The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, one of the great masterpieces of the Christian canon, today continues to offer some of the most accessible and insightful guidance for going on retreat — whether as a part of a group or by oneself. Based on the rich fruit of St. Ignatius’ own meditations and practice, this guide for spiritual perfection has been treasured and faithfully used for centuries by members of the saint’s Jesuit order and by millions more.
Divided into four weeks of reflections and four key meditations — on the Kingdom of God, the Two Standards (of Christ and Satan), the Three Classes of Men, and the Three Modes of Humility — the whole retreat has at its center the emulation of Christ. Retreat masters, retreatants, and readers will benefit particualrly from Anthony Mottola’s new translation, which renders the timeless masterpiece into language both accessible and faithful to St. Ignatius’ original expression and spirit.
The Exercises have been universally recognized as a brilliant and inspired guide to the development of a deeper Christian spirituality ever since St. Ignatius completed them in 1533. Great saints — as well as countless religious and lay people — have been spiritually shaped through their dedicated use. This four-week system of meditation and prayer continues to be the very backbone of Ignatian retreats, where earnest seekers come to examine their lives, contemplate the future, face decisions, and revitalize their souls. Both religious and lay people make Ignatian retreats to renew their Christian dedication and enthusiasm, but even those who cannot make such retreats have profited greatly from a careful reading of the Exercises.