My Impression of the ‘Spiritual Exercises’

What kind of impression were you left with by the Spiritual Exercises?  Why is Ignatius concerned about careless discussion of faith and good works?

 

St. Ignatius Loyola founded the Catholic Jesuit Order, or the Society of Jesus, and wrote Spiritual Exercises.  I was given the opportunity to read an excerpt of this literary work.  This excerpt contained eighteen rules that I assume were to be followed.

The impression I was left with after reading the excerpt was not a positive one because the rules listed were indeed rules.  I disagree with most, if not all, of the rules listed.  Not once in the list was anything said about honoring, praising, or trusting God.  Much of what was declared went like this: you should obey the mother of Christ, praise Mass, Church decorations, priests, relics etc.  I feel sorry for the people who actually believe that these things should be followed because those people may not be not experience the true heart, love, and power of God.

Ignatius also wrote in Spiritual Exercises that faith should not be carelessly discussed because people listening may not understand it fully and may not know what needs to be done in order to obtain it.

When I first was assigned to read this excerpt I was not thrilled and I was quite annoyed that I had to write about something like this.  But now, by reading it and looking further into it I have a greater understanding of the Jesuit faith, an understanding that I would not have had if I had disregarded the assignments.       

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