of St. Ignatius of Loyola
An integral part of the Institute of the Incarnate Word spirituality involves the preaching and the practice of the Spiritual Exercises. The Exercises alone do not constitute the whole of our spirituality, but they do contribute greatly to building the foundation of a solid spiritual life. Taking the Exercises annually helps our priests, brothers, and seminarians to order every aspect of their lives for the “greater glory of God” and to implement an effective reform of life , so as to achieve the permanent attitude of the “third man” (cf. Spiritual Exercises, 155; 157). Both of these realities constitute a “serious spirituality” which we seek, as the sure norm of being cooperative with God’s grace through the Holy Spirit.
Below are some excerpts from our Directory of Spirituality concerning the Spiritual Exercises:
- The example of Our Lord withdrawing into the desert for forty days should lead us to highly value the practice of the spiritual exercises, especially those of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and the typical thirty-day exercises given at the end of the novitiate and every ten years thereafter. Also, making the annual eight-day spiritual exercises is laudable. We also believe that the monthly retreat is highly important. (104)
- This clear understanding of the irreplaceable value of the Spiritual Exercises for the renewal of Christian life – teaching each person to conquer himself and to arrange his own life according to God’s order – should bring us to know the Exercises deeply, to prepare ourselves to preach them fruitfully, and to have the necessary disposition so as not to miss any opportunity to preach them. (105)
IVE SpirituaApostolic Commitmentslity
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius also constitute a major part of our apostolic commitments. As our Constitutions state, “The Institute of the Incarnate Word will accomplish evangelization of the culture by sanctifying people individually. This will be done preferably by using the Spiritual Exercises according to the method and spirit of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and by spiritual direction” (171).
Our Directory of Spiritual Exercises also states that, “given the importance of preaching the Spiritual Exercises it is necessary that the priest of our Institute be diligently prepared for such a ministry. This should begin during his formation in the seminary” (11).