I was first introduced to the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in 2012 when I was invited to follow his exercises along with a book called ‘Journey with Jesus’ by Larry Warner. There was a hook though, you were not advised to do this on your own (which I soon understood why,) but accompanied by a Spiritual Director. This also became my introduction to Spiritual Direction, and perhaps contemplative spirituality all together. It started the exploration of the incredible gift of imagination in my life with Jesus. These Ignatian exercises were just what I needed at the time – I felt stuck, faced with a ‘wall’, spiritually dry and yearning to meet with Jesus in an intimate, fresh way.
I am not going to share the whole biography of St. Ignatian here, although it is well worth looking into, but what I will say is that following the imaginative spiritual exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, are an incredible year-long journey for anyone who is desperate to know Jesus’ life and its transforming power in their own lives. It requires some courage, definitely commitment, and open mind and heart, yet the rewards are wonderful.
At the beginning of this Lent, I wanted to revisit some of the exercises and I picked up my well-worn ‘Journey with Jesus’ book as my Lenten devotional guide.
.......... What freedom, grace or strength are you seeking this Lent?
.......... What practices can help you to receive what God wants to give you?
In the words of Saint Ignatius, I pray that during this Lent you would be met by the grace ‘to know Jesus intimately, to love him more intensely and to follow him more closely.’ Amen.
P.S. If you are interested to learn more about the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, or want to find a prayer devotional for this Lent, feel free to get in touch with me or check out the few resources I mention below. I would love to hear from you.
My Pinterest Board for Lenten and Easter inspiration
Lenten Art Meditation by artist Scott Erickson
Stations of the Cross audio meditations by Pray-as-you-go
Lent Resources by Ignatian Spirituality
Audio Lent retreat 2018 by Sacred Space