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Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#2
The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius is periodically mentioned as a good book to bring along or as a something that can help prepare for a meaningful journey. Has anyone tried to integrate the classic 30 day ignatian retreat with walking the camino de santiago? Suggestions, materials, etc?

Hello @verber and welcome here. This forum gives you a wealth of information.

I found this older thread that might be of some help to you.
Especially @Tia Valeria might be able to be of assistance.

Btw do you know there is also a Camino Ignaciano in Spain?

Happy preparations and Ultreïa!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
#3
@verber It sounds in principle a good idea. And I don't want to be discouraging but speaking as someone who has worked in that field, both as a giver and recipient of the Ignatian method, the book by St Ignatius itself is not particularly user-friendly, in my opinion. If you haven't done the exercises before, I think the book is a bit baffling. (It is common to do them more than once). It is rather elliptical in what it says and doesn't say. It is aimed mainly at someone who is directing someone else to do the exercises. And that someone else has had generally a lot of training. It is not, again in my opinion, a very effective self-help guide. I would be interested to hear the views of others.

There is am immense amount of material online, and much of it is quite excellent.
You could start here, and find many links.
https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-spiritual-exercises

I am not in anyway saying it is not a good idea. I think it is an excellent idea. Just cautioning that if you set out with Ignatius' book and without prior preparation, you might find it disappointing.

Classically it is a 30-day experience, but commonly and much more commonly it is done in a modified 8-day format. One thing to consider is finding somewhere you might try an 8-day retreat before you go to introduce you to the method.

You would need classically several hours a day throughout the 24 hour period of silence. One of the quieter caminos might be better than the cafe con leche Francés;) (Which I love too.) I have just walked from Canterbury to Brindisi probably >80% of the time alone both at night and by day and that is the kind of setting I like for a retreat.

For someone who is looking for a taste, the Irish Jesuits have a very popular online version which easily leads you in an Ignatian methodology.

https://www.sacredspace.ie/
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
#4
Hello @verber and welcome here. This forum gives you a wealth of information.

I found this older thread that might be of some help to you.
Especially @Tia Valeria might be able to be of assistance.

Btw do you know there is also a Camino Ignaciano in Spain?

Happy preparations and Ultreïa!
Hi @SabineP
It looks like you meant to give us a link to another thread.....!
Tim
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#6
@timr Thank you. Love the format and the ease of carrying it with me! May actually help with my re-entry this time around.

The Invierno would also be a great route to walk while doing the exercises. Very quiet.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#7
The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius is periodically mentioned as a good book to bring along or as a something that can help prepare for a meaningful journey. Has anyone tried to integrate the classic 30 day ignatian retreat with walking the camino de santiago? Suggestions, materials, etc?
The pdf file of Forty Days (linked in the thread @SabineP refers to) is still online. The link to Sally Welch's book Making a Pilgrimage is broken. However it is available from Amazon and other booksellers. You can find it here, or make a search using the information.
Either can be used on pilgrimage without need of a spiritual director and the pdf file is just the right length. I found the book by Sally Welch good for pre-pilgrimage preparation.
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 Le Puy-St Jean. 2014&16 Volunteer St JP
2016 Portuguese
2017 Porto-Santiago
2018
#8
@verber It sounds in principle a good idea. And I don't want to be discouraging but speaking as someone who has worked in that field, both as a giver and recipient of the Ignatian method, the book by St Ignatius itself is not particularly user-friendly, in my opinion. If you haven't done the exercises before, I think the book is a bit baffling. (It is common to do them more than once). It is rather elliptical in what it says and doesn't say. It is aimed mainly at someone who is directing someone else to do the exercises. And that someone else has had generally a lot of training. It is not, again in my opinion, a very effective self-help guide. I would be interested to hear the views of others.

There is am immense amount of material online, and much of it is quite excellent.
You could start here, and find many links.
https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-spiritual-exercises

I am not in anyway saying it is not a good idea. I think it is an excellent idea. Just cautioning that if you set out with Ignatius' book and without prior preparation, you might find it disappointing.

Classically it is a 30-day experience, but commonly and much more commonly it is done in a modified 8-day format. One thing to consider is finding somewhere you might try an 8-day retreat before you go to introduce you to the method.

You would need classically several hours a day throughout the 24 hour period of silence. One of the quieter caminos might be better than the cafe con leche Francés;) (Which I love too.) I have just walked from Canterbury to Brindisi probably >80% of the time alone both at night and by day and that is the kind of setting I like for a retreat.

For someone who is looking for a taste, the Irish Jesuits have a very popular online version which easily leads you in an Ignatian methodology.

https://www.sacredspace.ie/
Hi timar
I really appreciate your guidance on this. I had 9 years schooling at a Jesuit school in Australia and are drawn to his writings although I haven’t done the retreat.
One section stood out for me when he wrote about going through periods of desolation then ones of consolation.
I have had this pattern and it helps me to recognise they are both testing times.
Btw have you walked the Ignatiin Way from Loyola?
It may be something for my next Camino
Happymark
 

verber

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan 2019 or 2020
#9
@verber It sounds in principle a good idea. And I don't want to be discouraging but speaking as someone who has worked in that field, both as a giver and recipient of the Ignatian method, the book by St Ignatius itself is not particularly user-friendly, in my opinion. If you haven't done the exercises before, I think the book is a bit baffling. (It is common to do them more than once). It is rather elliptical in what it says and doesn't say. It is aimed mainly at someone who is directing someone else to do the exercises. And that someone else has had generally a lot of training. It is not, again in my opinion, a very effective self-help guide. I would be interested to hear the views of others.
I have done the spiritual exercises in the past. In my area, the Mercy Center has a good program. I have done the long retreat form (30 weeks rather than 30 days) and have been interested in doing something more concentrated... but being away from work for 30 days is tough. I have also been interested in walking the way of James. I found myself wondering if I could kill two birds with one stone.

I thought the reason for my post is that like you, I found the actual book not particularly "user friendly". Everyone I know has done the exercises with supplemental materials. I was looking for some Camino de Santiago specific material to supplement the book.

Your suggestion about choosing one of the quieter routes opened my eyes to my real concern. It's not so much the materials, but about community. My experience with the exercises has always been in the context of a small group doing the exercises with each other. It was very encouraging (and also humbling) to be walking along side others doing the exercises, and to be able to witness God bringing about changes in them as they grew closer. I now realize my concern isn't about the materials but more about how to to manage the interplay of solitude and engagement.

The simple answer would be to find a spiritual director who was going to lead a spiritual exercises retreat while walking the camino de santiago. The more complex answer is going to take some serious thought and prayer... a path you have set me on.

Thanks everyone for pointers to useful material. Some I have used in the past, some are new to me. The one I am going to immediately start using is the sacredspace.ie site. It will be a good addition to my favorite resources, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants. and The Examen.
 
Last edited:

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Aragones/Frances/Finisterre (2018), Operation Sabre (2018), Marin Ramble (2017)
#10
Walked the final stage of the Ignatian Way from Montserrat to Manresa this past April - a beautiful walk which ends at St Ignatius’ cave (now incorporated into a church). I highly recommend it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (Oct. 2018)
#12
@verber , there is a group out of Australia that leads a walk twice a year on the Camino Ignaciano, centered around the spiritual exercises. Spring is for 2 weeks and fall for a month (Spanish seasons, not Australian). Check out the Facebook group, Friends of the Ignatian Camino. You may need to do a little digging, but there was a fair amount of information earlier this year, including contacts.

Also, the "Guide to the Camino Ignaciano" by Chris Lowney and José Luis Iriberri, SJ, centers each day loosely around the exercises. The reflections could easily be adapted to one of the Santiago casinos, if that is your preference.

Best of luck in your research.
 

Joy Davis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
#14
The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius is periodically mentioned as a good book to bring along or as a something that can help prepare for a meaningful journey. Has anyone tried to integrate the classic 30 day ignatian retreat with walking the camino de santiago? Suggestions, materials, etc?
As others have mentioned, the actual text of the "Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius" is not really conducive for the one that wants to make the retreat, and is really a manual for the director. I have walked from SJPP to Leon and hope to complete the pilgrimage to Santiago in 2019. In addition, I am a trained director of the Spiritual Exercises and has experienced them myself, both the 30 week 19th Annotation retreat and several 8 Day Retreats. I think that praying a form of the Exercises while on Camino could be amazingly spiritually fruitful - but also very challenging. There are several "do it yourself" books out there - the one that readily comes to mind is "A Vacation With the Lord" by Thomas Green, SJ, but it may be out of print. "The Ignatian Adventure" by Kevin O'Brien goes through the complete Exercises as well.

As is mentioned by others, I think that finding the time for silent meditation could be very challenging. Normally the Spiritual Exercises in a closed retreat format involves 4-5 hours of silent meditation with Scriptures per day. The silence might be do-able, but I know for myself I have found it difficult to focus on scriptural meditations while on the Camino. Certainly the Camino Frances is very "social" and would add to that challenge.

I'd be happy to chat more about it as it is an idea that intrigues me. I've even thought about the possibility of directing others through a form of the Exercises on the Camino myself.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#15
I love the Ignatian exercises, I did a Lenten version a few years ago and it had a profound effect. That said, I am not sure the Camino is a great place to do that... The pilgrimage is its own Exercise, it follows a rather different rhythm, and is much more communal, IMHO. Apples and oranges.
Of course I am ready to be proved wrong!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#16
What a breath of fresh air this thread is--thanks to @verber for initiating it, and thanks to all who have contributed. I agree that integrating a structured retreat format into the Camino would be difficult given all the distractions that a pilgrim faces each day. And as someone said, or at least how I interpret what was said, for one who undertakes this journey in the right spirit, the Camino itself is in many ways a retreat in itself. But I wholeheartedly agree that incorporating a simple prayer practice like the Examin into one's daily routine is a great way to introduce an ongoing prayer dimension into the broader experience of the pilgrimage. Even starting each day with something as simple as Tom Pfeffer and Joyce Rupp's Pilgrim's prayer can put you into the right mindset to be open to the spiritual experiences that lie ahead in the day:

Guardian of my soul, guide me on my way this day.
Keep me safe from harm.
Deepen my relationship with you, your Earth, and all your family.
Strengthen your love within me that I may be a presence of your peace in our world.
Amen.

-- Tom Pfeffer & Joyce Rupp, "Walk in a Relaxed Manner"
 
Camino(s) past & future
El Ingles - Finisterre . 2017
#17
The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius is periodically mentioned as a good book to bring along or as a something that can help prepare for a meaningful journey. Has anyone tried to integrate the classic 30 day ignatian retreat with walking the Camino de Santiago? Suggestions, materials, etc?
Yes and no. yes, I have done the 31-day exercise ( I'm a spiritual director). I think it would be a wonderful way to it. Are you doing it solo, are with a group? How are you process it every day?
Be a Franciscan friar my I summit how about along with 31-day examen St Francis Canticle of the Creatures

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and all blessing,
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no human is worthy to mention Your name.
Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day and through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor;
and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,
through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us,
and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.


Bueno Camino,
Bro, DT
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
#18
I did. Since I was walking alone, and I wanted the walk to have a strong spiritual dimension, the Spiritual Exercises seemed appropriate as a challenging daily framework to my reflections, although I realised upfront that I would not be doing them "seriously", not without a retreat director.

Frankly, the original text came across to me as a dreadfully baroque, Spanish High-Catholic, dark, male thing. I am sure that there are competent spiritual directors who present it in a way adapted to a post-Vatican 2 female Catholic, but facing the text by myself was, to put it mildly, a bit of a struggle. I am glad to say that I got some lasting, important insights, but on the whole I think I missed 80% of it.

Even aside from my personal case, I don't think that you can do the Exercises on your own. On the other hand, I think they could be wonderfully appropriate for the Camino - IF you have a retreat director at the other end of a daily Skype connection.
 

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