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Posted November 12, 2009

Book: Praying the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
Author: Shirley Sullivan
St. Pauls. New York. 2008. Pp.209

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Every praying of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius involves an intensely personal encounter between the individual and God. As such the Exercises encourages silent listening to "the still, small voice" of God within offering personal guidance and encouragement on the road to transformation in Christ. All this happens within a specific structure wherein God speaks again and again to the soul, meeting the soul at its individual stage of spiritual growth and providing what is personally needed at this time for ever greater spiritual maturity. It is clear, therefore, that every praying of the Spiritual Exercises is a unique experience that not only reveals something of the unfathomable mystery of God but also affords an important degree of self-knowledge as we grow in wisdom and love. This work leads the reader through the process.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Within their overall structure the Spiritual Exercises revolve around several themes. The first of these appears as a Prelude to the Exercises proper, the "Principle and Foundation" in which Ignatius describes the basis of the Christian life:

We human beings were created to praise, reverence and serve God our Lord, and by this means to ensure the life of our souls. Other things on earth were created for our sake and to help us in our purpose. Thus it follows taht we are to use these things to the extent that they help us toward our end, and withdraw from them in so far as tehy hinder us from it.

It is therefore necessary that we are to make ourselves indifferent to all created things, insofar as it is left to the liberty of our free will to do so, and is not forbidden. Consequently on our part we do not wish for health rather than sickness, wealth rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, a long life rather than a short one and so on in all other matters.

We are to desire and choose only those things that most lead us to the end for which we were created.

Table of Contents:

Prelude to the Spiritual Exercises

Week One to Week Four of the Spiritual Excercises

Select Bibliography