Welcome to our on-line eight-month blog journey with Jesus using St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises.
Some of you might be very familiar with St. Ignatius and his ancient guidebook for Christ-followers, but I’m sure there are many others who are very unaware of this valuable discipleship material. My hope is that this blogging experience through the Spiritual Exercises can serve as a helpful tool of remembrance for those who’ve previously taken the journey, while also serve as a simple primer for those who haven’t.
How our blog series works.
Over a suggested eight-month period, this 106-session blog series will assist you through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. As you read my blog entries (simply follow the links provided for you along the way), I highly suggest that you also pick up a copy of the excellent guidebook, The Ignatian Adventure by Kevin O’Brien. We will be using this book as our main source of scriptural references, so having this resource with you as we go will prove to be very helpful indeed.
During the first three weeks (9 blog session introduction) of our journey, I will give you a basic overview of the Spiritual Exercises and why, in fact, they have been so helpful for me in my trek with the Master. Next up, we will enter into what author Kevin O’Brien calls The Days of Preparation. Throughout these 18 blog sessions (6 weeks), we will prime the pump of expectation, pondering on the amazing gift of God’s ongoing creation in the world and in us.
The next step along the way is defined by St. Ignatius as “The First Week.” For many, this might be the most difficult part of our journey since we are encouraged to slow down and take a deeper look at our true sinful and selfish condition outside of the grace of God. Yet throughout these 12 challenging sessions (4 weeks) we will be consistently reminded that while we are indeed, sinners in need of a Savior, we are also broken men and women who are deeply loved by a gracious Father!
The longest segment of our eight-month journey is defined by Ignatius as “The Second Week.” Here, throughout our 36-blog sessions covering 12 weeks, we will journey with the Master from His amazing incarnational birth in Bethlehem through His three years of public ministry across the land of Israel. “The Third Week” (12 sessions-4 weeks) takes us to Jesus’ days in Jerusalem, which culminated with the Cross, where Ignatius encourages us to take the much-needed time to ponder the sufferings and the passion of our Christ. That brings up to the “Fourth Week” sessions (18 blogs-6 weeks) where we finally celebrate together the Risen Lord and look to the future glories bestowed upon us through the Resurrection of Christ.
Over the 35 weeks of our study, this webpage will be a helpful centerpiece for our readings and times of prayer. We suggest that you bookmark this page and the other main section pages as we move forward. The Spiritual Exercises, when studied using O’Brien’s guidebook, are divided into key sections (see below). As we blog along, these pages will help you keep an index of our readings and be a place to bring all of it together for easy referencing. Simply click on the links below to go to each section and access our blog entries found there.
Each one of our blog studies can serve you well as a support piece in your devotional life with Jesus. As you’ll see when you open up one of our pages, each blog begins with a short scripture or reading, some thoughts to consider, and then concludes with a prayer and a question or two for you to ponder. Go slow. Walk at your own pace, inviting the Holy Spirit to join with you as you read and reflect.
OUR STUDY SESSIONS
Our Introduction. (9 blogs)
Days of Preparation. (18 blogs)
“Week I” Studies. (12 blogs)
“Week II” Studies. (36 blogs)
“Week III” Studies. (12 blogs)
“Week IV” Studies. (18 blogs)
Our Conclusion. (1 blog)
Our suggestion…don’t journey through the Spiritual Exercises alone! One of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of the Ignatian Exercises is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with the Exercises and knows how to make the journey part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Sustainable Faith-Heartland network are trained in helping others walk through the Exercises and are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.