Take the Ignatian Exercises

A Brief History of the Ignatian Exercises

The Spiritual Exercises grew out of Ignatius of Loyola’s attempts to grow in union with God and to discern God’s will. As he grew in that union, he took note of the things that were the most helpful. Eventually Ignatius gathered these prayers, meditations, reflections, and directions into a carefully designed spiritual journey, which he called spiritual exercises.

The Structure of the Ignatian Exercises

Ignatius organized the Exercises into four “weeks.” These are not seven day weeks, but rather four stages on a journey to spiritual freedom, wholehearted commitment to God, and service to His Kingdom.

Preparation Week

Six weeks of scripture reflections prepare us to enter into the Exercises. Daily reflections on God’s love, mercy and grace allow us to consider our identity, worth, and value in light of the “long and loving gaze of God.”

First week

The first stage of the Exercises is a time of reflection on our lives in light of God’s boundless love for us. We see that our response to God’s love has been hindered by patterns of sin. We face these sins knowing that God wants to set us free of everything that gets in the way of our loving response to him.

Second week

The reflections and prayers of the second stage teach us how to follow Christ as his disciples. We reflect on Scripture passages related to Christ’s birth and baptism, his sermon on the mount, his ministry of healing and teaching, his raising of Lazarus from the dead, etc. We make life-altering choices to follow Christ more closely, love him more intimately, and know him more clearly.

Third week

We meditate on Jesus’ resurrection and appearances to his disciples. We joyfully walk with the risen Christ and set out to love and serve him in concrete ways in the world.

Fourth week

We meditate on Jesus’ resurrection and appearances to his disciples. We walk with the risen Christ and set out to love and serve him in concrete ways in the world.

Two Options

The 18th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises

This option covers the same themes as the 19th Annotation but in a condensed 10-week format. Also included is an introduction to the key forms of Ignatian prayer. Just as in the19th Annotation, weekly spiritual direction with a trained Ignatian spiritual director is included.

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18th Annotation Retreat Guide (Digital)

The 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises

This option is a guided 9-month retreat with a seasoned spiritual director trained specifically to accompany you through this transformative journey. Scriptures and additional readings on key themes of Ignatian spirituality are offered daily, along with weekly sessions of spiritual direction.


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19th Annotation Retreat Guide (Digital)
19th Annotation Retreat Guide (Print)

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