Four Keys to Ignatian Spirituality

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To be prophetic in our world today

We are pleased to share with you the first of four meditations, in preparation for the Feast of St Ignatius, written by Fr Giuseppe Trotta SJ who belongs to the Community the Jesuit Fathers “S. Frediano” in Pisa.
The topic of these short meditations is Four Keys to Ignatian Spirituality – To be prophetic in our world today, and the first one you will find below is about the Spiritual Exercises.
We thank Fr. Trotta for his collaboration and hope you enjoy the reading.

The Spiritual Exercises
Ignatian spirituality has in the Spiritual Exercises its most significant compendium and expression.
Therefore, the first aspect to consider in order to understand how prophetic it can be in today’s world is precisely to start from the experience of the Spiritual Exercises, that is, the need to exercise.
For St. Ignatius, the relationship with God – and therefore our spiritual life – is based on an intimate, profound experience of God, in “realising and relishing things interiorly”, as he says in annotation 2a of the Spiritual Exercises.
This experience aspect is prophetic even today, in the sense that it is capable of speaking to contemporary people, because they want to experiment something personally, they are no longer satisfied with a faith which is communicated through abstract teaching or the precepts and dogmas of the catechism, but they want to find within themselves in a sensitive, narrative experience the reason for their faith and the root of their spiritual life.
A great theologian of the last century, Karl Rahner, said that the Christian of the third millennium will either be a mystic, that is, a Christian who has had a personal experience of God, or he or she will not be, and the Spiritual Exercises are precisely this practice that allows a personal experience of God through discernment of inner motions and the exercise of a particular prayer, based above all on personal meditation on the Word and performed methodically.

Fr Giuseppe Trotta SJ
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Jesuit Global
Carla Bellone