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Christian Spirituality for Seekers

Reflections on the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola

Author(s): Roger Haight

ISBN13: 9781570759871

ISBN10: 1570759871

Publisher: Orbis Books (30 Nov 2012)

Extent: 288 pages

Binding: Paperback

Size: 23.1 x 15 x 2.3 cm

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  • The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola, composed in the sixteenth century, consist of a sequence of meditations on the life of Jesus aimed at promoting spiritual depth and discernment about how to live. For centuries they have formed the basis for Jesuit spirituality and formation.


    But their influence extends much further. In this work, based on his experience of leading study of the Exercises in a pluralistic environment, Roger Haight has set out to open this classic work to an audience encompassing all spiritual seekers, even those outside the Christian family. His focus is the humanity and the spirituality of Jesus.Thus, his work functions not just as an introduction to the Exercises themselves but also as an introduction to spirituality and even as an introduction to Christianity, which can be seen, in this light, as a way of life modeled on the spirituality of Jesus.


    Table of Contents:




    PART I - Ignatius and the Spiritual Exercises


    Chapter One - Ignatius and the Spiritual Exercises


    Ignatius Prior to His Conversion

    Ignatius’s Conversion Experience: The First Phase of an Extended Experience

    First Formulas of the Spiritual Exercises: The Second Phase of the Experience

    Pilgrim, Student, Organizer, and Administrator

    Biographical Dimensions of the Spiritual Exercises


    Chapter Two - Description of the Spiritual Exercises


    Meditations on the Life of Jesus

    The Christian Narrative

    Ignatius’s Sources

    Ignatian Language

    Other Ignatian Devices and Instructions

    The Genius of the Spiritual Exercises


    Chapter Three - The Logic of the Exercises


    A View of the Whole

    Principle and Foundation

    Sin and Grace

    The Call of the Temporal King

    The Two Standards

    The Discernment of Spirits

    The Election

    Jesus’ Death and Resurrection


    Finding God in All Things



    Chapter Four - Interpreting the Exercises for Seekers


    Interpreting the Spiritual Exercises

    Conceiving Spirituality

    A Note on Freedom

    Can the Exercises Be Offered to Seekers?

    Ignatian Methods of Prayer


    PART II - Reflections to Accompany the Spiritual Exercises


    Week One – Anthropology


    Looking for Principles and a Foundation (SE, 23)

    The Evolutionary Order of the World (Elizabeth A. Johnson)

    Creation (Genesis 1:1-2:3)

    God: Provident Governor of the Universe (Psalm 104) 114

    The Disordered World (Job 30:19-31; 31:5-8; 38:1-11) 119

    The Infinite Value of the Individual (Wisdom of Solomon 11:21-12:2)

    Stories of Sin (Genesis 3:1-7, 22-23; 11:1-9)

    Jesus’ Story of Divine Forgiveness (Luke 15:11-32)

    On Freedom and Gifts (Matthew 25:14-30)

    Human Freedom in History (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

    The Kingdom of God in the End (Matthew 25:31-46)


    Week Two - Jesus of Nazareth and His Ministry


    Jesus as Leader: Following Christ (SE, 91-98)

    Incarnation (Luke 2:1-21)

    The Baptism of Jesus (Luke 3:21-22)

    Jesus Preaching at Nazareth (Luke 4:14-30)

    The Call of Disciples (Luke 5:1-11)

    Two Types of Life (SE, 136-147)

    Following Jesus (Luke 9:57-10:12)

    Jesus as Healer (Luke 11:14-20)

    Jesus as Teacher (Luke 11:1-13)

    Jesus as Prophet (Luke 11:37-54)

    Three Types of People (SE, 149-157)

    Jesus on Ultimacy (Luke 12:16-21)

    Jesus on Justice (Luke 6:20-26)

    Jesus on Morality (Luke 10:25-37)

    Jesus on Hope (Luke 14:1, 12-24)

    Three Ways of Commitment (SE, 165-168)

    Discernment of Spirits (SE, 313-336)

    Making Decisions before God (SE, 169-188)


    Week Three - The Suffering and Death of Jesus


    Jesus Enters Jerusalem (Luke 19:29-48)

    The Last Supper (Luke 22:7-23)

    Jesus’ Torture and Execution (Luke 23:1-49)

    The Significance of Jesus’ Death (Philippians 2:6-11)


    Week Four - Jesus Risen and His Mission


    Emmaus: The Easter Experience (Luke 24:13-35) 

    The Meaning of the Resurrection of Jesus (Acts 1:1-11) 

    Resurrection and Christian Life (Luke 24:36-49) 

    Pentecost: Resurrection and Mission (Acts 2:1-13) 

    Christian Mission (Acts 2:14-36) 

    The Jesus Movement (Acts 2:37-47) 

    Mission to All (Acts 15:1-35)

    Jesus as Revelation of God (Acts 17:22-31)

    Contemplation to Attain Love (SE, 230-237)



  • Roger Haight

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    Both a thoughtful study of the Exercises and how they came to be, and – in the distinctive dimension of the book – a forward-looking reflection on how the Exercises are a resource for the wider community of those seeking after God, wisdom, and spiritual wholeness. While it is at every point Christ-centered, with much of the text of the Exercises woven into the chapters, Fr. Haight also shows how the genius of Ignatius’ spiritual vision can be a guide for a broader spiritual community as well.


     - Francis X. Clooney, S.J.

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