The Spiritual Exercises
A journey toward
deeper friendship with Jesus.
Have you ever felt as if your relationship with Jesus
is more like holding a lot of ideas in your head
rather than an actual friendship with a living person?
If that has been your experience then you might want to consider engaging the Spiritual Exercises. The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola is a program of daily prayer practice that primarily follows the life of Jesus through the Gospels as well as other scripture passages and prayerful reflections..
It was initially created in the 16th Century as a 30 day prayer retreat. Because most people are unable to get away to a retreat house for this length of time, the much more common way people engage the Exercises is over a 7-8 month period, 30 weeks rather than 30 days.
One participant's experience:
"I have wanted to experience the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises for many years, but wasn't sure I would ever have the opportunity to get away for a month to do it. When Dan provided the opportunity to journey through the Exercises over a period of 30 weeks, I jumped at the chance! I found the Exercises truly transformative in my relationship with Jesus. To step into the good story of God's Word in a contemplative and reflective way has left me a different person. Dan's gentle, faithful, and wise guidance has changed me. I highly recommend anyone who is considering taking a similar journey, to do it, you won't be disappointed!"
The Exercises are divided into five main sections
You prepare for the journey ahead by spending time resting in the Father's immense love for you.
Finding God in My Struggles
You experience the gentle and abundant forgiveness and grace offered in the midst of your broken places.
Living with Jesus
You walk the pathways of Galilee and Israel with Jesus in imaginative prayer and reflection.
You accompany Jesus during his passion leading up to the cross.
You rejoice in the resurrected Jesus and listen to the Spirit as you continue on your own journey.
You will receive a weekly prayer schedule that includes a scripture passage for each day, some questions, poetry and artistic expressions to prompt your prayer and a weekly spiritual direction session with me to talk about your experience in prayer. You will learn to pray with your imagination, engaging with Jesus through the stories in the Gospels.
The Spiritual Exercises require a significant commitment, both in time and in focus and energy. But the commitment pays rich dividends. Listen to another participant's experience:
"The commitment to engage in the 30 weeks of the Ignatian Exercises has been an enriching journey of contemplative prayer. I anticipated Dan's email each week and reflected on and journeyed through the scripture passages and readings that were the spiritual foundation for the week. The additional artwork and poetry were welcome additions and brought different facets and perspectives to the readings. The gift of meeting with Dan for Spiritual Direction was the piece that brought meaning, connection and direction as I leaned into our conversation with his questions that sparked reflection: "listen for how Jesus is speaking", "where do you find yourself in the story?", "what did you notice?", "what is the invitation?" My journal is full of reflections and responses in poetry, artwork and prose that are threads in the weaving of my life story. I encourage you to step out of the boat and enter into the journey of the Ignatian Exercises and contemplative prayer with Dan. It's a journey you will not regret."
For more information on the Spiritual Exercises, commitment requirements and cost, please contact me to set up a time for further conversation.