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Outline & Calendar of the Spiritual Exercises

19th Annotation Journey

His 40 Days  - Our 4 Weeks

Preparing Our Souls - Jesus prepared 40 days in the desert after His baptism before beginning His ministry. So too, we are called to prepare before we begin this long journey of being with His life on earth as His companion.   These Disposition Days are for our hearts to experience more fully the unconditional love that springs forth endlessly from God as His beloved.  

 His 3 Decades, 3 Years, 3 Days - Our 30 Weeks 

Entering into the 30-week intensive Retreat is to come to an internal and personal knowingness of who Jesus was and is. Here in the Spiritual Exercises, we are called to walk as if alongside Him in reviewing His life. To not just observe in our imagination but to actually talk with Him. Share your thoughts. Ask questions. His is the Word; words are real.  He was real, here on earth. 


The beginning was with the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.


3 Decades

In the 3 Decades of preparation for ministry, he experienced all of our human experiences from infancy to the teens to a young adult. We are called to reflect upon what it was like for Him with His family, mother and step-father, grandparents, extended relatives, friends, and neighbors. How did he play, run, laugh, and work alongside this father in the carpentry shop? What were his years like in Egypt? How old was he when they came back? What were the journies like, traveling back and forth to Egypt and then regularly going up to Jerusalem as a youth and young adult? 


3 Years

We know some things about what he said and did from the scriptures.   What do you think he experienced during his baptism or those 40 days of prayer being tormented in the desert?  What were the 3 Years of his ministry like for him? Can you picture yourself there? What was the moment you committed yourself entirely to being a disciple and following him?

3 Days 

Passion, Death, and Resurrection

His 50 Days - Our 4 Weeks 

The Resurrected Life


19th Annotation Calendar

Meet weekly as we follow the liturgical year with a Prelude and 4 phases /dynamics  / "Weeks." 

  1. Ordinary Time: Prelude & First Week

  2. Advent/Christmas/Ordinary Time/1st part of Lent: Second Week

  3. 2nd part of Lent: Third Week

  4. Easter and Easter Season: Fourth Week

Ideally, beginning in the Fall to follow the Liturgical Year, or in the Spring about the end of April - after Easter- is the same content ending at Advent 

18th Annotation follows the dynamics of the full Exercises in an abbreviated format and shorter timeframe - # of Weeks Varies 


Prayers for the Spiritual Exercises

Beginning Prayer

The Anima Christi


Prayers for Grace

There will often be a specific ‘prayer for the grace of the week’ (also written as one's "desire for a gift of grace") as the main intent, with an invitation to add your own as the Spirit moves.


Other Prayers

BLOG has Ignatian prayers to consider.



The Outline of the Spiritual Exercises

Dynamic Movements of the 'Weeks'


Disposition Days The Love and Mercy of God

Beginning before and during Advent, we venture into the “Prelude” and "The First Week” sections with prayers, reflections, and learnings.  Note: The Prelude should end right before Thanksgiving.


"The Prelude"

God is Love - We are His beloved

This adventure begins with a “Prelude” where we encounter, through the scriptures, God who is Love love.


Focus: In these preparation days, we consider the gifts of God‘s ongoing creation in the world and in us. Here, we pray for a spirit of generous gratitude and awe for those gifts we are to share. We spend time savoring the beauty of God‘s unconditional love for us, who are His beloveds.



"The First Week": God's Mercy

God’s Boundless Love and Compassion for the World 

Within the “first Dynamic” of the Spiritual Exercises, we come to encounter the boundless mercy of God as we look into the reality of sin and the history of grace in the world and in our own lives. (It also lines up our holiday of Thanksgiving.)


In this first dynamic,  as we recognize God’s boundless generosity and love for us, we naturally face our limited response to His love. Here, God revealed to us, in His gentle way, areas where we need to grow more in love.  Here, we become more aware of, recognize, and come to understand those patterns in our lives that are not worthy of us. Here, we look for God’s help to be free from what stands in our way of loving God, others, and even ourselves, and everything that would hold us back from freedom in following the call.


Focus: We pray for the grace of embracing ourselves as loved sinners, gazing upon God‘s loving, gentle kindness and mercy, filling us with the grace of a profound sense of gratitude.


"The Second Week": The Life and Mission of Christ

Accompanying Jesus on Mission

Advent up to Lent is a perfect time for this second dynamic. We spend the most time in this Week.


Beginning with contemplating on the incarnation, His birth, childhood, and public ministry all related to developing in the discipleship of Christ. The focus and method of prayer is Ignatian contemplation.


During this time, there will be a more in-depth discussion on the discernment of spirits (our responses, moods, and feelings) in terms of consolation and desolation, along with specific meditations, “the two standards,” “the three metaphors, and “in the kingdom of God.”


Focus: We desire to know Jesus more intimately so we can love Jesus Christ more dearly and follow Christ more closely.


"The Third Week": Compassion in the Passion

Identifying and Walking with the Lord in His Passion

We will most likely begin this 3rd week towards the latter half of Lent, ending right up to Easter Vigil. Here, we walk with Jesus in his suffering as we would with a friend. It is a brief period yet so profoundly moving. Here, we spend time contemplating his passion and expression of God‘s faithfulness and love for us in his gift of salvation.


We also look more closely at desolation. Though this section has less number of calendar weeks in O’Brien’s book and other books, this “Week” is just as dense and intense as the others.


Focus: We come to share in His suffering and compassion, in bringing in our own suffering into His redemptive gift for others.


Calendar:  Solidarity through Compassion in His Passion

Contemplation with Images on the Mysteries of Our Lord from St. Ignatius Spiritual Exercises Text will be uploaded as they are completed.

Example #298



"The Fourth Week": You are Called

Joy, Joy, and Joy in Consolation in the Risen Christ

Easter Vigil, Easter, and Easter Season is the time of the fourth dynamic; we will experience the joy of the risen Lord in living the life in the Spirit, gathering our graces to live a life of hope through freedom with a generous heart to find God in all things, to love and serve God and others in concrete ways.


Focus: Sharing in the life of gifts of grace poured out upon us by the Holy Spirit.


Calendar: Dynamic Four - Joy in Risen Lord/Living the Life of the Beloved Disciple.



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