Ignatius of Loyola is one of the great conversion stories in history. Ignatius was a soldier. In 1521 he was wounded in battle. He suffered injuries to both legs. He was required to rest for several months during his recovery. He read from St. Francis and Thomas a Kempis. Then while on pilgrimage he came to the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat. He eventually gathered ten men in 1534 and formed the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).

During this time he developed The Spiritual Exercises. The Spiritual Exercises give guidance for understanding life with God. They are centered around four weeks with each week focusing on a different aspect.
Week One: Moral Reform. “The purpose of moral reform is to channel our desires and harness our passions in a way that allows us to attend to the mysteries of the life of Christ. Since we are created to praise God, we need to understand how this can occur.” So, this first week asks us to reflect on our sin and its power to disrupt life with God.
Week Two: Our Life with God. “Ignatius opens week two by focusing on the role of the imagination in ‘illuminating’ our life with God.” “Ignatius sees the imagination as creating contact with the living reality of Jesus Christ.” Ignatius encourages us to focus on key events in the life of Christ and use our imagination of actively engage in this events.
Week Three: Identifying with Christ. “Week three is devoted to imaginative reflection on the passion of Jesus. Like week two, week three uses real stories from the Gospels to draw us into full identity and union with the life and sufferings of Jesus.”
Week Four: Full Identity with Christ and Service to the World. “In this final week, Ignatius insists that no meaningful life with God can occur apart from our active life in the world.”
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