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Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life: Part 28

April 21, 2016 - Praying Along with the Retreatants of the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life

The final contemplation in the Spiritual Exercises is the Contemplation on the Love of God. It is the culmination of the many weeks and months of prayer that preceded it. In this contemplation, we draw on our experience of God’s overwhelming love in the Exercises to inform and empower our lives going forward, and we see that the whole movement of the retreat has been rooted in and oriented towards love.

In contemplating the love of God, we ask for the grace to love as God loves. Ignatius offers two critical insights:

“Love ought to manifest itself more by deeds than by words”. Love must be put into action; words are not enough. Having been schooled as disciples these many weeks, we must now do something. Ignatian spirituality is one of mission.

“Love consists in a mutual communication between the two persons”. Just as the love between two persons is marked by giving and receiving, the love we share with God enjoys a certain mutuality. God wants our friendship. God wants to be known by us. These divine desires are the source of our desire to know, love and serve God.

The steps of the full Contemplation are not presented here, since this journal has been a “sampling” of the full Exercises. We hope that this taste of the Exercises has whetted your appetite to undertake them yourself, or to learn more about and to experience Ignatian spirituality. The Jesuit Collaborative, in conjunction with Jesuit parishes, schools and retreat houses, provides many such opportunities. Please continue to visit our website to learn more about these offerings. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter by emailing us at collaborative@jesuitcollaborative.org or clicking here.

May you continue to enjoy the graces of the Easter season. Peace be with you!

- Adapted from "The Ignatian Adventure" by Kevin O'Brien, SJ (Loyola Press)