldview and reveal how one wishes to be in relationship. Those guiding the Exercises do important work when they assist those making them to discover what they really want—their functional Principle and Foundation. Some women have little sense of the choices or options existing even within impossible situations. The difficulty might stem from a lack of imagination, but also, perhaps, from fear. “It’s risky to discover my own needs and desires because it leads me on a path away from the crowd and into the unknown” said one woman. “I will have to take responsibility for my actions, and I may fail.”

. . . Women generally put the needs and desires of families, parents, and coworkers first, leaving little room for self. In not a few cases, they face enormous conflict from spouses or partners when seeking to fulfill their God-given desires. Internalizing the core of the Principle and Foundation will give a sense of their dignity and uniqueness and elicit authentic desires and genuine indifference. One woman imaged the movement into healthy autonomy as “coming out of a coma.”

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(023)

“health more than sickness”

One might, as many who make the Exercises do, choose a situation of poverty and low esteem as being in itself a more literal imitation of Christ. Sickness would not ordinarily be chosen in this way; but one might choose a course of action or way of life in the recognition that sickness or early death would be the likely or inevitable consequence (such would be the case in the sixteenth century of the choice of a missionary life). But for some people the immediate implications of indifference may lie in other and more specific directions, and Ignatius’s reference to “everything else” should not be overlooked.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(023)

The First Principle and Foundation invites us to see the world as a product of love. We have to affirm the goodness of the world. The first grace is to know that each one of us is a product of God’s love.

Discovering Your Dream: How Ignatian Spirituality Can Guide Your Life by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

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(023)

The Principle and Foundation is densely worded, but it is not meant to be an academic exercise. Consider it an invitation for you to experience more deeply how intimately related you are to God and to all of God’s creation (including persons, other creatures, and the natural world). In so doing, certain fundamental truths about our existence come alive: God creates me out of love, in a particular time and place, with particular talents and temperaments, strengths and limitations. God continues to create and to reveal who God is to me and who I am before God. God invites me to partner with God to build a more just and gentle world. I learn that the best way to praise God is to be who God made me to be and to honor the uniqueness of other creatures.

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien

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(023)

In the Principle and Foundation, Ignatius presented his view of God, world and self. An emerging new cosmology shifts the perspective on theological questions pertaining to that opening consideration. At least seven implications flow from the new cosmology in reference to the Principle and Foundation:

  • Classical dualisms are no longer tenable. The hierarchical, patriarchal dualisms of humans over earth, men over women, and spirit over matter are obsolete.
  • Human beings are radically interconnected with all other creatures. Quantum physics insists on the fundamental interrelationships of the world of matter.
  • God is not distant from the universe but a sustaining presence in all of creation. . . . The universe is pregnant with the presence of God whose creative action is at the heart of the evolutionary process.
  • A human-centered norm of progress must give way to a biocentric focus. Humans are within the cosmos, not apart from or above it.
  • Cultivating a renewed sacramental vision is the richest way of recovering both a sense of reverence for and companionship with all of creation.
  • Salvation is planetary and global as well as personal. A shift from other-worldly to this-worldly redemptive hope flows from the new paradigm. Persons no longer seek simply their own redemption but that of all creation, including the earth itself. The life and death of Jesus must be lived out salvifically by all Christians. The universe, the sacred body of God, also needs salvation (Rom. 8:18–23).
  • Humans are called not to dominate nature, but to be cocreators within the evolutionary process.
The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(023)

Now the fruit of the Principle and Foundation (Exx 23) and of the First Week in general should be a certain self-esteem, the humble acknowledgment that one is loved, recognized, esteemed, created and nurtured. There should be an awareness of one’s own capacity, of the gift one is given to live upright with dignity.

As women we have a long road to travel from this point of view; we have to pay a high price for self-esteem. One need only glance into the many dark corners of our society to discover how women continue to be exploited, abused, and their rights violated. Many UNICEF reports establish that violence against women and girls is the most common breach of human rights.

“Women Helping to Give the Spiritual Exercises” by Nerea Alzola

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(023)

This first principle is a disarmingly simple statement about the meaning of life, but because of this, it demands a second look. The implication, I think, is that if we are to build our lives on prayer, then this must be the principle upon which we build them. It’s straightforward enough, but it forces us to ask some basic questions: Do I live this belief? What would my life—my day-to-day choices—look like if I honestly believed this principle? If my life were really founded on the belief that I was created by God for praise, reverence, and service, then it would seem that everything I do must somehow be related to these goals. Is this the case?

The Ignatian Workout: Daily Spiritual Exercises for a Healthy Faith by Tim Muldoon

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(023)

“praise, reverence and serve”

These and similar terms—“honor,” “respect,” “obedience,” and above all “giving glory”—echo the “hallowed be thy name, thy will be done” of the Lord’s Prayer, and express an attitude of radical God-centeredness, a desire simply that God be God and that his purposes be realized. The meaning of the words is not exclusively cultic. God is praised not only by formal worship, but when we so live that in our heart and behavior God is acknowledged to be God and his will is done in all things. Again, we give praise, reverence and service in becoming involved in God’s “project,” which is simultaneously the ongoing conversion of our own lives and the establishment of his reign in the world.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(023)

“helps to the pursuit of this end”

The idea of creatures as “helps to an end” serves to pinpoint a basic principle of Ignatius’ “theology of the world.” In God’s creative project, there is a unity of purpose, and the key to that purpose is God’s project for humankind. In relation to the transcendent end of the human person, the world is not a neutral backdrop, still less in itself an obstacle or embarrassment. Immediate reality in a sense is the raw material of our relationship with God; it is for the most part precisely in and through our commerce with this reality that our praise, reverence and service of God come about. The idea of creatures as “helps to an end” can however convey a misleadingly utilitarian impression, and it must not be understood as denying the value of things in themselves.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(023)

“to use (and avoid)”

To be human is to make constant choices of use and avoidance in regard to reality (not to take such choices is to be a victim of circumstances). The potential of reality to help towards the praise, reverence and service of God is realized to the extent to which that “end” is the criteri­on of our particular choices to use or avoid. The word “use,” like the word “things,” does not refer only to physical use, but to the entire gamut of human responses to reality—interest, love, every kind of creativity, enjoyment, together with inner responses such as the acceptance or not of situations, and the meanings we are free to confer on these, etc.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(023)

Already in the “Principle and Foundation,” Ignatius presents key concepts which will function throughout the course of the Exercises and beyond: freedom and choice. The fundamental choice to be made, “to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord,” can only take place in a state of freedom.

A Generous Openness: Praying the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius by Charlotte C. Prather

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(023)

The phrase “and so embrace salvation” also suggests the need to distinguish between love of self and selfishness or self-centeredness. It is right to love ourselves. We are beings of love. Truly loving ourselves is a process; it happens as we accept ourselves, say yes to our destiny, and live out the purpose of life’s journey. When we accept the pull of the Spirit and say yes to our destiny, we find meaning, we love ourselves, and we reach fulfillment. We understand ourselves as meaningful beings when we experience God filling up our emptiness. Salvation is an experience of friendship and relationship with God. It is important, therefore, to realize that this phrase—“and so embrace salvation”—in the Exercises means to find fulfillment, to come to a sense of completeness and meaningfulness in the totality of our being.

Spiritual Freedom: From an Experience of the Ignatian Exercises to the Art of Spiritual Guidance by John J. English

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(023)

Many persons’ worldview remains largely unexamined, an unconscious frame of reference for living and relating to God, self and creation. Each person making the Spiritual Exercises needs to answer the implicit questions in the Principle and Foundation: How would you describe your world and how it influences you? How do you imagine God? What is your relationship to others and all of God’s creation? What is your part in creation? What are the dominant influences on your sense of God, humans, heaven and earth? What does it mean to exist in this vast unfolding universe?

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(023)

Humans have always struggled to find meaning, to locate their place in relation to others, the world and God in light of their understandings or perceptions of the world. The recognition that God creates humans moment by moment expands to include the sense that God creates everything moment by moment—suffuses the very evolutionary process—and that humans can and indeed must collaborate in that process.

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(023)

The Principle and Foundation is intended to evoke a present or remembered experience, an awareness of how God continues to create and to cherish each individual moment by moment throughout life. This realization must precede any consideration of sin, or else the First Week becomes painfully introspective. The Principle and Foundation “grounds” a person in graced self-awareness and God-awareness, which is food for the journey of life and ministry. The God of the Principle and Foundation loves women compassionately and asks them to trust themselves and act out of this deep, true sense of who they really are.

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert by Katherine Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(023)

Images of God as judge, tyrant, beyond caring, oppressive and domineering are common among women, particularly those who have experienced psychological, physical or sexual abuse. On the other hand, and equally unhelpful, God can also be experienced only as comforting, allowing a sort of pseudodependent, immature relationship that never challenges one to assume responsibility. Both of these unhelpful and incomplete or even destructive extremes need to be recognized and challenged. The heart of the matter is God-image.

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(023)

“indifference”

Ignatius is very straightforward and honest in his presentation of the necessity for indifference, although he can hardly have expected one who was beginning the Exercises for the first time to have already attained it. In a sense, one enters upon this path with the goal, the praise and service of God, already in view, precisely because the route one will travel is a matter of choice. At each point, a new dimension of freedom (indifference) is needed in order to be able to choose the end (love) which has been seen and embraced from the beginning (faith).

A Generous Openness: Praying the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius by Charlotte C. Prather

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(023)

“subject to our free choice”

We are not asked to be—and indeed we should not be—indifferent all the time or in regard to everything. The grace of indifference is a potential, to be activated when appropriate; and explicit indifference is appropriate in times when we are seeking the will of God. When we judge that we have found it, the appropriate attitude towards the course indicated is one of commitment, controlled by integrity of intention.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(023)

“indifference”

The convoluted issue around “making myself indifferent to all created things” cannot be dealt with as simply a question of will power. Indifference presumes passion. Women cannot act with indifference in any positive sense until they have identified their desires and passions. Indifference demands liberation. Detachment follows from attachment to Someone whose love empowers with blessed freedom.

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(023)

“indifference”

[W]hen we face a serious choice, we will try not to have made our minds up before we have to, even before the alternatives emerge. We will be alert to having deep-seated prejudices and to making implied or even overt demands on God that the Lord crown our own self-originated choice with grace and happiness. On the contrary, we set ourselves to live this way: We will wait when alternatives are emerging. We will try not to favor one over the other or the others until we are clear whether God is telling us something through our own desiring or through the desiring in the Church or of others.

Choosing Christ in the World: Directing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola according to Annotations Eighteen and Nineteen by Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ

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(023)

“other things”

St. Ignatius says that the “other things” that have an objective relationship to me and to God should be used or not used to the extent that they help me attain the end for which I was created. Surely, in the last analysis there is nothing that cannot be integrated into the service of God in some way, and one can say without hesitation: God grows in men to the degree that their relationship to things is a more positive one, and vice versa. This point must be emphasized because man is always tempted to consider earthly things meaningless and of little value. For our relationship to God, the “other things” are absolutely necessary—they are the place of our service and worship.

Spiritual Exercises by Karl Rahner, SJ

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(023)

First, a spirituality of our later years will be a spirituality of gratitude. Gratitude remains the foundation and source of our spiritual lives. The second half of life is an especially good time to grow in awareness of the gift of life itself, of health, friends, vocation and ministry. It is a time to remember and savour all the other gifts we have received—gifts that have sustained us on the road we have taken in life. As we look back on our lives, we recognize the many times when we have taken things for granted, and claimed things as our own that were clearly gifts. Our lack of gratitude may have led us to lose touch with the Giver of all gifts. Our later years are a time to acknowledge and cherish the gifts that have been given to us, and the wonder that god has worked in and through us during our lives. It is a great temptation to devalue what we have done in life, to compare our achievements with those of others whom we admire or with the great dreams of our youth. We begin to ask questions. What difference have I made? What have I done of lasting value? How have I responded to the graces given to me? We may fail to celebrate and treasure the everyday but extraordinary moments of friendship, ministry and prayer. The second half of life calls us to true humility, and to the recognition of our gifts as gifts from the hands of a loving God.

“The Spiritual Exercises and a Spirituality for the Later Years” by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

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(024)

Listening becomes an essential skill for the one making the Exercises. She must first learn to discern and honor her own authentic inner voice. This awareness and acceptance can prove difficult, as the most familiar voices she may hear are the loud dominating voices of external authority or the strident voice of her own inner critic. Claiming the authority of her own voice becomes a prerequisite for personal authenticity and for contributing to the wisdom of the faith community. Thus, each woman’s self-identity questions relate to concepts of self-image and God-image and make up an essential dynamic of this First Week. She is encouraged to reflect on her self-image: self as personal and as public but always as relational. The Exercises assume the importance of self-definition leading to self-understanding. Each of the Weeks moves toward a greater self-reflexivity and therefore relate to the dynamic direction of human development.

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Marie Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(024)

Don’t try to do a postmortem on every incident and conversation, but simply notice and become aware of any specific moments that your memory sends up to your conscious mind, trusting that these prompts are coming from God, who is present and active deep in your own psyche, just as in every other created space.

Companions of Christ: Ignatian Spirituality for Everyday Living by Margaret Silf

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(024)

Don’t try to do a postmortem on every incident and conversation, but simply notice and become aware of any specific moments that your memory sends up to your conscious mind, trusting that these prompts are coming from God, who is present and active deep in your own psyche, just as in every other created space.

Companions of Christ: Ignatian Spirituality for Everyday Living by Margaret Silf

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(024)

What has given me life today? What has made me feel more alive, more human? These questions might then lead us on to reflect: In what ways have I been a source of life, hope, encouragement, trust or love to other people and to the rest of creation? For any ways in which I have failed, and for the many opportunities I will have missed, I confidently beg God’s forgiveness and entrust tomorrow to God’s care and keeping.

Companions of Christ: Ignatian Spirituality for Everyday Living by Margaret Silf

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(032)

Listening becomes an essential skill for the one making the Exercises. She must first learn to discern and honor her own authentic inner voice. This awareness and acceptance can prove difficult, as the most familiar voices she may hear are the loud dominating voices of external authority or the strident voice of her own inner critic. Claiming the authority of her own voice becomes a prerequisite for personal authenticity and for contributing to the wisdom of the faith community. Thus, each woman’s self-identity questions relate to concepts of self-image and God-image and make up an essential dynamic of this First Week. She is encouraged to reflect on her self-image: self as personal and as public but always as relational. The Exercises assume the importance of self-definition leading to self-understanding. Each of the Weeks moves toward a greater self-reflexivity and therefore relate to the dynamic direction of human development.

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Marie Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(033–37)

It is well know that evil strategies, complicities and collusions operate within our thought-processes without our being fully aware of what is happening, or, rather, without our being willing to admit to it. We are in need of grace if we are to have our eyes open, grace operating amid the dis-grace that cannot, thanks to the subtle work of the evil spirit, be seen clearly for what it is.

Ignatius, as we know, wants people to move out from their self-love, their self-centered desires, their self-interest (Exx 189), and to work hard at overcoming themselves and setting their lives in order, to become free of disordered affections. The aim is that we become interiorly open to love and service in every dimension of our lives, constantly moving forward in ways befitting our vocation to become the likeness of God. But there is always the risk that our freedom will be trapped subtly by the evil spirit that cannot leave our desires and actions in peace, but is always disturbing us, impeding us, paralyzing us. We are thus always having to work at discernment—discernment which inevitably involves self-examination.

“The First Method of Prayer” by Luis Raul Cruz, SJ

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(043)

“first point . . . second point”

To appreciate the General Examen as a method of prayer, full weight—and time—must be given to the first two points. A common distortion of the Ignatian General Examen comes from a tendency to regard these opening points as perfunctory preliminaries. The method begins with thanksgiving for blessings, the attitude epitomized in the Contemplation to Attain Love, and which belongs to the very heart of the Ignatian spirituality of finding God in all things. With regard to the pray for “light” (point 2), while of course we need “light” to appreciate blessings, the placing of this petition immediately before the recall of one’s sins accentuates the fact that sin can be known only in the light of Christ (and not any other “light”).

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(043)

“third point”

Exponents of the examen today emphasize the need to ask where one has responded or failed to respond to God, rather than to look simply at right or wrong actions. Approached in this way, the examen brings the discernment of spirits into daily life. Through it one is helped to recognize the often subtle drawing of the “good” spirit, and the (again, often subtle) influences of the “bad” spirit within everyday experience; to become familiar with the processes through which these operate (cf. especially [333, 334]) While this interpretation might seem at first sight to exceed the thoughts, words and deeds of Ignatius’ text, it must be remembered that “thought” includes the “movements of the spirits.”

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(043)

The later years are a time to acknowledge decisions made in the past—decisions that we cannot change, and that have set a direction for our lives. Many of them may well have been wise and loving, but some decisions we may now regret, and carry as a burden. They may have harmed others, or excluded possibilities for growth in our lives. We would choose differently now, but the choices we have made cannot be erased or denied. We must come to peace with these decisions, seek forgiveness when possible, and surrender them to God.

“The Spiritual Exercises and a Spirituality for the Later Years” by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

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(043)

As we grow older . . . we must move towards forgiveness, towards letting go and accepting responsibility for our lives at the present moment. This means letting go of grudges and resentments that drag us back into the past and sap our enthusiasm for the present and future. Forgiveness and letting go free us from the endless repetition of past stories of injustice and hurt that we tell as if they were the events of yesterday.

. . . But perhaps the greatest and most difficult challenge of later life is to forgive ourselves. We are called upon to forgive our own failings and mistakes and sins, and to love ourselves as God loves us. Forgiving ourselves means letting go of our regrets, accepting our limitations, and coming to peace with the decisions and actions that we can no longer change. Forgiving ourselves is the final fruit of accepting God’s forgiveness, and the only path to peace.

“The Spiritual Exercises and a Spirituality for the Later Years” by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

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(048)

“Shame and confusion”

Both terms are relational, and together they represent a way of experiencing oneself before God’s mercy. Hence the cause of “shame and confusion” is not sin-awareness in itself, but the experience of the self as a sinner in the presence of a God who is merciful and faithful (cf. [74]). One asks that through prayer this experience be deepened and intensified so as to change the heart profoundly.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(048)

Reflect on what others are already doing. Reflect on the Holy Spirit inspiring many people around the world to carry out tasks, individually and in groups, that would bring about more love, compassion, healing, and forgiveness on Earth. Think of other groups helping to make advances in biology, chemistry, genetics, medicine, surgery, pharmacology, agriculture, fuel efficiency, alternative energies, technology, communication, pure research, space exploration, undersea exploration, ecology, and so on. Give thanks for the Holy Spirit’s inspirations and blessing for all these undertakings that are helping the Christ Project. The New Spiritual Exercises: In the Spirit of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin by Louis M. Savary

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(050)

“sin of the angels”

Since sin can be committed by a pure spirit, sin is not essentially tied to animal passions, the instability of the human make-up, or the dynamics of human society. The essence of sin—ours and that of the angels—is, as Ignatius here defines it: the refusal to use one’s freedom to give reverence and obedience to one’s Creator and Lord, in short the refusal to allow God to be God.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(050–51)

In the First Week, Ignatius invites us first of all to reflect on the history of sin. He has us look at the fall of the angels, at the Adam and Eve story, and at our own story. He wants us to get a sense that we are not alone. We think, “I’m not the first one to sin. I didn’t make up sin. I was born into a history of sin.” There is a salvation history, but there is also a history of sinfulness that we are born into. Ignatius wants us to reflect on that and then to realize that we are a part of that history.

Discovering Your Dream: How Ignatian Spirituality Can Guide Your Life by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

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(050–51)

Social sin is systemic, that is, it is manifested and “lives” in the social structures functioning in the larger society. Jesus spent much of his public ministry stirring up awareness of some of the most hurtful social evils of his day, like religious hypocrisy among the priests and Pharisees, corrupt systems of justice perpetuated by the lawyers and scribes, unfair treatment of the poor by the rich, biased treatment of women, the social ostracism of tax collectors and the ritually impure, etc. Truly, Jesus bore the damaging effects of these social sins because he felt their evil impact daily on his own body and soul and on those around him.

He had not contributed to these social sins or tolerated them, as we have. He was like us in all things but sin. Yet these evils were laid on him. They diminished him and his ability to convert people to a change of heart. What diminished him and the people were not only the personal sins of Caiaphas, Pilate, or Judas, but also, perhaps even more powerfully, the social evils of humanity.

The New Spiritual Exercises: In the Spirit of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin by Louis M. Savary

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(050–53)

Social sin and personal sin mutually reinforce each other in an interactive anti-evolutionary way. For example, these devolutionary social, cultural, political, and economic arrangements (social sins) distort our personal perceptions of reality. They often restrain our abilities to such an extent that we, individually and collectively, find it harder to choose what is good and easier to choose evil.

The New Spiritual Exercises: In the Spirit of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin by Louis M. Savary

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(051)

“Sin of Adam and Eve”

Biblical scholarship has long held that the story of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis is not history but a theological reflection by the people of Israel on the reality of good and evil. This story speaks a timeless truth known to all humanity: human beings, like the angels, enjoy the gift of freedom, yet we sometimes choose to abuse that freedom by trying to put ourselves at the center of creation and displacing God. This is the essence of original sin.

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(051)

Another provocative element in the story is the theme of wanting to be like God. . . . Many young people, especially, feel invincible—we want to determine the course of our lives, and because of the world we live in today, we have much greater freedom than so many others enjoyed. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking we are self-reliant and that we do not need God: with so many resources at our disposal, it seems easy to feed our spiritual hunger.

The Ignatian Workout by Tim Muldoon

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(053)

“What have I done for Christ . . .”

Return to these questions throughout the retreat. In one sense, they are not completely answerable during the retreat itself; we often lean into the answers as we continue our normal routines. By considering the questions, we realize how practical the Exercises are. Just as our sin is reflected in concrete decisions and actions, so, too, does grace come to life in choices and deeds for the love of Christ and others. We encounter Christ not only in our prayer and in the sacraments but also in our relationships with the Body of Christ, living now as the church, the people of God.

The Ignatian Adventure by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(053)

Christ on the cross labors and saves. Each person, created in God’s image and gifted in the mutuality of creation, is bound both by personal sin and, in some mysterious way, by the power of sin in the world. Such a realization can evoke tears, sorrow, confusion, helplessness and repentance. The God of love and mercy calls to conversion.

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Marie Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(053)

To know the reality of our brokenness and our separation from God, in our gut and not just in our heads, is a harrowing experience. We enter into this experience only when we know, in the same deep-felt way, God’s unconditional love for us, which holds our brokenness in gently sheltering hands.

So what went wrong? Can we be satisfied by the conventional religious language of “sin” and somehow make that cover for the inner howling that comes from the deep awareness of something badly wrong, that no amount of theology is going to cure for us?

Inner Compass: An Invitation to Ignatian Spirituality by Margaret Silf

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(053)

Because social sins and personal sins are tied together so inextricably, it is inadequate to say that in his crucifixion Christ died only for our personal sins. What is much more realistic is that Jesus of Nazareth very consciously died bearing the weight of the social sins of organized society, those very sins he openly struggled to confront during his ministry. We might call them, collectively, the sins of humanity. Of course, our personal sins are bound up in those social evils and have contributed to their continued existence.

The New Spiritual Exercises: In the Spirit of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin by Louis M. Savary

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(053)

There is a whole realm of resistance—I call it the Big Resistance—that works in us apart from fear, anger, pain, perception, or experience. This resistance is not forced upon us but seems to grow up within us like persistent weeds in an otherwise lovely garden. This is what theologians—and standard Christian doctrine—call sin. This resistance is our tendency to move away from God, even as our souls yearn to move closer to God.

. . . We regularly do what we know we shouldn’t do; we consistently do not live up to our own plans or proceed in the way we envision ourselves living and acting. We repeatedly set our feet upon a good path, only to resist our own steps and cause all sorts of messes.

At the heart of our resistance is ego in its multiple forms. One way or the other, we put ourselves at the center of the universe. For some of us, that means we want to be in control of our own life; we don’t want anyone telling us what to do or preventing us from doing whatever we want. We’ll listen to advice, but we don’t believe we really need help because we are smart and tough and self-sufficient.

Others of us want, ultimately, to be taken care of, to have our every need met and every desire fulfilled. Deep down we believe that we are entitled to this, and we act in quite unloving ways when our needs and desires get thwarted. Some of us want everybody to love and appreciate us. We constantly need to be recognized and adored.

And some of us must always feel significant and valuable. We push others to profess how important we are to them; we test people to see if they miss us enough when we’re gone, or we get angry when we’re not included in every discussion or decision. For this sort of person, major life changes can be hell, because she needs consistency: work that she performs well and for which she receives praise, and a stable group of people who make her feel validated and loved.

Whatever form our self-centeredness takes, it moves us to act not out of love but out of sheer need. If we need to be in control, then we push and use our power abusively. If we want to be taken care of, then we become needy and clingy, just to assure that someone will step up to the challenge. And if we must be loved and appreciated, we invent multiple ways to manipulate people into giving us what we want.

. . . We want, really, to be our own gods. Which is why, throughout history, “God” has been presented to us so often as a monstrous projection of human nature: vengeful, egotistical, controlling, demanding, and always hungry for more. Even our sacred stories have not gone untouched by our ideas of what God should be like—just a bigger, stronger, unassailable version of us.

Days of Deepening Friendship: For the Woman Who Wants Authentic Life with God by Vinita Hampton Wright

Read More

(053)

Sin is, perhaps, like holding a daffodil bulb in our hands but neglecting to plant it in our life’s soil because we refuse to believe that it contains a flower. Yet alongside all of our flat refusals to believe, the Gardener plants us nonetheless, and tends us lovingly because he knows who we are and holds everything we shall become in his gentle hands.

Inner Compass: An Invitation to Ignatian Spirituality by Margaret Silf

Read More

(053)

As we grow older . . . we must move towards forgiveness, towards letting go and accepting responsibility for our lives at the present moment. This means letting go of grudges and resentments that drag us back into the past and sap our enthusiasm for the present and future. Forgiveness and letting go free us from the endless repetition of past stories of injustice and hurt that we tell as if they were the events of yesterday.

. . . But perhaps the greatest and most difficult challenge of later life is to forgive ourselves. We are called upon to forgive our own failings and mistakes and sins, and to love ourselves as God loves us. Forgiving ourselves means letting go of our regrets, accepting our limitations, and coming to peace with the decisions and actions that we can no longer change. Forgiving ourselves is the final fruit of accepting God’s forgiveness, and the only path to peace.

“The Spiritual Exercises and a Spirituality for the Later Years” by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

Read More

(053)

The later years are a time to acknowledge decisions made in the past—decisions that we cannot change, and that have set a direction for our lives. Many of them may well have been wise and loving, but some decisions we may now regret, and carry as a burden. They may have harmed others, or excluded possibilities for growth in our lives. We would choose differently now, but the choices we have made cannot be erased or denied. We must come to peace with these decisions, seek forgiveness when possible, and surrender them to God.

“The Spiritual Exercises and a Spirituality for the Later Years” by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

Read More

(053)

Christ on the cross labors and saves. Each person, created in God’s image and gifted in the mutuality of creation, is bound both by personal sin and, in some mysterious way, by the power of sin in the world. Such a realization can evoke tears, sorrow, confusion, helplessness and repentance. The God of love and mercy calls to conversion. The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Marie Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(054)

In both meditation and contemplation the “points” lead into the prayer that Ignatius describes in terms of familiar exchange and calls “colloquy.” Though given a special place at the end of prayer, it is not an appendage to prayer, but its culmination; moreover it may arise at any moment in prayer, and when it does so, it is always, in a sense, a culminating moment.

In the Exercises Ignatius presents the colloquy in various ways. Sometimes he simply invites the exercitant to “end with a colloquy,” sometimes he offers brief guidelines, while the colloquy can also be the context in which he concludes an exercise with specific content or procedures (such is the case here and in the Triple Colloquies). But in whatever form the colloquy is proposed it will always be marked by the personal and spontaneous quality of conversation between friends.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(054)

In the colloquy, we speak and listen as the Spirit moves us: expressing ourselves, for example, as a friend speaks to a friend, or as a person speaks to one whom he or she has offended, or as a child speaks to a parent or mentor, or as a lover speaks to his or her beloved. Whatever the context, be “real,” speaking from the heart. As in any meaningful conversation, make sure to leave times of silence for listening.

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(055)

Ignatius invites us to look at our own history of sin and evil in light of the goodness of God. Even though we reject God, he still blesses us. The saints and angels still pray for us. The earth does not swallow us up. Rather we enjoy the bounty of God’s splendid creation—“heavens, sun, moon, stars, and elements, fruits, birds, fishes, and animals.” Sin is not the breaking of a law or commandment as much as it is a lack of gratitude.

What Is Ignatian Spirituality? by David L. Fleming, SJ

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(055–57)

The focus of the first exercise was on the effects of sin in the world and on the exercitant’s involvement in these. The second is concerned with the meaning of sin in itself. The exercise begins with a reality already considered obliquely, “my many sins.”

 . . . The second exercise is very much concerned, then, with the “sin within the sins,” and in insisting in the second point on the “malice and turpitude that sin has in itself even if it were not forbidden,” Ignatius is directing the exercitant to look beyond merely moral considerations to the recognition of sin in its essence.

“The First Week: Some Notes on the Text” by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(055–57)

At the heart of our resistance is ego in its multiple forms. One way or the other, we put ourselves at the center of the universe. Whatever form our self-centeredness takes, it moves us to act not out of love but out of sheer need. If we need to be in control, then we push and use our power abusively. If we want to be taken care of, then we become needy and clingy, just to assure that someone will step up to the challenge. And if we must be loved and appreciated, we invent multiple ways to manipulate people into giving us what we want. . . . We want, really, to be our own gods. Which is why, throughout history, “God” has been presented to us so often as a monstrous projection of human nature: vengeful, egotistical, controlling, demanding, and always hungry for more. Even our sacred stories have not gone untouched by our ideas of what God should be like—just a bigger, stronger, unassailable version of us.

Days of Deepening Friendship: For the Woman Who Wants Authentic Life with God by Vinita Hampton Wright

Read More

(055–57)

To know the reality of our brokenness and our separation from God, in our gut and not just in our heads, is a harrowing experience. We enter into this experience only when we know, in the same deep-felt way, God’s unconditional love for us, which holds our brokenness in gently sheltering hands.

So what went wrong? Can we be satisfied by the conventional religious language of “sin” and somehow make that cover for the inner howling that comes from the deep awareness of something badly wrong, that no amount of theology is going to cure for us?

Inner Compass: An Invitation to Ignatian Spirituality by Margaret Silf

Read More

(055–57)

Sin is, perhaps, like holding a daffodil bulb in our hands but neglecting to plant it in our life’s soil because we refuse to believe that it contains a flower. Yet alongside all of our flat refusals to believe, the Gardener plants us nonetheless, and tends us lovingly because he knows who we are and holds everything we shall become in his gentle hands.

Inner Compass: An Invitation to Ignatian Spirituality by Margaret Silf

Read More

(055–57)

There is a whole realm of resistance—I call it the Big Resistance—that works in us apart from fear, anger, pain, perception, or experience. This resistance is not forced upon us but seems to grow up within us like persistent weeds in an otherwise lovely garden. This is what theologians—and standard Christian doctrine—call sin. This resistance is our tendency to move away from God, even as our souls yearn to move closer to God.

. . . We regularly do what we know we shouldn’t do; we consistently do not live up to our own plans or proceed in the way we envision ourselves living and acting. We repeatedly set our feet upon a good path, only to resist our own steps and cause all sorts of messes.

At the heart of our resistance is ego in its multiple forms. One way or the other, we put ourselves at the center of the universe. For some of us, that means we want to be in control of our own life; we don’t want anyone telling us what to do or preventing us from doing whatever we want. We’ll listen to advice, but we don’t believe we really need help because we are smart and tough and self-sufficient.

Others of us want, ultimately, to be taken care of, to have our every need met and every desire fulfilled. Deep down we believe that we are entitled to this, and we act in quite unloving ways when our needs and desires get thwarted. Some of us want everybody to love and appreciate us. We constantly need to be recognized and adored.

And some of us must always feel significant and valuable. We push others to profess how important we are to them; we test people to see if they miss us enough when we’re gone, or we get angry when we’re not included in every discussion or decision. For this sort of person, major life changes can be hell, because she needs consistency: work that she performs well and for which she receives praise, and a stable group of people who make her feel validated and loved.

Whatever form our self-centeredness takes, it moves us to act not out of love but out of sheer need. If we need to be in control, then we push and use our power abusively. If we want to be taken care of, then we become needy and clingy, just to assure that someone will step up to the challenge. And if we must be loved and appreciated, we invent multiple ways to manipulate people into giving us what we want.

. . . We want, really, to be our own gods. Which is why, throughout history, “God” has been presented to us so often as a monstrous projection of human nature: vengeful, egotistical, controlling, demanding, and always hungry for more. Even our sacred stories have not gone untouched by our ideas of what God should be like—just a bigger, stronger, unassailable version of us.

Days of Deepening Friendship: For the Woman Who Wants Authentic Life with God by Vinita Hampton Wright

Read More

(055–58)

The second exercise invites the one making the Exercises to move from observer to participant. She takes center stage in her own dramatic struggle to choose the direction of her life through memories of her personal “sin stories.”

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Marie Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(055–61)

When the woman making the Exercises perceives God primarily as Patriarchal King, Lord and Judge, she may base her sense of sin largely on submission and judgment. . . . “Contemplating my many sins” may be exactly what a given woman should not do until she broadens her sense of sin and interprets it in light of a loving God. Perhaps an authentic conversion in the First Week reveals an inner experience of knowing oneself as loved by God and rejecting any internalized self-hatred. Conversion may uniquely relate to ordinary events of daily life and its missed possibilities for growth.

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Marie Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(055–61)

One woman said tellingly, “I grew up thinking and feeling that almost everything was a sin, venial or mortal, especially mortal if it looked, sounded, smelled or felt good. Now I realize that this belief was the sin I committed against myself.”

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Marie Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(055–61)

By pondering her culpability rather than exclusively contemplating her “many sins,” the seeker can more productively reflect upon the First Week. Such consciousness asks each person to develop a true sense of sin and self before the reality of a living, loving, relational God. Each woman needs to let God reveal where she refuses love.

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Marie Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(055–61)

Following the work of Saiving, feminist thinker Judith Plaskow challenges the assumption that equates sin with pride and egoistic self-assertion, suggesting that this norm better describes the experience of men. She notes the impact of cultural expectations in defining “the feminine”: “The ‘sin’ which the feminine role in modern society creates and encourages in women, is not illegitimate self-centeredness but failure to center the self, the failure to take responsibility for one’s own life” (Plaskow 1980, 92).

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Marie Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(055–61)

Theologian Anne Carr (1996) points out the need to reinterpret Christian categories of sin in light of the experience of women. She concludes that women’s sin manifests itself in a lack of self-assertion in the face of society and culture’s expectations. A woman’s sin often consists not of what she does, but of what she fails to do, such as failing to assume responsibility for choices and naming her own values and gifts (8). Carr reiterates that a male theological perspective has dominated the definition of sin as pride and rebellion and has failed to pay attention to the sin “of those who are powerless, who lack agency, selfhood, and responsibility, and who have suffered violence and abuse” (186).

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Marie Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(055–61)

Women often identify themselves not first as sinners but as victims of sin and oppression. This self-identification leads to a personal form of prayer, lament. In lament one names her suffering, caused by injustice, evil and pain, and cries out for God’s help. Naming the trouble begins the healing; turning to God in faith and hope opens one to grace. . . . Therefore, a prayer of lament may prove a more appropriate starting point for the First Week of the Exercises than a prayer of contrition.

. . . Today’s suffering women more typically cry out against the evil that has touched their lives, acknowledging and naming their grief, sorrow, pain and oppression. From here they can move to a freer, deeper and more authentic awareness of personal sin.

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Marie Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(056)

Try to be very concrete. Note specific actions or patterns of acting that are sinful, and then go beneath actions or habits to discern the attitudes, tendencies, and intentions that cause them. We aim for a graced understanding that cuts to the heart.

 . . . We aim for our understanding of sin to be heartfelt because conversion involves a change in thinking and feeling, in choosing and desiring. With this deepening understanding may come strong reactions, including sorrow for sins and gratitude for God’s mercy.

. . . This taking stock is not easy, but awareness is a grace when it leads us to freedom from a self-centered isolation and freedom for loving service of God and others.

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(056)

I see myself as a person that is somehow closed off from God, that did not have enough love, that did not have enough courage to let himself go, that did not break loose to find God. Perhaps I can then get a clear picture of my sins: a picture of acts that should not have taken place and that I alone am responsible for. These are truly my sins; I am the one who has become this man. And these sins are still with me, at least as forgiven sins. Perhaps the man that is looking at me from out of my past, is the same man that I am today. Who knows whether or not I have found God’s mercy, whether or not I am near God in the depths of my being—or whether or not I have already begun to be lost? Who knows?

Spiritual Exercises by Karl Rahner, SJ

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(056)

The later years are a time to acknowledge decisions made in the past—decisions that we cannot change, and that have set a direction for our lives. Many of them may well have been wise and loving, but some decisions we may now regret, and carry as a burden. They may have harmed others, or excluded possibilities for growth in our lives. We would choose differently now, but the choices we have made cannot be erased or denied. We must come to peace with these decisions, seek forgiveness when possible, and surrender them to God.

“The Spiritual Exercises and a Spirituality for the Later Years” by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

Read More

(056)

As we grow older . . . we must move towards forgiveness, towards letting go and accepting responsibility for our lives at the present moment. This means letting go of grudges and resentments that drag us back into the past and sap our enthusiasm for the present and future. Forgiveness and letting go free us from the endless repetition of past stories of injustice and hurt that we tell as if they were the events of yesterday.

. . . But perhaps the greatest and most difficult challenge of later life is to forgive ourselves. We are called upon to forgive our own failings and mistakes and sins, and to love ourselves as God loves us. Forgiving ourselves means letting go of our regrets, accepting our limitations, and coming to peace with the decisions and actions that we can no longer change. Forgiving ourselves is the final fruit of accepting God’s forgiveness, and the only path to peace.

“The Spiritual Exercises and a Spirituality for the Later Years” by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

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(057)

As we grow older . . . we must move towards forgiveness, towards letting go and accepting responsibility for our lives at the present moment. This means letting go of grudges and resentments that drag us back into the past and sap our enthusiasm for the present and future. Forgiveness and letting go free us from the endless repetition of past stories of injustice and hurt that we tell as if they were the events of yesterday.

. . . But perhaps the greatest and most difficult challenge of later life is to forgive ourselves. We are called upon to forgive our own failings and mistakes and sins, and to love ourselves as God loves us. Forgiving ourselves means letting go of our regrets, accepting our limitations, and coming to peace with the decisions and actions that we can no longer change. Forgiving ourselves is the final fruit of accepting God’s forgiveness, and the only path to peace.

“The Spiritual Exercises and a Spirituality for the Later Years” by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

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(057)

The later years are a time to acknowledge decisions made in the past—decisions that we cannot change, and that have set a direction for our lives. Many of them may well have been wise and loving, but some decisions we may now regret, and carry as a burden. They may have harmed others, or excluded possibilities for growth in our lives. We would choose differently now, but the choices we have made cannot be erased or denied. We must come to peace with these decisions, seek forgiveness when possible, and surrender them to God.

“The Spiritual Exercises and a Spirituality for the Later Years” by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

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(058)

Consider the following questions:

1. Who am I compared to all the other people in the world? I am one small person in a world of billions.

2. Who am I compared to all the good men and women who have gone before me: my ancestors, whose hope was that their descendants, like me, might live in happiness; the heroes and heroines who fought in many ways to secure my freedom, my right to autonomy; the holy people who died to pass on the faith that I have received as gift?

3. Who am I in the context of the whole of creation? One person on one small planet in one small solar system on the outskirts of an ocean of millions of galaxies. I am less than a speck of dust; I barely merit being identified as a single atom in a speck of dust.

4. Who am I compared to God? One small atom on one speck of dust in the midst of the whole of creation that God made. What can I be apart from God? Why has God chosen to care for me?

The Ignatian Workout by Tim Muldoon

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(059)

Remember that we do this heavy lifting in the context of having experienced ourselves as sinners who are loved. God seeks to free us from everything that gets in the way of loving ourselves, others, and God. The focus is not simply naming our sins, which can itself become a form of self-preoccupation. Instead, we focus on who God is and who we are before God. With this orientation, we discover the source of our liberation: the boundless mercy of God. We begin to see how sin has distorted our relationships. Recognizing how generous and faithful God is, we become dissatisfied with our meager, self-directed responses. We naturally want to reorder our values and make tangible changes. We do this not out of duty or obligation, but out of love for Someone greater than ourselves.

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(059–61)

Ignatius’s worldview did not include an awareness of social sin. He did not identify the unjust structures of society as embodiments of sin nor did he think of sin in communal or relational terms. Ignatius’s understanding of sin would have been more individual and act-oriented. His own battles with scrupulosity taught him that obsessing with particular actions did not lead to peace or bring him closer to God. Ignatius is more concerned with the graces and desires of our hearts than with our individual sins. More important for him is the call to gratitude and freedom that focuses our hearts on God and God’s goodness. The more contemporary approach to sin can, however, further expand and enrich Ignatius’s sixteenth-century understanding of sin. Reflection on social sin is an essential adaptation of the Exercises in today’s context.

Putting on the Heart of Christ: How the Spiritual Exercises Invite Us to a Virtuous Life by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

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(059–61)

Within your growing awareness of sin, something profoundly personal and hopeful is at work. The fire of God’s love is inviting you insistently into the deep glow of peace and the radiant energy of salvation in Christ Jesus. Your own memory and willpower cannot produce this revelation. Without a lively sense of God’s love, this revelation of sin is not possible. In that situation the problem lies not with God but with your complacent sense of the Creator’s immediate, intimate love.

Stretched for Greater Glory: What to Expect from the Spiritual Exercises by George A. Aschenbrenner, SJ

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(059–61)

The loved sinner stands at the center of the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises. Although sin provides the focus, the First Week really dwells on love, God’s love, which is greater than human sin. This Week moves from awareness of and responsibility for sin to awareness of God’s gracious love, a love that forgives sin and welcomes the sinner.

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Marie Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(060)

At this point, St. Ignatius once again mentions the history of salvation and how it embraces all visible things, the saints and the angels—all from Christ and toward Christ. I stand somewhere in this salvation history as a sinner. And the bolt of divine justice and retaliation is still restrained. The world, as it were, holds its breath and waits.

Spiritual Exercises by Karl Rahner, SJ

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(061)

When, however we are pierced by sorrow because we have received the grace to see our own sinfulness against the horizon of the Infinity of God, something different happens. This is no longer an experience in which the powers of reason and will can be applied first to judge the consequences of our actions and then to resolve to amend them. Rather, it is a gift which alters from within—instantly, deeply, and wholly mysteriously. Above all, it is not an experience of agonizing remorse but rather one of unimaginable love.

A Generous Openness: Praying the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius by Charlotte C. Prather

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(061)

As we grow older . . . we must move towards forgiveness, towards letting go and accepting responsibility for our lives at the present moment. This means letting go of grudges and resentments that drag us back into the past and sap our enthusiasm for the present and future. Forgiveness and letting go free us from the endless repetition of past stories of injustice and hurt that we tell as if they were the events of yesterday.

. . . But perhaps the greatest and most difficult challenge of later life is to forgive ourselves. We are called upon to forgive our own failings and mistakes and sins, and to love ourselves as God loves us. Forgiving ourselves means letting go of our regrets, accepting our limitations, and coming to peace with the decisions and actions that we can no longer change. Forgiving ourselves is the final fruit of accepting God’s forgiveness, and the only path to peace.

“The Spiritual Exercises and a Spirituality for the Later Years” by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

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(061)

The later years are a time to acknowledge decisions made in the past—decisions that we cannot change, and that have set a direction for our lives. Many of them may well have been wise and loving, but some decisions we may now regret, and carry as a burden. They may have harmed others, or excluded possibilities for growth in our lives. We would choose differently now, but the choices we have made cannot be erased or denied. We must come to peace with these decisions, seek forgiveness when possible, and surrender them to God.

“The Spiritual Exercises and a Spirituality for the Later Years” by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

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(062)

The Ignatian prayer of repetition is to be understood in relation to two inseparable processes: the gradual assimilation of the given material, and the development of prayer towards the simple, receptive and personal quality of contemplation. Repetition does not mean making an exercise over again. Though in the repetition one might replay some detail, or even pick up on a point previously overlooked or not reached, repetition is essentially concerned not with the material given, but with one’s own significant responses to it, whether positive or negative. It is a selective and subjective prayer, spacious and unhurried, typified by the “pause,” by staying put where “I find what I want.”

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(063)

The first request should be directed to our Lady. We are with her in the communion of saints and of prayer—the Mystical Body of Christ. Mary has a very special place and function in this body. Prayer to Mary is a part of Christian piety. St. Ignatius is a witness to that here with his triple colloquy, in a simple but theologically relevant way.

Then we should say: “Soul of Christ, sanctify me . . . ,” turning to our Mediator, the Incarnate Word who affirms in Himself before God the present world-structure. He is the Lord, the Victor over the world. He has given to everyone who does not belong to the “world” the power to become a child of God.

Finally, I should direct myself to the Father Who has loved us so much that He sent His dearly beloved Son into the darkness, the emptiness, and the sin of this world.

He alone is the all-holy One, the Lord, the Judge, the absolute center, according to Whom everything else must pattern itself. In His deep, un-searchable designs, He must have mercy on us so that we can know Christ and learn to love Him in grace. When we have been caught up in His mercy, we no longer belong to the “world,” and the struggle with venial sin has become nothing but a valid following of Christ.

The Spiritual Exercises by Karl Rahner, SJ

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(063)

“Abhorrence”

Perhaps the only jarring note the modern reader will find in the text is the notion of “abhorrence,” used in each of the colloquies to designate the affective response for which the exercitant is required to pray. Since inevitably the word is liable to conjure up pictures of the more morbid aspects of religious conversion (such as self-loathing or the hatred of the world), it is important to be clear that it is sin and not self that is the object of abhorrence and that abhorrence for the sinfulness of the world must be understood in the light of Ignatius’s positive theology of creation.

“The First Week: Some Notes on the Text” by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(063)

“A knowledge of the world”

The concept “world” is very ambiguous. Here it means just what Scripture says of it: It is not an imaginary picture dreamed up by illusionary ascetics, but it is the world of scandals on which the Lord called down His terrible “woes”; the world of darkness into which the light came and was not received; the world which cannot receive the spirit of truth, which, according to St. Paul, has a wisdom all its own that is not our wisdom; the world which does not know Christ, which hates Him and His, but which has already been conquered by the Lord.

Spiritual Exercises by Karl Rahner, SJ

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(063)

A contemporary worldview can open up a deeper realization about the interdependence of all creation and foster the basic recognition that she is not god. This assent leads to a growing sense of truth about self and God in light of the “creation and fall.”

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Marie Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(063)

We may be willing to admit sin intellectually, but to experience it as part of who we are, at the core of our being, is another matter. To grasp it, to hold it in our hands, to bring it into the presence of another person, to expose it to the light of God in Christ requires a willingness to be naked, which is quite terrifying. Thus, like Adam and Eve, we take cover under the trees of denial and repression and persuade ourselves that to hide from the face of God is less painful than to experience our shame.

A Generous Openness: Praying the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius by Charlotte C. Prather

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(063)

Today, perhaps the best we can do immediately is resist, as Jesus did, in those few areas where we recognize injustice and can do something about it. We can also choose to become agents of change for organizations that try to address and improve certain obvious injustices. The challenge always is to turn a structure that is currently devolutionary into one that is evolutionary, one that is more fitting for the development of the Body of Christ.

The New Spiritual Exercises: In the Spirit of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin by Louis M. Savary

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(063)

It is well know that evil strategies, complicities and collusions operate within our thought-processes without our being fully aware of what is happening, or, rather, without our being willing to admit to it. We are in need of grace if we are to have our eyes open, grace operating amid the dis-grace that cannot, thanks to the subtle work of the evil spirit, be seen clearly for what it is.

Ignatius, as we know, wants people to move out from their self-love, their self-centred desires, their self-interest (Exx 189), and to work hard at overcoming themselves and setting their lives in order, to become free of disordered affections. The aim is that we become interiorly open to love and service in every dimension of our lives, constantly moving forward in ways befitting our vocation to become the likeness of God. But there is always the risk that our freedom will be trapped subtly by the evil spirit that cannot leave our desires and actions in peace, but is always disturbing us, impeding us, paralyzing us. We are thus always having to work at discernment—discernment which inevitably involves self-examination.

“The First Method of Prayer” by Luis Raul Cruz, SJ

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(065)

The subject of the final meditation is one which needs to be present to the consciousness of the free person, who is invited to choose life but is capable of choosing death.” But in the First Week of the Exercises the meditation on Hell is not for Ignatius the starting-point of conversion, but a confirmation. It comes after the exercitant has had the experience of God’s merciful love. Made in a climate of trust in that love, it is made too in the awareness that we are capable of refusing love. Though the petition is for the grace of fear, the meditation ends on a note of thanksgiving for God’s loving mercy, and implicit in the thanksgiving for the past is trust for the future, yet a trust which must never degenerate into presumption or complacency.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(065)

To suffer the dreadful absence of God is a genuine experience of the effects of sin, for the disorientation, unrest, and despair caused by sin is exactly the experience of having lost the center of our lives, that which gives us meaning, peace, and joy. To feel the sense of loss of God in prayer is a very precious experience, for in it we learn that we would rather suffer any other loss. To know, love, and delight in the Lord becomes something we begin to value more. This is grace.

A Generous Openness: Praying the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius by Charlotte C. Prather

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(065)

Imagine you are somewhere above Earth . . . looking down and seeing the network of sinful social structures keeping people from living full human lives and hindering the development of the Christ Project. You can see dominator people trying publicly to deny the harm these evil structures are doing to the human race and to nature itself. You can see others observing the destruction, yet doing nothing, or perhaps looking for someone to blame in order to absolve themselves. Still others, perhaps, feel helpless or too cowardly to say or do anything to make a difference. Others are resisting one specific social evil but without a true change of heart, and so end up, perhaps unwittingly, supporting different social evils: for example, some may condemn abortion, yet support the death penalty.

The New Spiritual Exercises: In the Spirit of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin by Louis M. Savary

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(065–71)

St. Paul speaks of our being able to grasp the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love and experiencing this love which surpasses all knowledge (Eph. 3:18–19). At its opposite pole, I try to experience the breadth and length and height and depth of hell—the despair of facing a cross with no one on it, the turning out upon a world which has no God, the total emptiness of living without purpose, an environment pervasive with hatred and self-seeking, a living death.

I bring the whole of my being into the vividness of this experience. I let all the horror of sin which has been the fruit of my previous prayer periods wash over me in an enveloping flood. In many ways, this setting is the most passive of prayer experiences; it is not a matter of thinking new thoughts or even of looking for new images, but rather entering fully into the felt experience of sin which has been building up from all my past prayer periods.

It is akin to the passive way that my senses take in sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and touches as an automatic datum for my attention. I know that the total felt-environment of sin, in whatever ways it can be most vividly mine, is the setting for this prayer period.

Colloquy: Once I have let the awfulness of this experience sink deep within me, I begin to talk to Christ our Lord about it. I talk to him about all the people who have lived—the many who lived before his coming and who deliberately closed in upon themselves and chose such a hell for all eternity, the many who walked with him in his own country and who rejected his call to love, the many who still keep rejecting the call to love and remain locked in their own chosen hell.

I give thanks to Jesus that he has not allowed me to fall into any of these groups, thus ending my life. All I can do is give thanks to him that up to this moment he has shown himself so loving and merciful to me.

Then I close with an Our Father.

Draw Me into Your Friendship by David L. Fleming, SJ

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(101)

“Contemplation”

Ignatius presents two ways of imagining in the Spiritual Exercises. The first way is demonstrated in a meditation on the mystery of the Incarnation in the second week of the exercises. He asks us to “enter into the vision of God.” God is looking down on our turbulent world. We imagine God’s concern for the world. We see God intervening by sending Jesus into the maelstrom of life. This type of imagining helps us see things from God’s perspective and take on God’s qualities of love, compassion, and understanding.

The second method of imagining is to place ourselves fully within a story from the Gospels. We become onlooker-participants and give full rein to our imagination. Jesus is speaking to a blind man at the side of the road. We feel the hot Mediterranean sun beating down. We smell the dust kicked up by the passersby. We feel the itchy clothing we’re wearing, the sweat rolling down our brow, a rumble of hunger. We see the desperation in the blind man’s face and hear the wail of hope in his words. We note the irritation of the disciples. Above all we watch Jesus—the way he walks, his gestures, the look in his eyes, the expression on his face. We hear him speak the words that are recorded in the Gospel. We go on to imagine other words he might have spoken and other deeds he might have done.

What Is Ignatian Spirituality? by David A. Fleming, SJ

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(101–134)

The Exercises do not merely confront the retreatant with the saving truths of the gospel. They light up and evoke and make explicit what the retreatant already in some dim way knows and lives, something repressed perhaps that underlies all ordinary experiences. Every human being is now Christ-oriented in the very depths of his or her being, whether this is realized or not. What the contemplations of the Spiritual Exercises do is to make the retreatant more and more aware of this Christ-orientation in life. If this Christ-orientation were not an already present reality in the life of the person, contemplating the mysteries of Christ’s life would have no power to affect, transform or bring about an identification with Christ. As it is, the retreatant begins to experience God, the world, other people, and the self in the way that Christ experienced all these.

“The Dynamic of the Second Week” by William Broderick, SJ

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(101–134)

The Infancy Contemplations introduce a number of basic themes.

First, the opening contemplation establishes the Trinitarian context crucial to understanding everything that follows. Christ’s mission is the work of the Trinity. It proceeds from and expresses the love of the Trinitarian God for the world and the unconditional commitment of the Divine Persons to the world’s redemption.

Second, within this Trinitarian context attention is centered on an implication of the Incarnation—childhood—which needs to become personally real for the exercitant if he or she is to appreciate the Incarnation for what it is. That the Word became human means that the Word became a child. The exercitant who does not encounter the human reality of Jesus’ childhood lacks something essential to their knowledge and love of “the Lord made human for me” [104]. Thus in these first days of the Second Week, the Trinitarian prayer of the exercitant takes the form of contemplating, with the complete realism characteristic of the imaginative method, the historical childhood of Jesus.

Third, the contemplation of the child and his entourage is permeated by the idea of fidelity to God’s word and will. From the moment of his conception, Jesus exists wholly for the mission given by the Trinity [104]; in the Temple incident he responds consciously and explicitly to the Father’s overriding claims [134, 272]; at Nazareth he is subject to his parents [134, 27l]; Mary’s “Fiat” exemplifies supremely the grace of “prompt and diligent response to God’s call”[ 262 (cf. 91)]. The Flight into Egypt is an act of obedience, and obedience is a detectable note in the Presentation.

Fourth, Ignatius proposes the Infancy Contemplations in a way that accentuates the themes of poverty and humiliation introduced in the Kingdom Exercise and presented now not as abstractions, but as embodied in the persons of Jesus and his parents, and in their hard and precarious circumstances. In these circumstances the exercitant is invited to see the first steps of a descending journey of love which begins in the heart of the Trinity and will conclude on the Cross (cf. [116]).

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(102)

Let the exercitant take note: I belong to this world; it is my framework of existence; I am buried in its confusing multiplicity and in its apparently inescapable problematic. In my own constantly changing situation . . . I am experiencing just a small portion of the problem of existence of all mankind. By being involved in the ups and downs of international life, of my own country and culture, and by trying to take an active part in these things, I really become more interiorly aware of myself and acquire more control over myself. God wanted to enter into this world where apparently everything is mixed up, where each thing only seems to appear so that it can fall back again into black chaos, where there is so much pride and baseness, where the heroism that does occur is so surrounded with banality that it usually remains at best doubtful, where everything seems to be locked eternally within itself, where there are very few ears to listen to the transcendent God. God Himself wanted to participate in this world.

Spiritual Exercises by Karl Rahner, SJ

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(106)

“draw profit”

With variants this expression will recur frequently in the Second and Third Weeks, and it also appears in the Contemplation to Attain Love. The words are to be understood in the context of contemplation. In this context reflection is the reflective process that opens the word of God to personal discovery. The word “profit” refers to the initiative of God in acting in the exercitant: giving light or insight or “the intimate feeling and relish of things” granting especially requested graces, and here the grace of a deepening knowledge and love of Christ [104]. But profit may also be the perception of some particular life-response called forth by the Gospel; and in many cases, the profit sought in contemplation will take the form especially of clarification regarding the discernment of God’s will in the exercitant’s election. On the side of the exercitant drawing profit consists in appropriation of God’s action in oneself, letting oneself, through contemplation, be touched, enlightened, changed.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(106–107)

In the contemplation on the Incarnation our concern is not simply with the fact in faith. Ignatius’s narration of the history reveals that his chief concern is with the how and why details which personalize the Trinity’s decision, in the face of our human blindness and sinfulness, to “work the redemption of the human race” (Exx 107). All the following contemplations in the Exercises spring from and reveal further this one, radical—this paschal decision in the heart of the Trinity.

“Becoming Whom We Contemplate” by by George Aschenbrenner, SJ

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(121–126)

Application of Senses

A different kind of repetition—application of the five senses. In our contemplations thus far, we have been imagining the Gospel scenes, immersing ourselves in the details of Jesus’ life. Here, Ignatius invites us to deepen our prayer. We become less active: we are more about being than doing. We do less thinking than in our meditations and less imagining than in our contemplations. We become more still, savoring the graces and resting in the presence of God. You may quietly review with Jesus your prayer over several days, or rest in one particular scene or conversation that meant something to you in your prayer.

We let go. We let the story of Jesus become a part of us. In the same way that our bodily senses take in the data of daily life, we let the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings of our contemplations wash over us, and we allow whatever insights, images, desires, or emotions that remain to take root in us.

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(121–126)

Application of Senses

The exercise which culminates the contemplative day is characterized by a concentrated sense-presence with a minimum of discursive thinking. The sensing is bodily/imaginative and its immediate object is the physical realities of persons and things. But these are perceived not only as objects of the imaginative bodily senses, but as containing the mystery of the divine as touched by grace [124], as invested with faith-meanings already discovered in prayer (cf. [2]); and to this level one is present by an inner sensing of the mind and heart which comes about in and through the immediate imaginative sensing. It need hardly be added that the personal quality of the exercitant’s prayer at this stage will depend primarily not on following a prayer method, but on his or her overall dispositions and the action of the Holy Spirit.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(135)

The typical but not the only “election” an exercitant might have made in Ignatius’s time was concerned with the two classic “ways” of Christian life: the “way of perfection,” virtually corresponding to canonical religious life, and ordinary Christian life, known as the “way of the commandments.” With regard to this distinction, the point to be noticed here is Ignatius’s insistence that since each way is modeled by Christ himself, either might prove to be God’s will for the exercitant, and hence the way in which he or she is to seek personal perfection (or holiness).

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(136)

“Deadly Enemy of our Human Nature”

Although we tend to put humanity and divinity in separate categories, Jesus shows us that they are one. Remember one of the central insights of the Second Week: the path to divinity is through our humanity, not around it. In the Meditation on Two Standards, Ignatius refers to Satan as the “enemy of our human nature.” The enemy wants to dehumanize and devalue us. In contrast, Jesus empowers us to embrace our humanity in all of its beautiful complexity. The more we express our humanity in loving, healing, forgiving, serving, and rejoicing, the more our divinity or holiness is revealed.

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(136–148)

This image has a pre-historical origin. It is constantly used in Scripture and tradition (for example, Jerusalem-Babylon; the City of God and the City of Satan). But while tradition, at least since the time of St. Augustine, draws a clear line between the fronts of the two kingdoms—the Church here and the kingdom of Satan over there—Ignatius emphasizes the mutual penetration of both kingdoms. According to St. Ignatius, there are no static front lines between the two, but only swift emissaries who are sent to all parts of the globe. The meaning here is not that the Church is on one side and all those who are not visibly in the Church are on the other side. The kingdoms of Christ and Satan as described by St. Ignatius both embrace the whole world. Lucifer also expands his power inside the Church, for there we find pride, greed for wealth, and power. The Church is also the Church of sinners and not just the Church of saints! On the other hand, God seeks to win over men who do not yet belong to the community of the Church in a visible way, as it were officially, through the reception of baptism. . . . [T]he banner of Christ cannot be simply identified with the Church, nor can the banner of Satan be simply identified with the world outside of the Church.

Spiritual Exercises by Karl Rahner, SJ

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(136–148)

[T]he vision is dominated by a reality that profoundly affected Ignatius’ outlook: the reality of spiritual powers in radical opposition, yet present and at work throughout the world. However, here these are presented not in their obvious ways of working, but in their subtleties. Thus the power of evil is shown as operating plausibly yet destructively, through the appeal of objectively legitimate riches and honors. And life in Christ is not just a morally correct life, but one that values the paradoxes of spiritual and actual poverty. The horizon (again as in the Kingdom Exercise) is that of the world: the minions of evil and the missionaries of Christ build respectively the worlds of Babylon and Jerusalem. But the emphasis is on the negative and positive individual qualities that place a person in one camp or the other, and on the desire, that lead to these. These qualities are on the one side pride, to which the Evil One leads us through cupidity, and on the other humility, to which Christ leads us through the desire to follow in ways other than those of instinct and convention.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(136–148)

The goal of the exercise—the graced attraction of the exercitant to Christ and his way as being best—must be kept clearly in mind. Brilliant analyses of how the contemporary world, secular and ecclesiastical, is being duped by satanic illusions may simply lead the exercitant into “head-tripping.” The Exercises are all about desires: the desires of God to liberate us by drawing us to his Son, and the ambiguous desires in our hearts both for God and for what the world holds as important. The exercitant needs to acknowledge the deceptive attractiveness of the latter, and be encouraged to pray intensely that his/her graced desire for God be strengthened, so that the desires come more and more into harmony with God’s desires.

“Presenting the Two Standards” by Brian Grogan, SJ

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(136–148)

Behind this meditation is a practical theory of vice and virtue. Good and evil aren’t abstractions. They show themselves in concrete actions in the real world. Note a couple of significant details in the meditation. First, the contest between Christ and Satan takes place in this world, not in some spiritual realm. As far as we’re concerned, the power of evil is centered on earth, not in hell, and God’s kingdom is in this world, not in heaven. Note also that both Christ and Satan work through agents. Satan sends out demons; Christ works through apostles, disciples, and other emissaries. Another detail: no part of the earth is left out. “No province, no place, no state of life, no individual is overlooked.” You don’t get a pass if you’re a priest or nun, come from a religious family, or live in a nation with a strong Christian culture. Everybody’s in this battle and must choose a side.

Even more interesting is Ignatius’s idea of how virtue and vice develop. One thing leads to another. You slide down the slope to vice or you ascend the heights to virtue. . . . It’s a progression: “From these three steps the evil one leads to all the other vices.”

Christ also starts with riches, but he goes in the other direction . . . first poverty, then obscurity, finally humility. “From these three steps, let them lead men to all the other virtues,” Ignatius says.

God Finds Us by Jim Manney

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(142)

The problem with Lucifer’s program is that riches, honor, and pride subtly lead us away from the truth that everything is a gift from God. These values delude us about the true nature of things. They focus our attention on ourselves rather than God. We come to think that the wealth we have acquired—whatever we identify as our “riches”—is our accomplishment. The honor we receive is the well-deserved acknowledgment of our importance or our accomplishments. Ultimately, the governing value is pride. We come to believe that we are in charge, that the almighty self takes pride of place.

What Is Ignatian Spirituality? by David A. Fleming, SJ

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(142)

“covet”

The strategy is not concerned with the possession of wealth in itself, or even with every kind of desire to gain or keep a possession (such a desire can be given by God). The desire described here is covetous desire or “cupidity,” the craving for wealth when we lack it, and the possessive clinging to it when we have it; it is the attitude that regards whatever we want as ours by right, the attitude of persons who “put their trust in riches.”

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(142)

“riches/honor”

Taken literally the words refer to material possessions, and social and ecclesiastical status, but while this literal sense has relevance for every one in every age (and crucial implications for our own age), the terms also admit of wider application. In the wider sense, riches and honor can be anything at all that meets the inherent human need for identity, security, esteem, love. The particular significance we attach to the things, situations or relationships that for us meet these needs, the quality of our desire for these, our criteria for seeking or accepting them—all this raises the basic issue of the kind of persons we are and want to be in relation to God and others.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(142)

“pride”

A stance in relation to God, consisting in the refusal to give praise and reverence, and hence a tendency, in however subtle away, to try to establish oneself as absolute. When understood thus, pride is clearly linked with cupidity: pride needs the things that build and affirm the self, and needing them for self-absolutization has to detach them from the praise, reverence and service of God. Once so detached, they will be easily captured by the isolated (or “proud”) me.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(146)

The values of Jesus lead us back to the fundamental truth that everything is a gift from God. The value of poverty reminds us that we have nothing in ourselves but only as a gift from God. Embracing powerlessness acknowledges that God is our strength. Humility is the expression of the reality of the self before God. It recognizes that we are first and foremost sons and daughters of God, children who call him Father. The perfect embodiment of these values is Jesus himself. The Father exalted the Son because the Son emptied himself in perfect humility by becoming incarnate (a human being). That is why we, in our following of Christ, strive to live by the values of poverty, powerlessness, and humility.

What Is Ignatian Spirituality? by David A. Fleming, SJ

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(146)

“Spiritual poverty”

Poverty here means the ability to leave things—a certain abandonment to trust in God. First of all, naturally, Ignatius is speaking of actual poverty. Something like insults and contempt is the natural result of detachment from worldly possessions (we are not just speaking of material goods, but also of spiritual values such as a career, a reputation, and so forth), even if it is not always expressed in the form of open ridicule. The person whose whole life is truly centered in God and who does not give himself completely to the things of this world, is, in the eyes of the world, stupid, backward, cowardly, and useless. The man who stays his distance from worldly goods and does not attach himself perfectly to them in the battleground of this world is always at a disadvantage to those who identify themselves completely with the weapons of this world. Certainly good people and pious people are often more stupid than they should be; they are often less adroit and less competent than they should be. But a universally valid and necessary characteristic of the following of Christ is that those who take their Christianity seriously cannot be first in the race for worldly possessions.

Spiritual Exercises by Karl Rahner, SJ

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(146)

“Actual poverty”

Like wealth and honor these terms are to be understood in an extended as well as in a literal sense. Here they should be taken as denoting the general characteristics of a way of life antithetical to the pursuit of wealth and status, the way of life lived out and commended by Jesus, and modeled in many different ways by his followers. Note however that actual poverty and humiliation are desired conditionally (should He deign to choose them for it).

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(146)

“insults or contempt as opposed to the honor of this world”

[Ignatius writing to Isabel Roser, 1532] [Y]ou speak of the enmities, the intrigues, the untruths which have been circulated about you. I am not at all surprised at this, not even if it were worse than it is. For just as soon as you determined to bend every effort to secure the praise, honor and service of God our Lord, you declared war against the world, and raised your standard in its face, and got ready to reject what is lofty by embracing what is lowly, to accept indifferently honor and dishonor, riches and poverty, affection and hatred, welcome and repulse, in a word, the glory of the world or all the wrongs it could inflict on you.

If we wish absolutely to live in honor and to be held in esteem by our neighbors, we can never be solidly rooted in God our Lord, and it will be impossible for us to remain unscathed when we meet with affronts.

Letters of St. Ignatius of Loyola by edited by William J. Young, SJ

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(149–157)

The Three Classes meditation invites us to examine our desires and attachments. More than any other exercise so far, it gets at what Ignatius said was the purpose of the Spiritual Exercises: “making ourselves ready to get rid of disordered affections.” In the Three Classes exercise, we take a close look at what this really means.

The Three Classes exercise is a thought-experiment. It puts people in an extreme situation and looks at how they would respond. Ignatius isn’t moralizing, saying what we should do, or labeling some behaviors good and others bad. Everyone in the exercise is trying to do the right thing. Think of them as people who’ve read the meditation on the Two Standards and taken to heart the message that riches can lead to ruin.

 . . . Let’s be clear: The problem isn’t the fortune; it’s your attraction to the fortune. The exercise doesn’t assume that God wants you to give the thing up. It may well be that God wants you to have it. The issue is your freedom to make a decision. The attitude we strive for is complete openness to whatever God wants. The attraction may not go away.

In fact, we should assume that it won’t. All our lives we will have many likes and dislikes, strong reactions to the things people do and don’t do, passionate attraction to some possibilities and sharp revulsion to others. The challenge is to find a way to stand aside from these passions when important decisions are at hand so that we can hear God tell us what he wants.

God Finds Us by Jim Manney

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(154)

Let us watch the response of the second class of men. They, too, are weighed down by their attachment to the sum of money; they would like to be rid of this feeling of attachment but they want to hold on to the money. They compromise; they try to manipulate God into fitting into their plans (which includes retaining the money); they are trying to “subject and fit the end to the means” rather than “the means to the end” (169). These people have a particular attachment which they are unwilling to release. Whatever is the object of this inordinate attachment has become for them an idol, a god of their own making. They have lost sight of the God who is beyond themselves and his purpose in creating them. They are unwilling to confront that most painful law of human existence, that every choice I make necessarily involves some exclusion. Man is a being of infinite desire who resents limitation inherent in every choice. Unlike the first group, these people do make decisions, they do things; but all the time they are trying to bend God’s will to fit their own designs. It is not surprising that they, too, fail to find God; instead they find only themselves and their own will.

“To Find God in Peace” by by Laurence J. Murphy, SJ

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(155)

Note where the third person begins: she is not sure whether or not God is asking her to give up the possession; she simply desires to be free to do what God wants her to do. So she begins by asking God what she should do. She is open to how God directs her through her prayer, her experience, her reasoning through different options, her discernment of consolations and desolations, and the wise counsel of others.

The truly free person checks her motivations, which are often mixed. She tries to choose from a desire to better serve God and others. The third person may feel some attachment to the possession and does not mind waiting to make a decision. But she does not procrastinate. She does make a timely decision (acknowledging that we rarely reach complete indifference).

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(155)

The third class seeks to love God in the way that He wants to be loved. The men of this class do not prefer to keep or to give up those things that are to be integrated into their lives. Certainly, this form of the love of God is most difficult, and it requires great effort to put it in practice. Those in this group want Him to have the complete disposition of themselves. Because this is what the man of the third class wants, he first of all struggles against his own inner attachment to things in the spirit of the Kingdom of Christ and the Two Standards. Then he begs God actually to take these things away from him so that he can be ruled by God alone and His love. From this angle, the possibility of giving something up does not seem so terrifying. God alone is the source of all movement; now the Kingdom of God is really close, is contained either in giving up or in keeping, in life and in death. Now a man has really become a child who does not die of fright when God approaches either in the one garment or the other.

Spiritual Exercises by Karl Rahner, SJ

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(157)

The note added to this exercise by St. Ignatius is central to his spirituality. He is teaching us how to cope with our feelings of attachment opposed to actual poverty, or what to do when we discover that we are not indifferent as we know we need to be. What he advises us to do here is the Ignatian pedagogical technique of agere contra—“acting against their sensuality and carnal and worldly love” (97). Correctly understood in the Ignatian schema of discernment, with the help of a spiritual director, the agere contra is intended to restore and maintain the necessary balance between sensuality, affectivity and reason.

“To Find God in Peace” by Laurence J. Murphy, SJ

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(157)

“attachment”

As the relevance of the three stories is borne in on them, the exercitant may become acutely aware of attachments to his or her own riches and to the fact that indifference in regard to these does not come easily. The present note is addressed to people in this situation. To avoid misunderstanding it must be stressed that the recommended response cannot be engineered by will power, but comes about through the Spirit (and in the Spirit’s time) and from a motivation of love and trust.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(165)

Ignatius gives a positive definition, “fidelity to the law of God,” backed up by a negative definition, “not for anything would I deliberately commit mortal sin.” The first is plainly wider than the second, but the negative definition, making explicit the concrete implications of fidelity to the law of God, is a criterion enabling us to judge our real sincerity. The first mode of humility, if sincere, is not something to be disparaged, but consisting as it does in fidelity to obligations, it is not by itself an adequate attitude in which to make an election, because election is the search for the “better for me” in a situation where obligations do not apply.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(165–168)

St. Ignatius is concerned here with the three degrees of the love of God, but he uses the word “love” only sparingly, and generally speaks of “humility”—the generous service of God. He feels that the essence of love does not consist of words, but of service and deeds.

It should be mentioned right in the beginning that the kinds of humility under consideration are of a positive nature. They cannot be distinguished clearly from one another. They are rather three sides of the one Christian approach to the service of God. Therefore, it is better to speak of three degrees of humility rather than three kinds or types.

Spiritual Exercises by Karl Rahner, SJ

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(165–168)

Obviously we have more than three choices about how closely we want to identify with Jesus. There is a continuum of humility. Between the minimum and the maximum are many degrees of acceptance of a life being modeled on the life of the poor Jesus. We move along the spectrum in successive stages. Every day we are presented with new opportunities to grow closer to Jesus, or to draw away from him.

Ignatius wants us to know that we have a choice. The meditation on the three kinds of humility reminds us of what the choice is. Jesus had nothing of his own. He has no words except the words that the Father gives him to speak. He does no deeds on his own. He does only what his Father would have him do. He is the one who has been “sent.” As he says to Philip, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”

Perfect humility would have us be able to say the same things about ourselves. We would be poor as Jesus is poor. We have nothing of our own, only what God gives us. We want to speak Jesus’ words and do Jesus’ deeds. Our whole identity would be summed up in the phrase “son or daughter of God.”

Paradoxically, then, we are truly rich, rich with an identity that only God can give and no one can take from us.

What Is Ignatian Spirituality? by David A. Fleming, SJ

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(165–168)

The Three Kinds of Humility exercise asks, “What are your non-negotiables?” You say your deepest desire is to choose what brings you closer to God, but what limits do you place on how that will happen? Perhaps you see yourself as a leader, giving direction and setting the pace, or perhaps you see yourself as a follower, serving humbly on a team. Maybe you need to accomplish something noteworthy. Perhaps financial security comes first. Perhaps it’s a certain style of service—a desk job, hands-on work, the life of the mind. The exercise asks you to look honestly at these deeply-held ideas of the kind of person you are and what you need to have.

by Jim Manney

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(166)

The essential difference between this and the first kind of humility consists not in the rejection of venial as well as mortal sin, but in the total readiness to carry out the perceived desires of God even in matters where no (objective) obligation obtains.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(167)

In this third way of loving, we pray for the desire to experience in our life what Jesus experienced in his. We do not seek poverty, contempt, or foolishness for its own sake but to become more united with Jesus Christ, whom we love. Out of love, we desire so much to be with Christ and to live according to his values (his “standard”) that we accept whatever comes with our commitment. We become indifferent to results as the world judges them. The third kind of humility reminds us how countercultural the gospel can be. Loving in any of these ways—but especially in the third, wholeheartedly—is a gift from God.

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(167)

The third kind of humility is distinguished from the second by positive preference: I want and choose. Moreover, preference is not only for poverty and contempt but for being reputed worthless and a fool, rather than wise and prudent in this world. The third kind of humility is the disposition of the person for whom it is more desirable to lack, rather than to possess, riches and worldly honor; and to be accounted by the world as foolish and of little worth rather than as wise and prudent.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(167)

The Third Kind does not imply the distorted belief that the harder thing is the better thing. Nor does it glorify self-victimization which encourages one to place on oneself, through many and varied justifications, the contempt and non-acceptance of others. Ignatius’ assumption behind the Third Kind is expressed in this desire of the heart: I experience such love that I want to be with my lover in all the aspects of my experience; if he/she is poor, then I want to be poor; if he/she is insulted, then I want to be insulted! It is the language of love and it flows from the rationale of the heart. 

“Three Key Exercises and the Decision-Making Dynamic” by John Veltri, SJ

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(167)

We make choices throughout our lives that make us confront the divisions within ourselves. Needing money for very legitimate life purposes always means that we will experience tension, for it is always possible to want more money than we actually need. Do we choose to take a vacation or to help the starving poor in Sudan? Do we choose to buy new clothes or donate to the Red Cross? Do we buy a great cappuccino or give our spare change to a homeless person? The point is that money and power always face us with conflicts. There are two extremes: the first is to avoid them altogether by taking a radical approach to humility and never enjoying money or power. The second is to ignore the conflict and simply enjoy money and power all the time, like the first type of person, the postponer. Most of us are caught in the middle—we experience the tension. But experiencing this tension, wrestling with it constantly, is attending to God’s will. The tension itself is good; it is a sign that we care about what God is calling us to do.

The Ignatian Workout: Daily Spiritual Exercises for a Healthy Faith by Tim Muldoon

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(168)

We can gather from the words of St. Ignatius that the third degree is dependent on certain conditions, and therefore cannot be put into practice at all times and in all places. All of us cannot indulge in the folly of Christianity in the way that many saints of the past have done. We may not deliberately make a fool out of ourselves in the eyes of the world for the sake of Christ. No one can act in this way without being called to it. Conduct of this kind always demands the corresponding interior growth and disposition—the necessary external circumstances are not enough. Obviously, we should not look down on such extreme forms of the following of Christ as we find in the lives of certain people, for example in a Matt Talbot. But we should never forget that these things can only be done discreetly—no matter how odd they may seem.

Spiritual Exercises by Karl Rahner, SJ

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(169)

Making an election, as with discernment of spirits, is more an art than a science. It takes practice. Choosing between two or more good options is difficult. Ignatius’s rules for discernment and the methods of election can help us make decisions that lead to greater faith, hope, and love. In a culture that often runs from commitment and puts off decisions, we pray for wisdom, prudence, and courage in making choices. Although it is wise to take time to make a good decision, we should not delay decisions so much that we miss opportunities for growth. God will be with us, whatever course we take.

In the end, we make a decision in hope. If we made a good discernment and receive confirmation, then we can trust that this is the way that God asks us to use our freedom here and now. Something may happen in the future that requires us to make another discernment, but such events should not undermine our confidence in the initial discernment.

Once a choice is made, there are no guarantees that we will be successful (as the cross teaches us) or actually be able to do what we want (Ignatius was convinced that he was to spend his life in the Holy Land, but on his first try he was ordered to leave, and later, with his companions, he was not able to find safe passage there). We do our best to follow God’s lead, and then we trust that God is with us in our decision making and will lead us where we need to go, even if by a circuitous route.

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(169)

There are two basic exaggerations in the way with which people make their decisions. Some people put closure on the decision-making process too quickly; others keep avoiding to place closure on the decision-making. The first group is made up of “closure artists” who appear to enjoy the making of decisions. They make decisions quickly. They easily come to closure on what-should-I-do or what-needs-to-be-done questions. However, they are inordinately eager to cut off the considerations of some variables. After all, too many variables would make their decision-making more difficult and their lives too ambiguous! The second group is made up of “avoiders” who appear to avoid conscious decision-making until the circumstances force them to act. They often fear the burden of responsibility for mistakes because they do not want to face the fact that, as humans, we are never cognizant of all the variables.

People who are affected by these exaggerations need to appreciate several truths in human decision-making:

1. Our decisions always rest on partial understanding. Only God is in touch with the whole of God’s self and all the possibilities of any situation. As humans, our knowledge is never complete because we live our lives through units of time.

2. Decision-making is always limited by time and space. Mistaken decisions are inevitable. It is better to take a risk of being mistaken than it is to give up our right to decide.

3. God adapts God’s saving and redeeming work to the vagaries of human choices.

4. Not to make a decision is a decision.

5. We live our lives between two unknowns, the unknown of self and the unknown of God. Yet we are invited to make responsible choices, all the variables behind which we can never know.

“Decision-Making and the Five Steps” by John Veltri, SJ

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(169)

One of the themes of the Spiritual Exercises consists in a distinctive and systematically worked-out doctrine on the subject of decision-making. Basic to it is a concept of decision as relational. That is to say, a decision is seen as answering not just the question: “What is the right thing to do?” but the question, “What course is more pleasing to God?” and it is made not through our own resources alone, but through the working together of Creator and creature. Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(172)

“With regard to an unchangeable choice . . .”

Perhaps I was reasonably balanced emotionally and I freely chose—but I just chose badly. Marrying someone for money is a bad motive for marrying. Freely accepting ordination to please a parent is a bad reason for be­coming a priest. Are the Ignatian Exercises a good context to review those decisions and decide whether to withdraw the original permanent commitment? Probably not, judging from experience. Those who begin the Exercises determined to decide whether to honor a permanent commitment that they made validly but badly seem almost without exception to withdraw the commitment.

Rather when I find I have made a permanent commitment for poor motives, I would do well to proceed this way. Going against my culture (which feels terror when faced with permanent commitments), I recommit myself, hoping to grow into better motives. I show my sorrow and repentance to the Lord for having made a permanent commitment for a poor reason. I plan ways to make amends to God and to others to whom I may owe them. And then I set myself to live out my permanent commitment. Since I am aware that I have chosen on my own when I was unbalanced and prejudiced, I know that I will have to live close to God.

Finding Christ in the World by Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ

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(175)

In connection with this definition certain points should be noted. First, there is no explicit mention of consolation. Second, the fact that the genuine First Time experience leaves no room for doubt does not mean that every experience which does not contain doubt is inspired by God; and hence the third characteristic does not rule out the need for reflection on one’s experience, or for discernment on the part of the director. Nor does the fourth characteristic imply that the experience is necessarily of the dramatic quality of the Damascus road. But if the definition is vulnerable to interpretations beyond its strict content, and if the content itself leaves unanswered questions, the definition nevertheless makes clear the essential quality of the First Time and its distinctiveness in relation to the other times: it is a situation in which the evidence consists in being shown, decisively and unambiguously, the course to follow, and the response is one of simple assent. 

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(176)

Most of the time we are conflicted when faced with an important choice. One alternative seems attractive, but then we have doubts about it, and another alternative seems better. Misgivings creep in, and we decide that the first choice was better after all. But we’re not sure. We are pulled back and forth.

Ignatius thought that this movement back and forth between consolation and desolation was the usual condition in the heart of a person trying to make a significant decision. When the matter is an important one, it stands to reason that the struggle in our conflicted hearts would intensify. The good spirit and the evil spirit are active, and their work shows up in the unrest deep in our hearts. This is normal. In fact, Ignatius told spiritual directors to worry only when nothing seems to be going on in the heart of someone facing an important decision.

Usually something is going on. This is where the rules for discernment come into play.

What’s Your Decision? by J. Michael Sparough, SJ, Jim Manney, and Tim Hipskind, SJ

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(176)

The Second Time is a process not a single event. Ultimately the decision is made on the criterion of tested consolation, but the process can be a difficult and stressful one.

Ignatius’ concern at this point is to define the Second Time rather than give advice about it. But elsewhere he has plenty to offer the director in the way of principles and practical suggestions. The Autograph Directory suggests two procedures: to note in prayer the respective attractions which arise out of consolation and desolation; and to offer alternative possible decisions, “noting in which direction God our Lord gives a greater indication of his divine will.” In the Exercises themselves the director’s primary resource is of course the Rules for Discernment, but he or she should also keep in mind Annotation 16 and the cautionary advice contained in Annotation 14.

It must be noted however that the essence of the Second Time is discernment and that discernment can never be reduced to the application of guidelines or methods. And to guide another person in a Second-Time discernment requires on the part of directors themselves a discernment grounded in experience, empathy, and wisdom.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(177)

In the Third Time the evidence consists not in feelings, but in the stronger rational case; and the movement and enlightenment, which in the Second Time enter consciousness, are now not conscious or hardly so. The process is not totally rational in the sense that every rational person would see the case in the same way; we are still concerned with finding the best way for an individual, and there is a personal intuitive element in one’s very assessment of the more reasonable case. Nevertheless the criterion is not movement of the spirit, but reason. The Third Time establishes a basic principle: our rational faculties, converted and graced, are capable by themselves of finding God’s will, and that to do this it is not absolutely necessary to experience movements of the Spirit.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(181)

“to consider and reason over [weigh the matter]”

Many factors may be taken into account at this time, including the very down-to-earth ones, and an honesty in looking at all relevant considerations is crucial to the process, especially when the decision­making methods of the Exercises are applied to the often complicated decisions of daily life. But whatever considerations come into play, the criterion by which to assess an advantage or disadvantage is solely for the praise of God our Lord and the good of my soul

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(183)

“accept and confirm”

We pray for confirmation in order to be as sure of doing God’s will as it is given us to be; and to counter the tendency in us to opt for hasty closure.

We are not told here what confirmation might mean. It is often taken to refer to an experience of consolation, and many commentators understand confirmation in this sense. Indeed such confirmation is probably frequent, and at all events it would always seem good to ask for it. Confirming consolation is not, however, necessary for the validity of the Third Time method. If misunderstood, Ignatius’ insistence on confirmation could play into a person’s need for security, or into tendencies to lay down terms to God. We must ask for confirmation, but we must be content with the confirmation given us, and this may in the end be simply the negative confirmation that nothing comes up to call our decision into question.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(184–188)

The second way in the Third Time is not a method of obtaining evidence of God’s will, but rather a way of testing the quality of a felt inclination that moves us to a particular choice. . . . [T]he method envisages a situation in which either in the course of the deliberation or as a result of it, the exercitant has moved beyond indifference and feels himself drawn to one of the alternatives of choice, but without being sure whether the motive is the love of God or a rationalization of hidden “sensuality.” The Second Way (or method), if applied with strict honesty, enables the person either to sense that the love that moves one is indeed “from above,” or sensing that it is not, to regain the objectivity necessary for a consideration of advantages and disadvantages for the service of God.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(190)

“from Bethany to Jerusalem”

The formula from/to employed throughout the Third Week in the titles of the contemplations, accentuates the concept of the Passion as a journey, an extended way of the Cross which the exercitant is to walk step by step with Christ.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(190–208)

Contemplation on the passion of Jesus challenges us to insert ourselves into the salvific plan of Jesus. We are called to be personally integrated into the Paschal Mystery and to accept a more conscious participation in the building up of God’s Kingdom. To enter into the dying of Jesus, we must give up attachments that divide our hearts. We must let go of egoism and individualism, of prejudices and biases, and of insensitivity to the suffering of the world around us. We begin to understand the cross of Christ only when we participate in it in our everyday lives.

Putting on the Heart of Christ: How the Spiritual Exercises Invite Us to a Virtuous Life by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

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(190–208)

When making the Exercises of the third week, I often had to pray for the grace even to want to experience them. Although on a conscious level I felt committed to this process and did in fact desire a closer union with Christ, what went on at other levels amounted at time to mutiny. My body would either refuse to sit still or else it would fall soundly asleep. My mind wandered freely. At times my brain felt like a badly tuned radio which was receiving at least three channels at once.

A Generous Openness: Praying the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius by Charlotte C. Prather

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(190–208)

Our third week meditations also teach us how difficult acceptance is. When we cannot change a situation, we are tempted to walk away from it. We might literally walk away; we are too busy to sit with a suffering friend. Or we walk away emotionally; we harden ourselves and maintain an emotional distance. We might react to the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ passion and death this way. They describe something terrible and horribly painful, yet we might shield ourselves from the pain. We know the story of the Passion. Ignatius wants us to experience it as something fresh and immediate. We learn to suffer with Jesus, and thus learn to suffer with the people in our lives.

In the end, we learn that Ignatian compassion is essentially our loving presence. There is nothing we can do. There is little we can say. But we can be there.

What Is Ignatian Spirituality? by David L. Fleming, SJ

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(190–208)

In the Third Week, Christ is seen most clearly as a human being. He shares all our limitations, all our imperfections, “like his brothers and sisters in every respect” (Heb. 2:17), “tested as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). Jesus knows fear, perhaps deeper fear than we do, because he has actually protected us from the object of that fear. Moreover, strange as it may seem, we have experienced the Resurrection and Jesus had not. Jesus had not yet passed through death, but in baptism we have passed through it already.

Spiritual Freedom by John J. English, SJ

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(190–208)

The Third Week is also what Ignatius calls a time of confirmation. You made a decision in the Second Week about how you are going to follow Jesus. Now Ignatius invites you to take that decision before Christ on the cross, to stand before the crucified Christ and say, “This is my decision.” You stand at the foot of the cross and ask, “Can I be, am I going to be, a suffering servant the way Jesus is a suffering servant?”

Discovering Your Dream: How Ignatian Spirituality Can Guide Your Life by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ

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(190–208)

Women’s voices also emerge in the passion story. The maid of the high priest serves as a foil to Peter. Her probing questions demand a truthful answer and stand in sharp contrast to Peter’s denial. Pilate’s wife, a woman of power because of her husband, pays attention to the warning in her dream. Yet her warning, spoken on behalf of Jesus, was ignored. The daughters of Jerusalem, weeping and crying out, elicit attention for suffering women and children. The “voiceless” women in the passion narrative communicate eloquently by their faithful presence at the death and burial of Jesus. They remain nameless except for three: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and Salome. Luke also adds Joanna to the list of women present at the cross. The Fourth Gospel vividly portrays Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the beloved disciple standing beneath the cross, exemplifying discipleship as a relationship transcending bloodlines. Jesus’ words in death give life to a new community of mutuality and care, which finds its fulfillment in Pentecost.

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(193)

“compassion”

In the case of the Third Week, this more intimate and participatory grace is commonly designated by the word compassion (literally, “suffering with”). . . . Compassion consists in a certain spiritual empathy, such that the contemplation of the Passion is itself a passion for the one contemplating, a suffering which is ours but in and through which Christ makes us sharers in his own. It can exist only as a mode of intense love. It transforms one’s perception of every meaning of the Passion and the quality of every response to it, and it is the key to the contemplative union-in-action by which through his apostles Christ continues to labor and suffer in the mission of the Church in the world.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(194)

In the Third Week, the persons can profit the exercitant in two ways: they embody in various forms the response of compassion, or they reflect the potential in every human being to evade Jesus or to betray him. Thus consideration of the persons sharpens the sense of crisis engendered by contemplation of the Passion.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(197)

“what I myself ought to do and suffer”

To the “do for Christ” of the First Week is now added “suffer”; to act and suffer for Christ: both must be the disciple’s lifelong response to the Cross. By the Third Week, this response has acquired a certain specific content. “Doing and suffering” recall now Christ’s summons to his followers to labor with him and to share in the sufferings inseparable from his own conflict with the world’s opposition to the reign of God.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(197)

Jesus does not suffer or willingly undergo suffering merely for the sake of suffering. We have no example of Jesus during his life consciously and freely inflicting pain or suffering on himself as a form of prayer or devotion to God. Jesus did not approve of suffering for the sake of suffering.

Across the board, Jesus is not in favor of suffering, whether physical, mental, or emotional. Whenever he saw pain or suffering in those who came to him, he tried to heal it or relieve it, not prolong it or tell someone suffering was good for them. His healing miracles tell us that he relieved pain and suffering whenever possible. He relieved even the pangs of normal hunger in the feeding of the five thousand.

The New Spiritual Exercises: In the Spirit of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin by Louis M. Savary

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(203)

The focus is not on your suffering but on that of your beloved. A great emptiness of self and ego is required if this grace is to be effective. Such a grace is never easy, especially in our twenty-first-century American culture of self-absorption. As you prepare to ask for the grace suggested, you should appreciate, as much as you can, what it is you are asking of God. The consolation you seek comes from entering the suffering of Jesus. This ability to get out of your own suffering and to enter his teaches a very important lesson: to enter the suffering of other people you must get free of the all-absorbing clutches of your own.

Stretched for Greater Glory: What to Expect from the Spiritual Exercises by George Aschenbrenner, SJ

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(203)

The contemplations of the Third Week are quite different from the colloquy of the First Exercise of the First Week, where we are with Jesus on the cross. In that colloquy, those making the Exercises were sinners seeking sorrow and forgiveness for their sins. In the Third Week they seek to be sorrowful with Christ in sorrow. They hope to join Christ in saying yes to God and to complete “what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Col. 1:24).

Spiritual Freedom by John J. English, SJ

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(206)

“I shall make no attempt to evoke joyful thoughts”

The knowledge of the Resurrection, without which the Passion could not be contemplated in its Christian meaning, should not issue in thoughts or feelings that at this moment could soften the stark reality of the Cross. The exercitant will pray, certainly, to share in some way in Jesus’ own reaching out to the Father in hope and trust within his suffering. But he or she must not step out of the process of journeying towards Easter with the suffering Christ in order to contemplate the Passion in a mood of Easter joy.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(208)

To [meditate on our Lord’s death on the cross], all we really have to do is to repeat what the entire Exercises say about Christ crucified. The whole meditation can be summed up in the already-quoted words of St. Paul: “. . . the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18). We can take this thought or the one that closely follows it in the same letter: “. . . but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23–24), as the leitmotiv of our meditation. According to St. Paul, the true philosophy is the love of God’s wisdom which is offered to the world in Christ crucified. The cross of the Lord is and remains the fork in the road of world history.

Spiritual Exercises by Karl Rahner, SJ

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(208)

Finally, you must let him breathe his last and be gone. You must walk around in the hollowness of this loss. The Resurrection is no miraculous afterthought. It grows from a tree planted on Calvary. To see the light dawning on the horizon of a sky marked by three crosses gives intimations of victory, glory, peace. The Pietà’s image of a faithful mother treasuring in her grief the broken body of her son provides transition and gives birth to a hope, fragile and yet sturdy enough for victory.

Stretched for Greater Glory: What to Expect from the Spiritual Exercises by George Aschenbrenner, SJ

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(208)

To be present and attentive before the cross of Jesus is an experience of prayer which may yield its graces over some length of time. The truth which becomes visible in that place, about who the Lord is and about who I am, is water from a very deep well. One may return to drink from it again and again.

A Generous Openness: Praying the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius by Charlotte C. Prather

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(209)

The approaches to contemplating the Passion indicated in this Note differ in two ways in particular from the method and structure of the Second Week. First, repetitions are no longer an integral part of the contemplative day; one may wish now to follow the earlier pattern or one may not. Second, considerable value is set upon the contemplation of the Passion as a whole, an exercise to which there is no equivalent in the Second Week. Both features can be explained by the importance attached to the unity of the Passion, which makes the various episodes so many points of entry into the single mystery of the suffering and death of God in the humanity of Christ.

The note respects the variety of ways people may be led to pray the Passion in the Third Week, and for this reason the alternatives proposed here should not be thought of as closing off other possibilities.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(210–217)

[The] curious inclusion of these Rules in the Third Week is explained by the opening contemplation of Jesus at Supper [214]. In practice, whether and at what point they are to be given is left to the judgment of the director, who might also modify them in form. Their general purpose is clear: to set the uses of food and drink in relation to the overall objective of the Exercises (cf. [1] and [23]), and more specifically to the norms of the Foundation; and to promote a contemplative attitude towards the satisfaction of a readily abused appetite. Hence the Rules can and do speak to exercitants today not only about the uses of food, but about other appetites, too, and other socially accepted forms of body abuse.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(218–237)

In the Fourth Week we ask to share in the joy and peace of the risen Christ. This joy, like any grace we pray for, is a gift from God; we cannot earn or force it. We simply try to be open to receiving Easter joy by contemplating Christ as he shares the joy of the Resurrection with others.

 . . . We are not contemplating the actual resurrection event, which is a mystery, beyond time and space. Resurrection refers to the event of God’s transformation of life, making all things new, as in a new creation. Resurrection is a conquering of sin and death, once and for all. Instead of being distracted by the mechanics of the Resurrection or what a resurrected body looks like, we simply contemplate the risen Christ consoling others. We notice how his friends both recognize and fail to recognize the One they have followed and loved. We marvel at how Jesus in the resurrected life—where his divinity is no longer hidden—does very human things: eating, talking, consoling, teaching, and enjoying the company of others. As with the mystery of the Incarnation, we see in the Resurrection how our divinity and humanity are not opposed but are an integral part of each other.

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(218–237)

In its fullness, Fourth Week joy engages the whole person, penetrates everyday experience, enhances and is supported by the ordinary joys of life, but its authenticity must always be measured in terms of depth and strength rather than emotional exhilaration.  Even in the Exercises themselves it may function as it frequently does in daily life, as a leaven-like experience, subtly permeating a sorrow or heaviness which for the moment has to be borne. Yet if even in the Exercises, the uncomplicated plenitude of paschal joy may be slow to come, one prays for it with confidence, and does everything on one’s own side to dispose oneself to receive it.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(218–237)

Certain dispositions of contemporary women can raise obstacles to the liberating effect of the Fourth Week. Fear can paralyze women today, just as it did the women in Mark’s Gospel (16:8) who fled from the resurrection. Change in their relational world challenges women’s self-identity. Commitment can generate fear, for success and joy in one’s accomplishments demands a response. Becoming an active player in the resurrection drama of daily life promises further engagement with the unknown. Often women desire to cling to the familiar, but the grace of the Fourth Week asks women to move out into the unfamiliar role of witness and public mission. In discovering God at work in the world, women must embrace all aspects of it.

The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women by Katherine Dyckman, Mary Garvin, and Elizabeth Liebert

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(221)

“To be glad and to rejoice intensely” is the keynote of Ignatian grace. Gladness and joy seem easy graces because our hearts yearn so much for them. But the grace here is not easy because it involves a persistent emptying of self. The motive for joy here springs from a desire to be identified with the Beloved. Your gladness and joy are “because of the great glory and joy of Christ our Lord.” The spotlight is not on your joy and gladness but on his.

 . . . Contemplative faith, here in the Fourth Week and in daily life after retreat, helps you to find the extraordinary divinity of Jesus in very ordinary human interactions. Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary is part of the Fourth Week grace, initiated by your searching for and finding the hidden divinity of Jesus in his suffering.

Stretched for Greater Glory: What to Expect from the Spiritual Exercises by George A. Aschenbrenner, SJ

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(224)

The Fifth Point highlights the heart of the ministry of the risen Jesus. The risen Jesus comes to console. Most of the Resurrection appearances have a pattern of movement from sadness and fear to joy and peace. From Mary Magdalene being present at the tomb of Jesus, to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and the disciples huddled in the upper room—in each case people have lost heart and are unsure of their future. They are afraid and deeply saddened by what has happened and are unclear where to turn. Yet in each case, Jesus appears and dispels the sadness, filling them with hope and giving comfort. Jesus gives them the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Holy Spirit lifts their hearts and assures them of God’s fidelity to God’s promises. Ignatius invites us to notice Jesus doing this in all the Resurrection appearances that we will consider during the Fourth Week. This is how the risen Jesus relates to us as well. It opens our hearts to Jesus’ consoling ministry toward us.

Putting on the Heart of Christ: How the Spiritual Exercises Invite Us to the Virtuous Life by Gerald M. Fagin, SJ,

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(226)

“[A]ll the mysteries from the Resurrection to the Ascension inclusive are to be gone through”
<p>Now, in the Easter-risen life, the body of Jesus becomes a universal body that incorporates all of us within it. It is no longer a finite, limited body; it is cosmic-sized. It is present everywhere in the universe. It is a divine milieu. You and I no longer simply observe Jesus from the outside, as the disciples did. You and I live in Christ. We experience Christ from inside him, which is where we live (Col. 1:18&ndash;20). For us, the guarantee of the resurrection generates in us the spiritual energy of joy. Despite our many disappointments and failures, joy and hope are always available when we recognize that we are living, moving, and enjoying life within the great Christ Body (Col. 2:6&ndash;7).</p> The New Spiritual Exercises: In the Spirit of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin by Louis M. Savary

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(230 )

“Love ought to manifest itself in deeds rather than in words”

There’s a touch of hyperbole there; words have a place in every loving relationship. But deeds have primacy of place. When we’re talking about love, we’re talking primarily about deeds of love.

God Finds Us: An Experience of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola by Jim Manney

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(230–231)

In contemplating the love of God, we ask for the grace to love as God loves. To this end, Ignatius offers two critical insights:

 1. “Love ought to manifest itself more by deeds than by words” [230]. Love must be put into action; words are not enough. Having been schooled as disciples these many weeks, we must now do something. Ignatian spirituality is one of mission.

 2. “Love consists in a mutual communication between the two persons”        [231]. Just as the love between two persons is marked by giving and receiving, the love we share with God enjoys a certain mutuality. God wants our friendship. God wants to be known by us. These divine desires are the source of our desire to know, love, and serve God.

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(230–237)

The purpose of the Contemplation for attaining Love is developmental. It immediately aims at an elevation of consciousness, a growth in awareness, that kind of total human perception and experience which Ignatius called “interior knowledge,” which caught up understanding, sensibility and feeling. One is called to a meaning that is radically dynamic and invitational. A man grasps this meaning only when he himself is grasped by what he knows, when he possesses a knowledge from within.

Unlike erudition, learning, or science, this knowledge was profoundly personal in its subjective participation and comprehensive in its penetration of human sensibility. It was knowledge, but felt knowledge, one that identified with life itself and whose experience could only be compared with taste and sensation. The Contemplation aims at this kind of sensitive, unifying consciousness in which a man deeply becomes what he knows.

“The Contemplation to Attain Love” by Michael Buckley, SJ.

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(230–237)

The dynamic of the exercise turns on the two meanings of the love of God—God’s love for us and ours for God; and on the integration of these loves into the exercitant’s uses and experience of immediate reality. God’s love for us is the subject of the four points. Our love for God is the love we seek to attain [230], and which we request as grace in the petition [233] and in the prayer of radical self-offering, Take and receive [234]. Though of course always imperfect, this love resembles God’s own love. The grace of the exercise is to grow in loving in the way God himself loves.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(233)

Ignatius’s method for loving God is really very simple. Of course, it is dependent on grace: “Here it will be to ask for an intimate knowledge of all the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty” (SE 233). The method itself involves simply deepening our appreciation of the gifts God has given to us. If we have a deeply felt appreciation for God’s goodness to us, this gratitude is already an expression of love. As we ponder the events of our lives, we become conscious, like Paul, that all of life is a gift (cf. 1 Cor. 4:7; Eph. 2:4–6). But the petition moves beyond thanksgiving to thankfully giving ourselves in return—to serve, to love. We should move from an attitude of thanks to one of welcome, saying. “For all that has been, thank you, God. For all that will be, yes!”

Spiritual Freedom: From an Experience of the Ignatian Exercises to the Art of Spiritual Guidance by John J. English, SJ,

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(234)

Our response to God’s generosity is to give him the only things he doesn’t already have: our freedom, our will, our memories, our entire selves. God has given us these things, and he has told us we’re free to do whatever we want with them, no strings attached. Now, because we love God and he loves us, we freely give our entire selves back to him. This is a prayer of total self-offering.

God Finds Us: An Experience of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola by Jim Manney

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(234)

The Take, Lord, Receive prayer is an offering made in freedom. We have been praying for indifference throughout the retreat: to become free of disordered loves. Now we focus on why this freedom is necessary: we become free from excessive attachments so that we can love and serve God and others more. Basking in the love of God, we are empowered to love as God loves.

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(234)

“Take, Lord, and receive . . .”

On the face of it, expressing requests like these in prayer is either a sign of exaggerated asceticism, that negates much of what it means to be human, and devalues our autonomy, or it is the kind of “I wish” prayer of surrender that we might speak with our lips but refuse to engage with in our hearts. I suggest Inigo’s prayer (called the Suscipe prayer, from its first word in Latin) is neither of these things. Rather, it is an invitation to peel the onion, or unwrap the parcel, recognizing that this is the only way to discover the hidden treasure at the heart of things. In other words, we cannot discover the “more” until, and unless, we are prepared to let go of the “less.” It is a profound and extremely challenging prayer. If we enter into it sincerely, it draws us into an examination of what exactly the “less” is, that is wrapped around the “more.”

Companions of Christ: Ignatian Spirituality for Everyday Living by Margaret Silf

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(236)

God is not static. God—revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—is dynamic, alive, always stirring, and always laboring to bring life to God’s beloved creation. God is love overflowing. In your prayer, consider the activity of God in your life and your world. Marvel at how God creates in, through, and with us. Can you see and hear God laboring in the world around you? Can you appreciate how God has “labored” specifically in and through you? Can you recognize how the labor of others supports you in your living?

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(236)

[T]he word here translated as “work” carries an over­tone of “toil,” even suffering. Thus, the God who works and labors in nature is also the God who carries out the work of the Kingdom in the face of all that opposes it, in a toil and labor in which in a sense Christ suffers throughout history.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(237)

The fourth point, in which attention concentrates on God as Source, raises the exercise to a further contemplative level of awareness, and expands the vision of God in relation to all reality to a universal scale. Whereas in points two and three, God is “in” his gifts, here the gifts point to God in himself, the “above” from which their goodness descends.

 . . . rays . . . from the sun, . . . waters from a fountain. The language has strong Trinitarian associations. sun recalls the Father of Light from whom all good things descend. rays from the sun will remind those familiar with Ignatius’ Autobiography of the second of the Manresa illuminations—the vision of the creation of the world under the particular form of the creation of light, and also of Ignatius’ claim frequently to have seen Christ “as the sun.” In Scripture and in much spiritual tradition, and at least implicitly in Ignatius’ own writings, water is a symbol of the Spirit

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(237)

Everything should be attributed to God in a song of praise. Whoever can do that, whoever can say the “Suscipe” with his whole heart and soul and mean every word of it, whoever is capable of that because he is free from sin and has broken away from himself in the following of Christ, he has arrived at that point where St. Ignatius wants him to be at the end of the spiritual Exercises. He is the kind of person St. Ignatius can send back into the world of daily life so that he can find the living God of love there in his work, in his destiny, in his gifts and sufferings, in life and death, in using and leaving the things of this earth. If he truly attains such love, he will possess God, not in opposition to the world, but as the only One who gives value and dignity to the world. 

Spiritual Exercises by Karl Rahner, SJ

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(237)

At the end of his book, Ignatius writes that “we should value above everything else the great service which is given to God because of pure love.” For him, love was the proper response of the human being in gratefulness to God for creation itself. This love, he held, was manifested not only in emotion or pious language but in the kinds of choices people make by their living. A lover gives to the beloved what he or she has; and in return, the beloved does the same. The contemplation on love is about envisioning how we choose to love the God who loves us. If God is the divine lover, we as the beloved must look at what God has given us in order that we may freely offer it back to God. Recall the parable of the talents: the good servant is the one who takes what the master has given, cultivates it, and gives it back to the master. 

The Ignatian Workout: Daily Spiritual Exercises for a Healthy Faith by Tim Muldoon

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(313–336)

Discernment is the art of appreciating the gifts that God has given us and discovering how we might best respond to that love in daily life. It is a process of finding one’s own way of discipleship in a particular set of circumstances; a means of responding to the call of Christian love and truth in a situation where there are often conflicting interests and values, and choices have to be made. It is the gift by which we are able to observe and assess the different factors in a particular situation, and to choose that course of action which most authentically answers our desire to live by the gospel.

“Discernment of Spirits” An Ignatian Spirituality Reader by David Lonsdale

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(313–336)

As we pray through the Exercises and rely on the Examen, we become more sensitive to what Ignatius calls the “motions of the soul.” These interior movements consist of thoughts, imaginings, emotions, inclinations, desires, feelings, repulsions, and attractions. . . .

Ignatius believed that these interior movements were the result of “good spirits” and “evil spirits.” Spiritual discernment involves reflecting on interior movements to determine where they come from and where they lead us. We try to understand whether a good spirit or evil spirit is acting on us so that we can make good decisions, following the action of a good spirit and rejecting the action of an evil spirit. Discernment of spirits is a means through which we come to understand God’s will or desire for us.

Talk of good and evil spirits may seem foreign to modern pray-ers. Psychology gives us other names for what Ignatius called good and evil spirits. We know much more than Ignatius did about human motivations and the influence of culture and groups on an individual psyche. I use Ignatius’s language of good and evil spirits, for it recognizes that evil exists today in many forms. Evil is part of who we are, yet greater than who we are. But remember: just as evil is larger than life, so is God’s goodness. . . .

 

Discernment requires affective maturity, inner quiet, and an ability to attend to one’s interior life. Discernment takes practice, and we learn to “discern the spirits” by trial and error. The Examen is the daily practice of discernment and should be incorporated regularly in your retreat. Discernment is also an art. Ignatius provides wise and specific rules for discernment, but often we have to improvise and adjust because God works in each of us so uniquely. A wise spiritual guide or companion can help you sift through strong interior movements.

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(313–336)

The discernment of the spirits rests on the belief that the human heart is a battleground where God and the evil one struggle for mastery. Jesus of Nazareth himself believed this. In the desert he had been tempted by the evil one masquerading as an angel of light. If these were real temptations, then he, like us, had to discern the movements inspired by God from those inspired by the evil one. He, too, had to make an act of faith in who God really is, based on his experiences and his knowledge of the Scriptures of his people. Jesus came to recognize who the real enemy of God’s rule is. He cast out demons, and equated his power over the demons as a sign of God’s coming to rule: “But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” The majority party of the Pharisees and most Jews of the time saw the real enemy of Israel, and therefore of God, as the pagans, and especially the Roman occupiers. Over and over again Jesus warned his hearers that the real enemy was Satan.

“Discernment of Spirits as an Act of Faith” An Ignatian Spirituality Reader by William A. Barry, SJ

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(314)

Let me explain what Ignatius says about the different ways God’s Spirit and the evil spirit operate with those who have deliberately and seriously turned away from God. The evil spirit tries to get such people to rationalize their behavior and attitudes: “I’m not such a bad guy. I may steal money, but it’s only what I deserve for all that I have done for this company.” “Compared to Helen, I’m a saint.” “I take care of my wife and kids; my affair with Jane doesn’t hurt them because they don’t know.” In other words, the evil spirit tries to douse the conscience pangs of anyone who is acting contrary to what is right. The pangs of conscience, on the other hand, come from God’s Spirit. They do not attack us, but rather raise questions about our behavior: “Are you really happy acting this way?” “Don’t you feel a twinge of regret when you come home to your wife and family after an evening with your mistress?”

A Friendship Like No Other: Experiencing God’s Amazing Embrace by William A. Barry, SJ

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(315)

Now let’s take up the orientation of most of us, who are trying to live honestly and uprightly to the best of our ability. In this case, Ignatius says, the good and bad spirits act in ways opposite to how they act with those turned away from God’s path. The bad spirit raises doubts and questions that cause inner turmoil and self-­absorption, while the good spirit tries to encourage us and to increase our peace, joy, faith, hope, and love.

If you are trying to live as a good Christian, you might have thoughts like these: “Who do you think you are—some kind of saint?” “Everyone else cuts corners in this office. What’s the matter with you? Are you ­holier-than-thou?” “God doesn’t have time for the likes of you.” “Most people, even if they believe in God, don’t try to live the way you do.” Such questions and thoughts have only one aim, to trouble your spirit and keep you troubled and questioning. Moreover, you will notice that all the questions and doubts focus on you, not on God or God’s people.

The good spirit, on the other hand, might inspire thoughts like these: “I’m genuinely happy with my decision to make amends with my estranged sister.” “I wish that I had stopped drinking a long time ago. I’m much happier and healthier now, and easier to live with.” “God seems so much closer to me since I began to take some time every day for prayer, and I feel less anxious and insecure.” I hope you can see in your own experience how these two spirits have led you.

A Friendship Like No Other: Experiencing God’s Amazing Embrace by William A. Barry, SJ

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(316)

Ignatius does not give a snappy, simple definition of consolation. Since it is an inner psychic experience, he gives what might be called a phenomenological description: a variety of human inner experiences, each of which in its own way exemplifies the reality of consolation. Though it registers in you as a psychic reality, consolation always involves an interpretation in faith. In this way consolation is not simply a dictionary term for Ignatius; it is a spiritual reality with relationship in faith to God’s love. In his Autobiography he speaks of the great consolation he received during his convalescence in Loyola from looking at the stars. The effect was explicitly spiritual: “When doing so he felt within himself a powerful urge to be serving our Lord,” This stirring is different from the professional awe and wonder of an astronomer. Consolation in discernment of spirits is always a spontaneous inner human experience as interpreted spiritually and with spiritual effects.

Stretched for Greater Glory: What to Expect from the Spiritual Exercises by George A. Aschenbrenner, SJ

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(316–317)

[S]piritual consolation does not always mean happiness, and spiritual desolation does not always mean sadness. Sometimes an experience of sadness, loneliness, or restlessness is a moment of conversion and intimacy with God and others. Times of human suffering can be moments of grace. For example, accompanying my father as he died was very sad, but I also experienced a profound sense of peace in the intimacy I found with him and my family at that time. Moreover, my remorse over hurting someone can ultimately lead to the joy that comes with reconciliation. In contrast, peace or happiness can be illusory or a form of self-deceit if these feelings are merely covering over issues we need to address. I can feel perfectly happy when I am caught up in a familiar pattern of sin, the effects of which I am blind to. I think, for example, about how easy it is to numb myself with overwork or mindless entertainments or to settle for being content while avoiding a difficult conversation with someone I love. Again the key question is, Where is the movement coming from, and where is it leading me?

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ

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(317)

Continuing his phenomenological approach, Ignatius uses qualities for desolation that are contrary to those of consolation. An obtuseness or gloominess of soul and impulsive movement to low and earthly things contrast with the lightness and attraction of the heavenly things of consolation. A desolate disquiet and restlessness that contrast with consolation’s tranquility and peace, must be distinguished from a consoling apostolic zeal. The desolate restlessness is stirred by temptations and inner agitations that subtly ferment a sense of distrust of God without much hope and love. Desolation is not usually a loss of intellectual belief in God’s providence; rather, as something much more subtle, the temptations tend toward a distrust of God that can take the heart out of hope and love. Apostolic zeal, however, is born in a flaming realization of God’s love.

Stretched for Greater Glory: What to Expect from the Spiritual Exercises by George A. Aschenbrenner, SJ

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(318)

An assumed counsel in rule 5 is this: Be explicitly aware of what is going on when you are in spiritual desolation. Name it to yourself. Recall its source and tendency. It will help here to be aware of a general principle about human psychology—that reflectively attending to our own affective experiences tends to weaken their hold on us, while attending to the object of affective acts or the ground of affective feelings tends to strengthen them. Thus, attending to the objects of anger or lust tends to intensify them; reflectively attending to the affections themselves tends to weaken them.

Spirit of Light or Darkness? A Casebook for Studying Discernment of Spirits by Jules J. Toner, SJ

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(319)

The counsel in rule 6 is this: Take initiative; change yourself intensely in ways contrary to desolation. What can be spoken about as the counterattack principle (agere contra) is a general Ignatian principle for meeting negative influences on our spiritual life. This principle underlies the counsel given in rule 6 on responding to spiritual desolation. When applied to spiritual desolation, the principle calls for such responses as increased prayer (petition), meditation, examination, and penance. An added way of counteracting desolation that is not mentioned by Ignatius is generous active service for God and neighbor.

Spirit of Light or Darkness? A Casebook for Studying Discernment of Spirits by Jules J. Toner, SJ

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(320)

Rule 7: We’re not on our own. God is always with us.

In desolation we feel alone. It feels like God has departed on a long vacation. We feel miserable and unworthy, so we isolate ourselves from others and are not inclined to bother God with our prayers. Worst of all, we think that we’re on our own. If anything is to be done about our situation, it’s up to us to do it, and we don’t have any idea what to do.

Ignatius reminds us that God is always there for us, even when we don’t feel a divine presence. It’s like the gospel story of the storm at sea while Jesus is asleep in the back of the boat. The disciples panic and fear that they are sinking. When Jesus is awakened, he calms the storm and rebukes them for forgetting that he was always there.

When our storms rage, we need to remind ourselves that God is with us. We’re well advised to seek out others who will remind us of that too.

What’s Your Decision? How to Make Choices with Confidence and Clarity by J. Michael Sparough, SJ, Jim Manney, and Tim Hipskind, SJ

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(321)

Rule 8: Be patient; desolation will pass.

Another key virtue in desolation is patience. This may be the most important attitude of all. Desolation is not forever (even though, in our lethargy, it seems like a permanent state). Ignatius counsels us to “wait upon the Lord.” The storms will eventually blow themselves out. While they are raging, we can patiently wait for a change while we are staying active, praying more, serving other people, and doing all the other things that foster a healthy spiritual life.

What’s Your Decision? How to Make Choices with Confidence and Clarity by J. Michael Sparough, SJ, Jim Manney, and Tim Hipskind, SJ

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(322)

Rule 9: Identify the cause of desolation.

Sometimes desolation seems to come from nowhere. It comes suddenly, as if someone pulled down the window shades on a sunny afternoon. But sometimes desolation has a cause. We can learn something important by examining the cause of desolation.

Ignatius suggests three reasons. First, we might have done something to bring it on. Perhaps we neglected some important responsibilities—gave into a selfish desire, indulged the fault of someone else, grew weak and tepid in our spiritual life. If so, we can learn to do things differently.

Second, God might be allowing the desolation as a trial so that we can grow in virtue and learn to love him in bad times as well as good. Consider the virtues suggested by Ignatius in the earlier rules: patience, trust, increased prayer, more service to others. If desolation causes us to grow in these ways, it’s an opportunity not to be missed.

Finally, desolation may come on us to remind us of a spiritual truth that is very easy to forget—that God is the source of everything. All is gift. We want consolation, and we will have it in due course. But we need to understand that we are not entitled to consolation and we cannot obtain it through our own efforts. So we open our hands to receive whatever God gives us in the moment.

What’s Your Decision? How to Make Choices with Confidence and Clarity by J. Michael Sparough, SJ, Jim Manney, and Tim Hipskind, SJ

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(323)

Three points can be drawn out of rule 10: (1) Remember that desolation will follow consolation, (2) consider how to respond when the desolation comes, and (3) prepare for it now, renew strength to meet it. A comment on these three points. As regards the first, just as in desolation we tend to feel we shall never have consolation again and need to be told that it will come soon (rule 8), so also in consolation we tend to forget past desolation and feel that we shall never be desolate again. How, we think, can anyone ever be down and discouraged when we believe that God is so good and loving and has promised us his help, that he is with us always, to bring us on to everlasting life? In both consolation and desolation, we need to hold on to the truth that our affective life is up and down, like a wave motion. If I anticipate desolation, then it is not such a shock when it comes, and I am not taken off guard and harmed before I can get hold of the situation.

Regarding the second and third points, how can we go about preparing for desolation as Ignatius urges us to do? It seems that rules 5 and 6, about what to do when desolation has come, can tell us also what to do when preparing for it. We need to pray for help, putting our trust in God; we need to meditate and contemplate in order to build up our conviction of God’s faithful love; we need to have a plan on how to act when desolation does come.

Spirit of Light or Darkness? A Casebook for Studying Discernment of Spirits by Jules J. Toner, SJ

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(325–326)

The comparisons in Rules 12 and 13 are intended to draw on the less pleasing traits of men and women respectively. But each contains an image of women which will not meet with general acceptance today; and as in the case of the Kingdom exercise, obsolete analogies should not be allowed to impede the insights they once served to illustrate. These two rules are not about the behavior of men and women but about two guises under which we experience temptation: aggressive on the one side, devious and ingratiating on the other, and about corresponding ways of dealing with temptation.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(327)

This time the image comes from Ignatius’s military background. A trained military commander surveys the battle scene carefully and plans an attack at the weakest point. The enemy’s attack on you is just as intentionally fitted to your central weakness. The heart of a decisive response to the onslaught of the enemy is an honest awareness and active acknowledgment of your cardinal weakness.

Humility, rather than being weak and defenseless, is the power­ful counterattack to the enemy. In the secular ideal of strength and self-sufficiency, to have a weakness, much less to acknowledge it as such, is contrary to maturity. But in the warfare of spiritual matu­rity, humility is the strongest weapon in your arsenal. To acknowl­edge to yourself, to keep before the eyes of your heart, the area that is your central weakness requires great spiritual strength and the insight of humility. Some people discover that one of the seven capital impulses to sin is their capital weakness, the breeding ground of many subtle insidious temptations. It is the area in which they cannot trust themselves. In fact, sometimes the weak­ness cuts so deeply that they will never be able to trust themselves in that one area. The mature ideal in this instance is not trusting yourself but in humble honesty living your weakness in a way that entrusts you to God’s power and love.

Stretched for Greater Glory: What to Expect from the Spiritual Exercises by George A. Aschenbrenner, SJ

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(328–336)

On the Second Set of Rules for Discernment of Spirits

We need Ignatius’s first set of rules for discernment because desolation is a common experience. We need his second set because of another unwelcome fact: consolation isn’t always what it seems. Sometimes it’s false consolation that the evil spirit uses to deceive us. False consolation can blind us to things that need to change; it can lead us to make bad decisions. That’s so, writes Ignatius, because “it is a mark of the evil spirit to appear as an angel of light.”

This shouldn’t be surprising. The enemy of our human nature isn’t stupid. If you’ve been sincerely trying to lead a virtuous life for a while, you’re not likely to be fooled by a temptation to do something blatantly wrong. To throw you off track, the evil spirit has to disguise things. You’ll find credible explanations for bad behavior. (I was tired. That’s the way she is. He had to get it out of his system). You’ll find plausible excuses for dangerous complacency. (I need a break. I can handle this. I’ll get to that some other time.) You’ll find reasons to keep silent when you should speak up, and reasons to intervene when you shouldn’t. You might make bad decisions because you’re excited, and you think the excitement comes from God.

Ignatius puts it this way: “It is characteristic of the evil one to fight against [true] happiness and consolation by proposing fallacious reasonings, subtleties, and continual deceptions.” The evil spirit produces false consolations, not the real thing. The devil may be smart, but he’s wicked too; he can’t give us a genuine consolation. Only God can do that. Counterfeit money is never perfect; a close look can always find the forgery. The second set of rules for discernment is the close look at consolation. It’s all about exposing counterfeit consolation for what it is.

God Finds Us: An Experience of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola by Jim Manney

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(328–336)

In the rules for the Second Week the evil tactics of the enemy present themselves under the appearance of good. At first glance they seem wise and trustworthy. Ignatius here takes an even more sensitive look at spiritual consolation than in the first set of rules. These rules are concerned more with a specially sensitive enlightenment of heart needed to distinguish true from false consolation.

For instance, in his Autobiography, Ignatius describes two spontaneous inner experiences that appeared to be holy and good but required a more sensitive discernment. In his daily routine at Manresa, which was filled with prayer and penance, the time he had set aside for sleep was being invaded with “great illuminations and spiritual consolation”; these experiences “made him lose much of the time he had set aside for sleep.” Later in his life, after his return from the Holy Land, when God’s will that he do more study had become clear, he experienced “new light on spiritual things and new delights” that were so strong that he could not do the necessary memorization of Latin grammar. In both these instances, through some prayerful reflection, he realized that these apparently good spontaneous experiences were actually tempta­tions luring him away from following what clearly was God’s will for him.

Stretched for Greater Glory: What to Expect from the Spiritual Exercises by George A. Aschenbrenner, SJ

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(330)

Two main questions are posed by this rule [consolation without preceding cause]: first, what kind of experience does it describe? and second, does the experience fall within the range of the ordinary, or is it of its nature an extraordinary phenomenon?

In answer to the first question, basically the rule refers to a particular spiritual experience, which in the case of a person moving from good to better, Ignatius holds to be an unambiguous sign of God’s leading.

  • the experience is one of consolation;
  • there is no preceding cause;
  • the person affected is drawn entirely into love of the Divine Majesty

There is nothing about emotional vehemence, and it is not claimed that the experience always communicates a specific conceptual content, a God-given insight, or “message” or “call.” There may be such a content or there may not be.

 . . . It should be noted that neither the absence of cause nor the characteristic love-quality of this consolation are amenable to precise objective verification. Both are recognized by a spiritually self-aware person in the experience itself; moreover a person unversed in matters of the spirit might easily mistake for such consolation a spiritual experience of a far more ordinary and more ambiguous kind. On the director’s side, in order to sense these qualities in an exercitant, a director will draw not only on definitions, but on his or her own experience and discerning sense.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(333)

Fifth rule. This rule applies to ordinary consolation the principle that a spirit is recognized by its fruits. But the fruits can take time to appear. At first the real quality of an underlying motivation, masked by thoughts in themselves “good and holy,” may be imperceptible. Where deception exists, then, it is identified not in the thoughts we start with, but in a declining process. The process is described in terms of both thoughts and feelings. Thus the influence of the bad spirit can be identified when over a continuous sequence:

(1) thoughts seemingly tending towards what is wholly right, lead on to other thoughts tending towards the bad, or distracting or less good;

(2) what initially gave rise to feelings of peace, tranquility, and quiet, now gives rise to being weakened, upset or distressed.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

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(334)

Once you perceive and recognize the serpentine poison, then much can be learned by carefully retracing the development of this consolation from the end back to its beginning. In this way you can sort out the good and evil spirits from within the whole developing process. This reminds you that discernment is not like a catechism of questions and answers to be memorized; it is an art that you will always be learning. The art of discernment and holiness will familiarize you over time with patterns of God’s love and of demonic selfish love and how they differently mark and stain your lived experience.

Stretched for Greater Glory: What to Expect from the Spiritual Exercises by George A. Aschenbrenner, SJ

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(335)

Rule 7: The “feeling” of the consolation is a key to its source.

The good spirit is gentle as God is gentle; the evil spirit is noisy and disturbing. Ignatius uses images to explain. The action of the Holy Spirit is like a drop of water hitting a sponge or walking through an open door into our house. Our hearts are the sponge and the house. They are ready to receive God’s grace, which enters peacefully. By contrast, the work of the evil one is like a drop of water hitting a stone or someone banging on a locked door trying to get into the house. It’s disruptive, harsh, and loud.

Look at the tone and feeling of a spiritual movement. If it’s an appealing idea that leads to turmoil and anxiety, it may not be from God. If it’s an idea that fills one with tranquility, it may be in God’s Holy Spirit.

What’s Your Decision? How to Make Choices with Confidence and Clarity by J. Michael Sparough, SJ, Jim Manney, and Tim Hipskind, SJ

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(336)

Ignatius thinks that neither consolation without previous cause nor deceptive thoughts and attractions integral with it can be prompted by the evil spirit. Both the consolation and the thoughts or attractions are from God. The main point of rule 8 is the necessity of discerning the precise time of the actual consolation without previous cause as distinct from the following time of afterglow. For during that afterglow plans or reasoning can occur to us that we think are integral with the actual consolation and therefore certainly from God. The truth is that such thoughts need prolonged and careful critical examination. We have a principle that applies to all experiences of consolation accompanied by attractions to or plans for ways of acting: Never act on these without first subjecting the experiences to critical examination.

Spirit of Light or Darkness? A Casebook for Studying Discernment of Spirits by Jules J. Toner, SJ

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Libellus cui titulus: THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF ST. IGNATIUS, A
NEW TRANSLATION BASED ON STUDIES IN
THE LANGUAGE OF THE AUTOGRAPH


Auctore
IMPRIMI POTEST
NIHIL OBSTAT
IMPRIMATUR

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