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The Spiritual Exercises (Image Classic) Paperback – 1 Jul 1988

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell; Reissue edition (1 July 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385024363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385024365
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 416,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

It is impossible to exaggerate the influence of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius since its completion in 1535. In these exercises, as the editor writes, "St. Ignatius' personal insights into ascetical theology found their clearest expression; in them, too, each new generation of Jesuits is formed according to the spirit of St. Ignatius". A man of great practical genius, Ignatius created the book as the basis for retreats given to priests, lay people and monastics. Organised according to five major themes (Creation, Mankind, The Kingdom of God, Christ and the Trinity), the exercises are divided into four "weeks" of meditations--although these weeks may last a few days or a few months. The overall goal is to lead the retreatant through a series of meditations on the life of Christ, beginning with reflections on the disorder and chaos of one's own life, to a series of meditations on Christ's life, inviting you to a knowledge and love of Christ. The third week of exercises focuses on the crucifixion, and the fourth and final week develops meditations on the resurrection, leading ultimately to "the assimilation of the soul to God...so that one lives one's life exclusively for God in joyous service".

This is not so much a book to be read as a path to be entered. Still used around the world (and not just by Jesuits), it remains one of the clearest roads into a deeper spiritual life. --Doug Thorpe

From the Inside Flap

Written in 1533, this masterpiece by St. Ignatius has long been recognized as a brilliant and inspired guide to the development of a deeper spirituality.


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By James Gallen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
"The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius" is one of the literary treasures of Christendom. Written by St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, in the 16th Century, it presents St. Ignatius' formula for the pursuit of spiritual perfection.
The book itself provides a "guidebook", if you will, for a 30 day Ignatian retreat. St. Ignatius presents meditations for each day of the retreat. The meditations are very brief, leaving broad latitude for the retreat master to direct the retreat along the path most likely to be helpful to the retreatants.
While this book certainly is not a "do it yourself" retreat book, it does provide the reader with an accurate insight into the essence of Ignatian Spirituality. The story of the conversion of St. Ignatius is told in the introductory sections of the book. St. Ignatius was an ambitious young Basque nobleman in the service of the King of Spain when he suffered a severe leg wound at the battle of Pampeluna. While recuperating in Loyola Castle, he read the lives of the saints, a book witch redirected his service from that of the King of Spain to the service of the King of Heaven. As he gradually discerned his calling he unsuccessfully attempted a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, among other pious exercises. He used the method of his discernment process as a guideline for others, whether to discern their proper state in life or to more perfectly orient their lives toward God. The essence of Ignatian spiritually is that all creation is good. It was created by God to lead all people to Him. The duty of every Christian is to use all of creation to give honor and glory of God, and to use it to lead all men to their creator. Just as all creation if fulfilled in God, so to are all people.
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A wonderful book from the founder of the Jesuit order. Precepts for your life to help you leap blithely over life's many pitfalls, and stay clear of the devil's many snares. Himself a man of no half measures, with a life story reminiscent of St Augustine's. A proud and brave knight who would readuly give everything up for honour, with a questioning mind, converted to a saintly priest, who would give everything up everything for the Way. A jewel of the Catholic literary treasury, right up there with works of the like of St Frances de Sales, St Catherine of Siena, St Theresa of Avila and st Theresa of Lisieux.
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I was after this specific book, which is an essential tool when making spiritual choices about your path in life. I got it because I was attending discernment course which use it. I found the book far more in depth than the course. Its a similar book in many ways to the Imitation of Christ, but has its own character.
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The classical approach to finding yourself and your God and understanding your relationship with him. For anyone struggling to make major life changing decisions, this is a MUST.
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Classic spiritual tome that has stood the test of time. Plenty of substance for seekers of all religions to benefit from.
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