Ignatius called on Jesuits to be “contemplatives in action.” Ignatian spirituality is not merely an inward journey, much less a self-absorbed one. It aims to bring people closer to God and more deeply into the world — with gratitude, passion, and humility — not away from it. Today, Jesuits and their lay collaborators work with people in many walks of life to nurture “men and women for others.”
There are a number of outstanding resources devoted to Ignatian spirituality.
- Sacred Space is a popular prayer site run by the Irish Jesuits
- jesuitprayer.org was created by the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus to provide daily online prayers and facilitate prayer requests.
- The Jesuit Post, founded by a group of Jesuit scholastics (those in the process of religious formation), provides a contemporary look at Jesus, politics, and pop-culture in our secular age.
More Resources About the Spiritual Exercises
A Brief Description of Ignatian Spirituality: A booklet about the key principles of Ignatian Spirituality.
What Are the Spiritual Exercises? : An introduction: the purpose of the Exercises and their structure.
Slí Eile Spiritual Exercises Video : Noelle Fitzpatrick outlines the Spiritual Exercises. Then Edwina Dewart speaks about the core values of the Exercises and the importance of the relationship with the spiritual director. Produced by the Jesuit Centre for Young Adults in Ireland.
Spiritual Exercises : By Ron Hansen. A noted novelist and essayist believes that Ignatius Loyola’s spiritual notebook is a practical manual for realizing our soul’s deepest yearnings.
dotMagis Posts About the Spiritual Exercises : From the category archives of the dotMagis blog.
Elements of the Spiritual Exercises
An Outline of the Spiritual Exercises : An outline of what is experienced at each stage of the Exercises.
The Text of the Spiritual Exercises : The text of the Spiritual Exercises is not meant to be read by an individual taken a retreat. It is a resource manual for a retreat director.
The Meaning of Detachment :Margaret Silf explains how the First Principle and Foundation came to life for her while she was looking at a fuchsia bush.
The Colloquy : Kevin O’Brien, SJ describes the colloquy as an intimate conversation between you and God the Father, between you and Jesus, or between you and Mary or one of the saints.
Poverty of Spirit : Kevin O’Brien, SJ writes that not all are called to material poverty, but all are called to “poverty of spirit,” or spiritual poverty. [ Dalia – use this link. https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-spiritual-exercises/poverty-of-spirit The one on the existing web page is a dead one. ]
How the Two Standards Meditation Can Help Outside of a Retreat : John Monroe, a lay retreat director and spiritual director suggests that the Meditation on the Two Standards is a useful way to periodically evaluate how we are living our lives.
Ignatian Contemplation: Imaginative Prayer : Kevin O’Brien, SJ writes that Ignatian contemplation is an active way of praying that engages the mind and heart and stirs up thoughts and emotions.
Contemplation on the Incarnation Part One: The Trinity Looks Down from Heaven : By Daniel Ruff, SJ
The Contemplation on the Incarnation begins with imagining the Trinity looking down from heaven and responding with the Incarnation. Ruff introduces readers to this aspect of the Spiritual Exercises.
Contemplation on the Incarnation Part Two: Mary’s Human Response : By Daniel Ruff, SJ This article is the second part of the Contemplation on the Incarnation and explores the Annunciation and Mary’s response.
Freedom in the Midst of Suffering: The Meaning of the Passion : By Paul Coutinho, SJ . The Passion and the cross of Jesus mean two things to Coutinho.
The Language of the Cross : Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ. explores the idea that Jesus’ passion helps us to embrace the world as it really is.
The Resurrection Brings Joy : Gerald M. Fagin, SJ writes, “Three significant truths rooted in the Resurrection open a window to the grace and virtues of the Fourth Week. In particular, they highlight some of the reasons for our joy.”
The First Two Degrees of Humility : Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ explains the first and second ways of living in humility according to Ignatian spirituality.
The Third Degree of Humility : Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ explains the third way of living humility according to Ignatian spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises.
Contemplation on the Love of God : A basic explanation of the concluding meditation of the Spiritual Exercises.
The Contemplation to Attain Love : Paul Coutinho, SJ discusses the four steps of prayer given to the retreatant in the last exercise of the Spiritual Exercises.
Ignatian Prayer and the Imagination : One of the principal forms of prayer in the Spiritual Exercises is imaginative reflection on scenes from the Gospels.
Ignatius’ Three-Part Vision
By David L. Fleming, SJ
Fleming, a renowned spiritual director and commentator on the Spiritual Exercises, describes Ignatius Loyola’s vision of life, work, and love.
Prayer Is a Conversation By David L. Fleming, SJ
The essential activity of prayer springs naturally from our humanity. It is a matter of conversing with a very good friend.
Pray with Your Imagination : David L. Fleming, SJ writes that Ignatius presents two ways of imagining in the Spiritual Exercises.
A Spirituality of the Heart : For David L. Fleming, SJ the heart, in the sense of the totality of our response, is the concern of the Spiritual Exercises.
Using the Spiritual Exercises
Images of God : By Kevin O’Brien, SJ: “We need to let go of images that get in the way of a grown-up relationship with God, who is both far beyond us, yet so close to us.”
The Foundation of Heroism: Magis Chris Lowney considers motivation and the magis as he discusses how the Spiritual Exercises work as a leadership tool.
Learning to Live Reverently : By Gerald M. Fagin, SJ. Reverence is foundational for putting on the heart of Christ and enables us to find God in all things.
In the Footsteps of Ignatius : An article about ways people are making the Exercises today.