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The Spiritual Exercises: The Incarnation (Second Week First Day)
Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College ^ | 1541-1548 | St. Ignatius of Loyola

Posted on 12/19/2005 1:40:55 PM PST by annalex







Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.

First Prelude. The first Prelude is to bring up the narrative of the thing which I have to contemplate.

Here, it is how the Three Divine Persons looked at all the plain or circuit of all the world, full of men, and how, seeing that all were going down to Hell, it is determined in Their Eternity,7 that the Second Person shall become man to save the human race, and so, the fullness of times being come,8 They sent the Angel St. Gabriel to Our Lady (p. 133).

Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place: here it will be to see the great capacity and circuit of the world, in which are so many and such different people: then likewise, in particular, the house and rooms of Our Lady in the city of Nazareth, in the Province of Galilee.

Third Prelude. The third, to ask for what I want: it will be to ask for interior knowledge of the Lord, Who for me has become man, that I may more love and follow Him.

Note. It is well to note here that this same Preparatory Prayer, without changing it, as was said in the beginning, and the same three Preludes, are to be made in this Week and in the others following, changing the form according to the subject matter.

First Point. The first Point is, to see the various persons: and first those on the surface of the earth, in such variety, in dress as in actions: some white and others black; some in peace and others in war; some weeping and others laughing; some well, others ill; some being born and others dying, etc.

2. To see and consider the Three Divine Persons, as on their royal throne or seat of Their Divine Majesty, how They look on all the surface and circuit of the earth, and all the people in such blindness, and how they are dying and going down to Hell.

3. To see Our Lady, and the Angel who is saluting her, and to reflect in order to get profit from such a sight.

Second Point. The second, to hear what the persons on the face of the earth are saying, that is, how they are talking with one another, how they swear and blaspheme, etc.; and likewise what the Divine Persons are saying, that is: “Let Us work the redemption of the Human race,” etc.; and then what the Angel and Our Lady are saying; and to reflect then so as to draw profit from their words.

Third Point. The third, to look then at what the persons on the face of the earth are doing, as, for instance, killing, going to Hell etc.; likewise what the Divine Persons are doing, namely, working out the most holy Incarnation, etc.; and likewise what the Angel and Our Lady are doing, namely, the Angel doing his duty as ambassador, and Our Lady humbling herself and giving thanks to the Divine Majesty; and then to reflect in order to draw some profit from each of these things.

Colloquy. At the end a Colloquy is to be made, thinking what I ought to say to the Three Divine Persons, or to the Eternal Word incarnate, or to our Mother and Lady, asking according to what I feel in me, in order more to follow and imitate Our Lord, so lately incarnate.

I will say an Our Father.


In Their Eternity is in St. Ignatius’ hand, replacing among Them, which is cancelled.


And so, the fullness of times being come is in the Saint’s hand, and being crossed out.

TOPICS: Catholic; Orthodox Christian; Prayer; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: exercise; incarnation; loyola
For the entire book, see The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola
1 posted on 12/19/2005 1:40:56 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex

Paradise and Hell

Hieronymus Bosch
c. 1510
Oil on wood, 135 x 45 cm (each panel)
Museo del Prado, Madrid

2 posted on 12/19/2005 1:42:55 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex

The Annunciation

Melchior Broederlam

Tempera on wood
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dijon

3 posted on 12/19/2005 1:44:55 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex

Christ Enthroned

Giotto di Bondone

c. 1330
Tempera on panel
Pinacoteca, Vatican

4 posted on 12/19/2005 1:48:44 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex


ROUSE up, O Lord, and foster the spirit of the Exercises which Blessed Ignatius labored to spread abroad, that we, too, may be filled with it and be zealous to love what he loved and do what he taught! Through Christ our Lord.


5 posted on 12/19/2005 1:50:41 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex

A meditation I wrote for the feast of the Annunciation, but seems very fitting when considering the Incarnation:

How dark,
how quiet,
save for the beating of her heart,
with the angel's greeting,
and her determined yes,
and the touch of the Spirit,
then suddenly,
in a moment unwatched
by any mortal eye,
there was fusion
between heaven and earth,
and a moment later,
such a tiny speck,
Lord of the universe
emptied out,
master of time and space
in a zygote.

limitless spirit
taking on mortal flesh,
encased in the warm darkness,
quietly pulsing
with the beating of her heart.

Thank you Lord,
for sanctifying
our little human life
from conception until death
by your choice of being
Our God with Us.


6 posted on 12/19/2005 1:56:46 PM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: annalex

Thanks so much for posting.

7 posted on 12/19/2005 2:19:06 PM PST by AliVeritas (To all traitorous libs and seditious has beens, "Take two gallows and call me in the morning")
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To: annalex

Great images - thank you for posting them. Bosch is one of a kind... "Christ Carries the Cross" is a nightmare.

Think there are any Jesuits left who still do these excercises?

8 posted on 12/19/2005 8:25:54 PM PST by Nihil Obstat
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Nihil Obstat; Marcellinus

Fr. Dare included this in his homily last Sunday in St. Rose in Sacramento.

I think that the discipline of spiritual exercise is lacking today; it is replaced by a less rigirous regimen of short prayer and book reading. A spiritual exercise is more evolved than a prayer, and is more introspective. Reading a book is often no exercise at all: the author has done all the work and the reader is mere consumer.

I will be posting from Loyola periodically.

10 posted on 12/20/2005 7:41:22 AM PST by annalex
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To: Salvation

Of possible interest for your ping list.

11 posted on 12/20/2005 10:50:01 AM PST by annalex
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To: annalex
The Preparatory Prayer, mentiones here by reference, is "to ask 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".

(See FIRST EXERCISE for explanation of the general template of the exercises).

12 posted on 12/20/2005 11:02:50 AM PST by annalex
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To: annalex

Beautiful post.

13 posted on 12/20/2005 11:00:09 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: annalex; nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; NYer; american colleen; Pyro7480; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

And a Prayer Ping too!

14 posted on 12/20/2005 11:01:34 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: annalex
St. Ignatius of Loyola

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest
July 31st

(1491-1556, Canonized 1622)

Founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)

Saint Ignatious of Loyola, engraving, French (1844) copy of 17th century portrait. (Private collection.)


Ad Majoriem Dei Gloriam

To the greater glory of God

gnatius was born in the Basque region of Spain in 1491, the youngest of thirteen children. He was brought up in the household of Juan Velásquez de Cuellar, treasurer to Ferdinand and Isabella, and served as his patron's page. He was said to be affected and extravangant about his hair and dress, consumed with the desire of winning glory, and sometimes involved in intrigues.

In 1517 a change for the better began; Velásquez died and Ignatius joined the Spanish army. The turning-point of his life came in 1521 when he was injured in battle. While the French were besieging the citadel of Pampeluna, a cannon ball, passing between Ignatius's legs, tore open the left calf, and broke the right shin . The garrison surrendered, but Ignatius was well treated by the French and carried on a litter to Loyola, where his leg had to be rebroken and reset, and afterwards a protruding end of the bone was sawn off, and the limb, having been shortened by clumsy setting, was stretched out by weights. All these pains were undergone without complaint. But the aftermath was so severe he nearly died. On the eve of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29), the crisis was passed, and he began to recover.

Until then, Ignatius had shown only the ordinary virtues of the Spanish officer. His dangers and sufferings had doubtless done much to purge his soul, but there was no idea yet of remodelling his life on any higher ideals. During the weary hours of convalescence, he asked for the romances of chilvary, his favorite reading. As there were none in the castle, and instead they brought him the lives of Christ and of the saints, and he read them in the same quasi-competitive spirit with which he read the achievements of knights and warriors.

"Suppose I were to rival this saint in fasting, that one in endurance, that other in pilgrimages." He would then wander off into thoughts of chivalry, and service to fair ladies, especially to unknown lady of high rank. But he soon realized that the worldly omantic daydreams left him dissatisfied, while the heavenly ones grew clearer and dearer.

One night as he lay awake, pondering those new lights, his autobiography says, he "saw clearly the image of Our Lady with the Holy Child Jesus, at whose sight for a notable time he felt a surpassing sweetness, which eventually left him with such a loathing for his past sins, and especially for those of the flesh, that every unclean imagination seemed blotted out from his soul, and never again was there the least consent to any carnal thought"

His conversion was now complete. He set out on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and dedicated himself at the monastery of Montserrat. He stopped for a time at Manresa, where he wrote in his journal, and there he became aware of "interior things, like humility, charity, patience and discretion." He began to write the "Spiritual Exercises", a guide for a month of prayer. He resumed the pilgrimage in early 1523, and arrived in Jerusalem in September. However, he was not permitted to stay there, so he returned to Barcelona, where he began to preach on the streets, and to study Latin. He encountered difficulties with the Inquisition, so he went to study at the University of Paris.

He met Francis Xavier in Paris. Ignatius, Francis and five other students, began to do the Spiritual Exercises. Together the men took private vows at a small chapel atop Montmartre on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, August 15, 1534.

After an unsuccessful attempt to go to Jerusalem as missionaries, the men, calling themselves the Compania de Jesus (Society of Jesus) went to Rome and put themselves at the disposal of the Pope. Their rule of common life was approved by Pope Paul II September 27, 1540, and Ignatius, as superior of the new religious order, governed, recruited, and wrote many letters. He completed writing the Jesuit Constitutions in 1551. Soon the Society was established in Spain, Portugal, France, the Low Countries, and Germany. Jesuit missionaries were sent to Africa, India and North and South America.

Ignatius died of a fever on July 31, 1556. There were at least one thousand Jesuits at the time of their founder's death.

Ignatius is buried in the Church of the Gésu in Rome, at the center of Jesuit instutions of education and formation to this day. The establishment of Jesuit schools and universities was a key effort of the Counter-reformation, and Jesuit missions were established throughout the world. He was canonized, along with Francis Xavier, in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV.

The motto of the Society of Jesus is Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - To the Greater Glory of God.

(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)

Almighty Father, you gave Saint Ignatius of Loyola to your Church to bring greater glory to your name.
May we follow his example on earth and share the crown of life in heaven.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading:
Corinthians 10:31 - 11:1
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the Church of God, just as I try to please all men in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

Gospel Reading:
Luke 14: 25-33
Now great multitudes accompanied Him; and He turned and said to them, "If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build, and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an emissary and asks terms of peace. So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple."

16 posted on 07/31/2008 9:31:14 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Thanks for bumping this old thread.

17 posted on 07/31/2008 10:22:37 AM PDT by annalex (
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