Previous posts have mentioned Ignatius House Retreat Center. I am increasingly grateful daily for the wisdom of St. Ignatius, on whose Spiritual Exercises most retreats at Ignatius House and elsewhere are based.
There are numerous texts of the Exercises, but I would encourage you to get this edition, which has a wonderfully helpful Preface and Introduction. From this morning’s readings, later in the book, the following notes appear in my daily prayer journal (summarizing pages 235 and top of 236):
I am made to know, love, serve, and possess God:
- To know God, in the created order of the world (Psalm 24:1)
- To love God, because it is from his bounty He has given to me even the creatures; it is His love that serves me in each one.
- To serve God. Consider how all the creatures obey? Shall I be the only one to refuse to serve God? Shall I be the least faithful?
- To merit the possession of God. There is nothing created or ordained by God that cannot be the occasion of prompting some virtue:
- Things we need and may enjoy offer occasions for practicing temperance and detachment.
- Things to which we must submit (labor, illness, poverty) offer occasions for patience and humility.
- Things that lead to God offer occasions to practice piety and faith.
- Things that lead away from God offer occasions to practice sacrifice.