Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola

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Under retreats or detailed spiritual exercises and spiritual practices are understood periods in which individuals or groups are devoted to intensive and longer than usual for them to prayer and contemplation.

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises

Characteristic of the use of words such as for practice the " Ejercicios espirituales " were: make ( spanish spiritual exercises) of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, in which he attempted his own spiritual experiences available to others. To this end, he invited friends and others on a more radical followers of Jesus buffs make, to retreat for a while and to devote under his guidance prayer, meditation and discernment of spirits. Among the first who, under the direction of Ignatius Spiritual Exercises, included the later Jesuit Peter Faber and Francis Xavier, for this experience meant a turning point in their lives.

As a help for yourself and for others who accompanied by his example retreats later, Ignatius wrote under the title " Spiritual Exercises " a font that is in a very concentrated Language Notes to the entire flow of the retreat as to the individual exercises, ie contains. moments of prayer and reflection. In its basic form, the " Spiritual Exercises " already in 1533 in Paris were available in Spanish, her final version they found with the Latin edition of 1541st

The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius take in their full form four weeks are devoted successively the subjects of sin, of life and of the succession of the earthly Jesus, the suffering and death of Jesus and his resurrection as a last resort. Besides participating in the Eucharist and two shorter periods of conscience Ignatius expected of the participants in his retreat day for four or five hours viewing of the Gospels. The retreats are held in silence.

In addition to the above-mentioned basic form Ignatius knows even shorter retreats from devote to prayer, for example, one week and longer retreats of several months, in which the participants engaged in normal shops and just a short time every day. The latter are now commonly referred to as a retreat in everyday life. The retreat in everyday life are also offered in many Christian communities during Lent and Advent season and lead into many different forms of collective and individual prayer.

Accompanying the forms of Ignatian spiritual exercises done today by various religious communities and lay people experienced.

Benedictine retreats and other classic forms

Today there are many forms of spiritual exercises, " retreats ". One example is the Benedictine retreat in which the lectio divina, spiritual reading of Scripture, the " ruminant Consider " Biblical or other spiritual texts is practiced, the common hours of prayer and the care of silence will be practiced. Other forms are retreats after Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, in which the prayer of loving attention is the focus, Franciscan retreats, absorb the inspiration of Saint Francis of Assisi, or various forms of contemplative retreats, the elements of Christian mysticism and Far Eastern Spirituality (Zen, yoga ) connect.

Exercises in Protestantism and Orthodoxy

A new development is that retreats are also offered in the context of Protestant and Orthodox churches; sometimes they lead in the Protestant Church, the term " set-up ". In the past retreats have been in evangelical churches tends to be rejected because of the practical nature associated with the risk of work-righteousness and in contrast to the pure grace character of salvation ( sola gratia ) was seen. On the Orthodox side, there is skepticism about a large independence of the individual from ecclesiastical authority, which can be reluctant to dismissive of Ignatian retreats, who want to promote the immediacy of the individual in his relationship with God.

New Exercises forms

In recent years, new and innovative forms of retreats.