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Ignatius of Loyola. Early History. Born 1491 to a noble Basque family at the castle of Loyola, youngest of 13 children Mother died when he was young; he was tonsured but rejected a religious life Age 16 sent to court

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early history
Early History
  • Born 1491 to a noble Basque family at the castle of Loyola, youngest of 13 children
  • Mother died when he was young; he was tonsured but rejected a religious life
  • Age 16 sent to court
  • In 1521 (age 30) defended the town of Pamplona against the French as an officer and was wounded in both legs by a cannon ball
  • Severe problems with recuperation, required multiple procedures from which he almost died; eventually healed but he walked with a limp
  • During recuperation read several books on life of Christ, lives of the Saints
    • had a vision of Mary and Jesus which left him at peace
  • Left home in 1522 to do pilgrimage to Jerusalem
  • At Montserrat on the way to Barselona he made a general confession, gave up his belongings
  • At Manresa he lived in a cave for 10 months,
    • praying, working in a hospice and raising alms for the poor, doing severe ascetic practices
    • had a vision/mystical experience; experienced severe spiritual struggles
    • began working on Spiritual Exercises
  • Made pilgrimage to Holy Land
  • At age 33, went back to school; two years later began studies at University of Alcala, later University of Salamanca
    • gathered a group of students
    • attracted attention of Inquisition and the Dominicans for his teaching, in prison on a couple of occasions
  • Moved to University of Paris
    • gathered another group of students who included Francis Xavier; vowed to make a pilgrimage
    • ordained a priest, received M.A. in 1535
founding of the order
Founding of the Order
  • Plans for second pilgrimage were blocked
  • In 1538 went to place himself at disposal of the Pope
    • Mystical experience at La Storta; vision of God promising him success
    • Put to work teaching and preaching
    • In 1540 approval granted to form a new order, the Company (Society) of Jesus
    • Elected General of the order in 1541
  • Had chronic stomach problems; died 1556 of a fever
  • Began work on them as notes at Manresa
  • Began teaching them when he was at University, probably first in book form at Salamanca in 1527
  • Given official approval in 1548
  • Goal of the exercises to discover the will of God for oneself and follow it
  • General info
    • Intended as a general system of examination, meditation, contemplation, prayer and other spiritual activities which can be tailored for the individual depending on their level of development
    • Intended to be done intensively under sensitive supervision/direction
    • Could be used by any serious Christian
summary cont
Summary (cont.)
  • Structure of exercises
    • Prayer: “ask the grace of God our Lord that all my intentions, actions and operations may be directed purely to the service and praise of His Divine Majesty.”
    • Preludes
      • Compose and see the setting
      • “Ask God our Lord for what we want and desire”
    • Specific exercise
    • Colloquy: Imagining a conversation with a person. e.g. Christ on the cross or a meditation on a topic
    • Concluding Our Father
summary cont1
Summary (cont.)
  • First Week: Consideration and contemplation of sins
    • General and (3X) daily examen of conscience; failings, places for improvement, progress
    • General confession, best done at the end of the first week
    • Meditation on Sins and Hell
    • Consideration of penance
summary cont2
Summary (cont.)
  • Second Week: Life of Christ to Palm Sunday
    • Call of the King
    • The Two Standards
    • Meditations on the Incarnation, Nativity
    • Meditations on humility, election, personal reform
summary cont3
Summary (cont.)
  • Third Week: Passion of Christ
    • Contemplations on Passion events
    • Notes on Fasting
summary cont4
Summary (cont.)
  • Fourth Week: Resurrection and Ascension of Christ
    • Contemplations on events
    • Contemplation to gain love
    • Notes on three methods of prayer
      • Preparation: Consideration of
        • Ten commandments
        • Seven deadly sins
        • Powers of the soul and senses
      • Contemplating words of the prayer
      • Rhythm; breathing
summary cont5
Summary (cont.)
  • General Rules and Notes
    • Notes on Gospel scenes for meditation
    • Discernment
    • Almsgiving
    • Scruples
    • “True Sentiment in the Church”
second week first day christ the king
Second Week, First Day:Christ the King
  • Prayer. Let the Preparatory Prayer be the usual one.
  • First Prelude. The first Prelude is a composition, seeing the place: it will be here to see with the sight of the imagination, the synagogues, villages and towns through which Christ our Lord preached.
christ the king cont
Christ the King (cont.)
  • Second Prelude. The second, to ask for the grace which I want: it will be here to ask grace of our Lord that I may not be deaf to His call, but ready and diligent to fulfill His most Holy Will.
  • First Point. The first Point is, to put before me a human king chosen by God our Lord, whom all Christian princes and men reverence and obey.
  • Second Point. The second, to look how this king speaks to all his people, saying: "It is my Will to conquer all the land of unbelievers.
christ the king cont1
Christ the King (cont.)
  • Therefore, whoever would like to come with me is to be content to eat as I, and also to drink and dress, etc., as I: likewise he is to labor like me in the day and watch in the night, etc., that so afterwards he may have part with me in the victory, as he has had it in the labors."
  • Third Point. The third, to consider what the good subjects ought to answer to a King so liberal and so kind, and hence, if any one did not accept the appeal of such a king, how deserving he would be of being censured by all the world, and held for a mean-spirited knight.
christ the king cont2
Christ the King (cont.)
  • IN PART 2--The second part of this Exercise consists in applying the above parable of the temporal King to Christ our Lord, conformably to the three Points mentioned.
    • First Point. And as to the first Point, if we consider such a call of the temporal King to his subjects, how much more worthy of consideration is it to see Christ our Lord, King eternal, and before Him all the entire world, which and each one in particular He calls, and says: "It is My will to conquer all the world and all enemies and so to enter into the glory of My Father; therefore, whoever would like to come with Me is to labor with Me, that following Me in the pain, he may also follow Me in the glory."
christ the king cont3
Christ the King (cont.)
  • Second Point. The second, to consider that all those who have judgment and reason will offer their entire selves to the labor.
  • Third Point. The third, those who will want to be more devoted and signalise themselves in all service of their King Eternal and universal Lord, not only will offer their persons to the labor, but even, acting against their own sensuality and against their carnal and worldly love, will make offerings of greater value and greater importance, saying:
christ the king cont4
Christ the King (cont.)
  • "Eternal Lord of all things, I make my oblation with Thy favor and help, in presence of Thy infinite Goodness and in presence of Thy glorious Mother and of all the Saints of the heavenly Court; that I want and desire, and it is my deliberate determination, if only it be Thy greater service and praise, to imitate Thee in bearing all injuries and all abuse and all poverty of spirit, and actual poverty, too, if Thy most Holy Majesty wants to choose and receive me to such life and state."
christ the king cont5
Christ the King (cont.)
  • First Note. This Exercise will be made twice in the day; namely, in the morning on rising and an hour before dinner or before supper.
  • Second Note. For the Second Week and so on, it is very helpful to read at intervals in the books of the Imitation of Christ, or of the Gospels, and of lives of Saints.
second week fourth day the two standards
Second Week, Fourth Day:The Two Standards
    • The one of Christ, our Commander-in-chief and Lord; the other of
    • Lucifer, mortal enemy of our human nature.
  • Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.
  • First Prelude. The First Prelude is the narrative. It will be here how Christ calls and wants all under His standard; and Lucifer, on the contrary, under his.
the two standards cont
The Two Standards (cont.)
  • Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place. It will be here to see a great field of all that region of Jerusalem, where the supreme Commander-in-chief of the good is Christ our Lord; another field in the region of Babylon, where the chief of the enemy is Lucifer.
  • Third Prelude. The third, to ask for what I want: and it will be here to ask for knowledge of the deceits of the bad chief and help to guard myself against them, and for knowledge of the true life which the supreme and true Captain shows and grace to imitate Him.
the two standards cont1
The Two Standards (cont.)
  • [Imagining Lucifer’s kingdom]
    • First Point. The first Point is to imagine as if the chief of all the enemy seated himself in that great field of Babylon, as in a great chair of fire and smoke, in shape horrible and terrifying.
    • Second Point. The second, to consider how he issues a summons to innumerable demons and how he scatters them, some to one city and others to another, and so through all the world, not omitting any provinces, places, states, nor any persons in particular.
the two standards cont2
The Two Standards (cont.)
  • Third Point. The third, to consider the discourse which he makes them, and how he tells them to cast out nets and chains; that they have first to tempt with a longing for riches -- as he is accustomed to do in most cases -- that men may more easily come to vain honor of the world, and then to vast pride. So that the first step shall be that of riches; the second, that of honor; the third, that of pride; and from these three steps he draws on to all the other vices.
the two standards cont3
The Two Standards (cont.)
  • So, on the contrary, one has to imagine as to the supreme and true Captain, Who is Christ our Lord.
    • First Point. The first Point is to consider how Christ our Lord puts Himself in a great field of that region of Jerusalem, in lowly place, beautiful and attractive.
    • Second Point. The second, to consider how the Lord of all the world chooses so many persons -- Apostles, Disciples, etc., -- and sends them through all the world spreading His sacred doctrine through all states and conditions of persons.
the two standards cont4
The Two Standards (cont.)
  • Third Point. … to consider the discourse which Christ our Lord makes to all His servants and friends whom He sends on this expedition, recommending them to want to help all, by bringing them first to the highest spiritual poverty, and -- if His Divine Majesty would be served and would want to choose them -- no less to actual poverty; the second is to be of … contempt; because from these two things humility follows. So that there are to be three steps;
    • the first, poverty against riches;
    • the second … contempt against worldly honor;
    • the third, humility against pride. And from these three steps let them induce to all the other virtues.
the two standards cont5
The Two Standards (cont.)
  • First Colloquy. One Colloquy to Our Lady, that she may get me grace from Her Son and Lord that I may be received under His standard; and
    • first in the highest spiritual poverty, and -- if His Divine Majesty would be served and would want to choose and receive me -- not less in actual poverty;
    • second, in suffering contumely and injuries, to imitate Him more in them, if only I can suffer them without the sin of any person, or displeasure of His Divine Majesty; and with that a Hail Mary.
the two standards cont6
The Two Standards (cont.)
  • Second Colloquy. I will ask the same of the Son, that He may get it for me of the Father; and with that say the Soul of Christ.
  • Third Colloquy. I will ask the same of the Father, that He may grant it to me; and say an Our Father.
  • Note. This Exercise will be made at midnight and then a second time in the morning, and two repetitions of this same will be made at the hour of Mass and at the hour of Vespers, always finishing with the three Colloquies, to Our Lady, to the Son, and to the Father; and that on The Pairs which follows, at the hour before supper.