Marian Cowan, C.S.J. - Bridges Foundation

Wisdom Words from Marian Cowan, C.S.J.
 

Notes taken from her copy of Puhl’s Ignatian Spiritual Exercises

Sister Marian Cowan, CSJ 1932-2015
April 8, 1932 – November 7, 2015

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Sister Marian Cowan, CSJ who passed away on November 7 at Regional Health System in Osage Beach, Missouri. She was 83 years of age.

Sister Marian was born on April 8, 1932, in St. Louis, Missouri, to parents Clyde L. and Esther (Koenig) Cowan. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on September 15, 1949, was received as Sister Mary Clyde and made her final profession on August 15, 1957.

She received her bachelor’s degree in art from Fontbonne College in St. Louis in 1965 and master’s degrees in elementary education administration from the University of Notre Dame in 1968 and in spiritual theology from St. Louis University Institute of Religious Formation in 1975.

Sister Marian began her 65 years as a CSJ as teacher.  She taught in St. Louis at Saints John & James Grade School (1952-59), Our Lady of Lourdes Grade School (1959-60) and at St. Matthew the Apostle Grade School.  In Denver, Colorado in the early 1960’s, she taught at St. Patrick Grade School and was the assistant principal and teacher at St. James Grade School. From 1964-67, Sister Marian was the principal at St. Viator Grade School in Chicago, Illinois.

Returning to St. Louis in 1967, Sister Marian was a student at St. Louis University Institute for Religious Formation. In 1968, she began six years of service for her CSJ community at the St. Joseph Provincial House as vocation director, formation director and director applicant for associates/novices/temporary professed. And prior to completing her CSJ service, Sister Marian also served at St. Louis University Institute of Religious Formation as a staff member until 1976.  The next five years, Sister Marian was a co-founder and staff member at Ministry Training Services in Denver.

In 1982, Sister Marian served as general councilor at the St. Joseph Generalate (now the Congregational Center for the Sisters of St. Joseph) when it was located on the St. Joseph’s Academy campus.

In 1990, she began 25 years of service as an artist and a spiritual life consultant. Sister Marian was widely known for her work in spiritual direction.  She was an Ignatian scholar and an internationally -recognized leader in the field of spiritual direction.  She co-founded St. Louis’ Bridges Program which leads individuals over a period of months through the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, and has mentored spiritual directors internationally. She has been published in Sisters Today, Human Development, The Round Table (Karen Catholic Worker House), Harvest, and Liguorian. She published, with John Futrell, S.J., Companions in Grace, and was a contributor to Tending the Holy: Spiritual Direction Across Traditions, edited by Norven Vest.   

If you could address all the people in the world, what would you say?

I would ask, “Do you know who you are?”  And then I would say something like, “Listen carefully!  You have the very life of God in every cell of your being.  You are a wonderful, unique, unrepeatable expression of the Living God.  Learn what this means for your life.  Everyone and everything shares this same reality with you.  We are all connected, not only with each other, but with all created things: the life of God flows through all of us, connecting us.  Let this reality sink into you and become aware of what unites us, as well as what divides us.  Help each other deepen in the unifying factors and let go of what divides.  This will make you very happy, because you will be who you really are and doing what makes you true to yourself.

For many years, Sister Marian worked from her art studio on the motherhouse campus and created works across many forms of art media. Numerous pieces of Sister Marian’s artwork can be found in and around the St. Louis Motherhouse and in places such as Nazareth Living Center, Queen and Mother Center and Kings House Retreat Center.

She moved to Nazareth Living Center in December of 2014 and joined the community in the ministry of prayer and presence.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, November 12, 2015 at Nazareth Living Center Chapel, 2 Nazareth Lane, St. Louis, MO 63129.  Wake will be at 9:00 a.m. and Mass of the Resurrection to follow at 10:00 a.m.  Burial at Resurrection Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis Province, 6400 Minnesota Ave., St. Louis, MO 63111-2899.  

Sr. Marian’s Notes about the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola

[Compiled from personal notes from a Magis small group Sr. Marian led in 2015-2016 and from Sr. Marian’s annotated material from Fr. Puhl, S.J., translation of the Spiritual Exercises.]
“Jesus Mary and Joseph are a created trinity, while God exists in an ‘uncreated’ trinity.”

Preparation Days—“are often left unstructured.”

1. Qualities for entering into the Spiritual Exercises include ability to examine and appreciate action of God in personal salvation history–ability to gain an experiential knowledge of being loved by God.   “The retreatant needs to be able to trust another; accept spiritual direction; and experience of a prior direction is an asset.”

2. “How the Spiritual Exercises are received depends upon how the individual is introduced to the process.”  Questions to ask a potential retreatant: “Why do you want to make the retreat?”  “Can you talk about yourself with others?”

Spend a Significant amount of time on the Annotations:

1. The five to six week Preparation Days for the Retreat in Daily Life are focused around Annotations: [1], [3], [4], [5], [11], [12], [13], [16], [17] and [19].

2. Along with consideration of the fore stated Annotations, the companion’s role is outlined in [2], [6], [7], [8], [9],  [10], [14], [15] and [19].  “These describe the kind of companion you want to be.”  “Adapt the Spiritual Exercises to the retreatant.”

3. The Spiritual Exercises are a “pathway” as explained in Annotation [1].   “Freedom is one fruit.”

“The spiritual exercises are a total way of relating to God.  Providence includes both totality and order.  One must not presume accomplishment—exercises are open ended.  Affections = initial impulse of response to a person/object.  Abhorrence = opposite of affection.”  “Scripture: 2 Samuel 6:5-12 & Matt 16:24-26.”

4. The companion is directed not to impose his/her personal spirituality upon the retreatant in Annotation [2].  “This may interfere with the movement of the Holy Spirit.  Let God, the director, work with the Exercitant. The companion follows the lead of the retreatant—does not lead.  Active listening honors the retreatant.  To reflect vs. explicate is a major goal of the companion.  Director says as little as possible.”  “Luke 2:9; Matt 13-17; John 4:5-42”

5. To understand [3] “Observe for ‘retreating into reason’ to get away from acknowledging feelings.”  “Both intellect and will are to be used.”  “The Exercitant should imbibe the material in the Bible.”  “Total body-person involvement.”  “Disregard notions of time—weeks = movement.”  “Scripture: Ex 3:2-6; 19:16-25; 33:18-23

6. To add to the understanding of [4] “look to Supplementary Material [238] to [260.]”  “Prepare the retreatant for the conclusion of the Spiritual Exercises.  The support structure ends.  Fourth Week is elastic.”  “Phil 3:7-14

7. Annotation [5] describes the characteristics and graces needed by the retreatant.  “Fear is not of God and is a major cause of resistance.  Confidentiality gives the support necessary for the retreatant to trust—to let go.”  “Matt 13:1-23”

8. When ‘blocks’ to regular prayer [6] become evident, “companion questions retreatant as to the structure of his/her day.”  Here the companion is “seeking to discern retreatant’s self-awareness and receptivity.”  “Progress depends upon the daily prayer.”  “Prayer is easier in consolation; difficult in desolation.”  “Lack of consolation/desolation indicates there is something wrong—indicates there is no spiritual experiences.”   “John 4:5-22”[

9. “[7] If the Exercitant is in desolation, do not use words to boost his/her up.  Desolation is a cost of discipleship.  Be sensitive and offer practical guidelines, to include that consolation will come.” “Scripture: Luke 9:23-26”

10. “[8] If the companion perceives the need for understanding of spirits because of levels of consolation/desolation give the Rules for the First and/or Second Week [313-327] or [328-336].”  “Scripture: Matt 25:23”

11. “[9] Be sure of level of need before giving the Rules of the Second Week.”  “1 Cor 3:1-2”

12. “[10] Observations indicating need to give Rules of the Second Week.”  “Luke 14:16-24; 23: 35-38.”

13. “[11] Help the exercitant to deal with each exercise as it comes; evaluate readiness to progress.” “Scripture: Ps 95:9-10”

14. “[12] Watch for shortening of prayer periods—evidence of temptation to mitigate:”  “Scripture: Luke 4:1-13; 11:5-10”

15. “[13] If his prayer periods seem to shorten this is an indication of how he/she I dealing with temptation.”  “Scripture: Luke 22:44”

16. “[14] Exercitant advised not to make any changes during consolation of great fervor.  Don’t do anything rash.”  “Scripture: Ecclesiastes 5:1-4 & Matt 25:14-30”

17. “[15] Director must stay out of the way when the exercitant is moved to make a life choice.   It is a time for him/her to listen to God.” “Scripture: Luke 24:13-25”

18. “[16] Time for purification of affection (agree contra)—retreatant is to discern what is the particular reason for an action or ministry or possession—personal glory? rather than the glory and honor of God.”  “Ignatius supposes that attachments are there: i.e. the façade I hide behind or whatever I build around me.  These include persons, places, things, actions, attitudes, etc.”  “Scripture: Luke 9:23-26; 12:13-21”

19. “[17] Caring, careful listening is always beneficial but especially important when the exercitant is seeking help for the various sinful and opposing thoughts.  Here the director needs awareness of the need to adapt the Exercises.” “Gal 5:16-24”

20. “[18] The 18th Annotation is available for the person who is not inclined to complete the spiritual exercises.”  “Considerations should be given to the experience of the sacraments.”  “John 3:1-21”

Go to [73-90]

General Statement:

“We are not dis-embodied spirits.  Be aware of your feelings—be prepared to take a stance toward them.  This is not meant only to be introspection, but always in relation to…  The important thing is the Exercises themselves.  Everything else should work toward making the Exercises fruitful.  Order oneself from outside in, thus one will avoid too much tranquility.  From Voillaums: ‘Spontaneity is good, but it must not make us reject instinctively any and every traditional support of prayer, every method, every means of disciplining the intellect and imagination.’”

1. [73] “Supports, methods and disciplines.”
2. [74] “Need to maintain attention.”
3. [75] “Always begin prayer with silent moment, approach the prayer consciously.  God looking closely at me with grace for me in this time of prayer.”
4. [76] “Body Position isn’t important.  It’s what’s best at the time.  Change of position can be helpful in jogging my mind back to the subject.”  “I do not have to cover the entire exercise.”
5. [77] “Review of prayer—How did it go?  What really happened?  Helps retreatant get in touch with himself.”
6. [78], [79], [80] “Mood setting for Week 1 aids in discipline of mind and body.”
7. [81] “Avoid distractions.  Examine why am I seeking diversion?  Perseverance and perseverance requires a level of maturity.”
8. [82-86] “Is the sleeping escapism?”  “Penance is only a means to an end!”
9. [87] “Acknowledge oneself bodily as dependent on God.  A kind of body prayer.”
10. [89] “Experiment with various types of penance.”
11. “Swim against the current.  The current of life carries us downstream.  In order to swim against the current, we must take a stroke.  ‘Deny yourself,’ Jesus said.  The quality of our faith life will depend on our self-discipline.”

John Donne, 1633.  Artistically written into notebook by Sr. Marian

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to’another due,
Labor to’admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you’enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Prayer for Prayer Companions: “My God, I come before you in humble love.  Wanting to participate in your work of drawing souls to yourself is awesome and frightening.  I beg your grace that I may only be for these retreatants all you want me to be.  Restrain me, Abba, when I try to take your place.  Push me when I am too reticent.  Enlighten me when I am in darkness.  Purify me again and again, so that I may remember whose retreatants these are and become more and more resonant to you and to them before you.   Continue to humble me and discipline me in the ways you know are best, for the sake of these retreatants, for my own sake, and for your honor and glory.  Yours alone be the honor; yours alone be the glory—through Jesus and in his spirit forever and ever.  Amen

Opening Remarks to the Group: “Prayer: Ex 33:11, 18-23/ 1 Kings 19:9, 11-13/ Is 55

1. Please relax.
2. Drop away all expectations
3. You are not selfish in being here
4. Go over introductory observations—perhaps the Annotations
5. Assign times and place
6. Assign prayer—perhaps the favorite scripture or a scripture that touches you now.”

Formal Introduction to the Spiritual Exercises:

1. The Purpose of the Spiritual Exercises is described in [21].  “The fruit of the Spiritual Exercises is internal freedom.”
2. “Mutual respect is necessary in the relationship between the retreatant and the guide [22]. Misunderstanding is not uncommon in this companion-retreatant relationship.  It is required that each give the other the benefit of the doubt.  The misunderstanding is put forward to prevent mistrust and distance in the relationship.  Enter into a discussion of the problem without being defensive.”
3. “As the Spiritual Exercises progress, there is less and less need for the companion to make explanations.
4. “The General Examen [43] can be introduced whenever the retreatant is ready—sooner, better than later.”  “Let the retreatant know that the Examen is an examination of the Retreat!”  Also, [27] is not usually used as “it can end in scrupulous thought and guilt.”
5. “Recording the Examen is a necessity for leading a discerning life day by day and growing toward finding God in all things.” 

“Beginning Passages on God’s love for me: Ps 147; 8; 104; 105; 103; 139; Deut 30:11-14; 7:6-9a; Is 43:1-7”

Principle and Foundation P & F [23] “This needs to be thought over well.  No time or method need be prescribed.”

1. “Gaining an understanding of the P & F requires an image of the Loving God.  The goal of our formation in God is to empty oneself of self for the purpose of being filled with the Divine Self.  The fruit of this co-mingling with the Divine results in service—one service is functioning as a companion.  It is a co-mingling.  This results in service with God—not like God.  This service allows the effort to come from God and is the result of an overflowing of the love of God.  It is based in a loving reverence–a state of being.  See Matt 30.”

2. “Our formation into loving reverence and surrender to our Creator God requires acknowledging and eliminating inordinate attachments.  We must make ourselves ‘indifferent’ as we move toward balance.”  “Indifference is total detachment of the will.  Freedom—we must make ourselves free toward all created things.  Sometimes this demands distance.  Freedom needs to be won again, and again, and again.”  “Balance/freedom arises from total spiritual detachment of the will.”

3. ‘Purpose of the P & F:

  • a. To acquaint retreatant with notion of balance and freedom
  • b. To dispose retreatant to work favorably toward balance
  • c. To enable the companion to make a judgment on how far to take the retreatant.”4. “Personal notes: God gives us his life, we give God our lives.  We do not stand autonomous.  All men have a claim on us and we on them (1Cor3:21-23).  The great sin of man is to put things in place of God.  When we do this we really worship ourselves.  Sometimes I will not even examine my relationship with God.”5. Pere Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: “The world is everything to me.  The world is nothing to me.”6. St. Iraneas: “The glory of God is man fully alive.”7. “When going through the Exercises, it is good for the director to point out to the retreatant how the principle and foundation recurs repeatedly in the preparatory prayer [46], in the motive for choices [15], [179], [184], [189], [332], [342], and the agere contra = method to come to freedom [16], [157], [350].” 

“Scripture: Ez 16:3-14; Ps 117; Acts 17:21-34; Gen 1; 2:5-25; 12:1-3; Hosea 11:1-4,8-9; 1 Cor 3:21-23; Jer 10:6-16; Ps 147; 8; 104; 105; 103; Deut 30: 11-14; 7 ;6-9; 10:12-11:2; 30:15-20; Is 35:1-10; 43:1-7; 45:7- Eph; 55:1-13;  Eccl 42:15-43:37; Eph1:1-14; Gal 4:1-11; 1 Kings 19:9-14; Job 38; 1 Cor 10:23; Sir 16:22-17:27; Prologue of John.”

“I am called to intimacy: Ez 16; Acts 17:21-23; Gen 12:1-3; Is 6:1-5; Jer 1:1-10; P29:11-14; Jonah; Sirach 43: James 4:8.  God loves me despite everything: Ps 8; 139; 103; Is 35:1-10; Jer 31:3; Luke 13:22-34; 1 John 4:10.  My response: Is 1:29; Job 38:1-21, 42; Deut 32:1-18; Ez 16:15; Hosea 11:1-4, 9.  Molding Clay:  2 Cor 4:7; Jer 18:1-6; Rom 9:20-21; Wisdom 15:7; Is 45:9; Ex 33:18-23.  Salvation History: Heb 11:3; 11:40; Heb 12:18-29; Neh 9. God’s Providence and Loving Care: Is 41:9-20; 43:1-13; 44:1-5; 45: 1-6; 48:16-49:16; Luke 12:13-40; Joshua 1:1-9; Ruth 1:118; Dan 10:1-19; Ps 23, 33: Ez 34; 37:1-14.  Servant Song: Is 42; 49.  Indiffernce: Deut 30:15-20; Wisdom 4:7-14; Ecc 3; 1 Cor 10:23-33; Phil 2:1-11; 3:7-16; Heb 10:32-39; James 5:7-11”

8. “Suggested Times for Eucharistic Adoration:  Week 2 First Mystery the Incarnation; Week 3 Preparation of the Upper Room; Week 4 Holy Saturday.  The seventh day of creation, Jesus is the 7th day and Lord of the Sabbath.  Man had control of all the other days, but now we are in the 7th day—resting.  Pray with Holy Saturday Liturgy.” 

Week 1 [24-90]: “goal is to be graced with intense sorrow and tears for my sins; to achieve a ‘saving sense’ of my own sinfulness.  Defenseless, I stand before the gratuity of God’s love.” “Found by love.” [“Examen is to unify, not to get picky and pull yourself apart.”] “[34-42] may well be skipped.” “[43] is preparation for sacrament of Reconciliation.  Ignatius sought a rebirth of the sacramental life of the Church.”

1. These Exercises offer retreatant an awareness of personal and social sin—“normalizes sin or how we are ‘caught’ by sin.”

2. The graces of “shame, confusion and sorrow proceed from an awareness of personal rejection of God’s love and care.” “Luke 5:32; 19:10; 18:9-4”

3. “The openness to an evaluation of sinfulness allows for healing—allowing God’s empowering love to heal.  Healing also comes from the surging and release of emotions, which are life giving as water gushing forth.”

4. [45-54] “First Exercise: The meat of the first exercises is [50] as retreatant reflects on the many ways possible for rejecting God’s love.” “This is God’s word about sin. What does he say? He dies for us. We pray for a deep experience of God’s love, this love of mercy and forgiveness.”  “Scripture: John 8:42-44; Rev 12:1-13; 20:7-10; 2 Peter 2:4.”

A. “The Adam and Eve myth breaks open the reality of sin in our human existence.”
B. [46] “This is important structure.  Never skip [46] which asks for total sanctity.  Present yourself before God in an open-ended attitude.”  “This is the Ignatian prayer structure—Know it and share it with retreatant.”
C. “Scripture to go with [50]: John 8:42-44; Rev 12:1-13; Rev 20:7-10; 2 Pet 2:4”
D. “Scripture to go with [51]: Gen 2; 3; Ez 28:13-19”
E. “Scripture to go with [52]: Rom 1:18-2:11; Baruch 1:13-22; 2 Tim 3:1-9”
F. “Colloquy:  What has been my response in love in the past? Present? And what ought my response in love be?”

5. [55-61] “Second exercise: Finding root sin helps one get to their root grace.  Focus on this grace and see how all other graces feed into the root grace.   Jesus’ walk into the Baptism waters of St. John was his root grace—the abandonment of sin, the goal of the retreatant. ”

A. “First Prelude—visualize the Prodigal alienated from God.  Get a sense of exile.”
B. “Second Prelude—true contrition is hard to come by.  SHAME is concerned with I; contrition with other.  Sometimes the best we can do is humble ourselves.”
C. [56] “First point:  MEMORY of life stance–this is not an examination of conscience for confession.”
D. [57] “Second point: Intellect”
E. [58]”Third point: considering who I am, as I tend to make myself the center of the universe” Scripture: James 3:1-12”
F. [60] “Fifth point: Will; I am out of kilter as I ponder the tremendous magnificence of God.  My sin is a personal affront to all other creatures.”  “Cry of wonder refers to a reaching into the heart.”  “With surging emotion [60] comes life giving water, an overflowing of grace; retreatant begins to see that those who are punishing him/her are really helping.”  “Hosea 6:1-6”
G. [61] “Colloquy: After this awareness, how can you return to sin?  “Scripture: Deut 30:11-20; Gal 4:8-9”

6. [62-63] Third exercise: “Repetition is to dwell on details—like examining a familiar painting.”

A. [62] “Sr. Marian emphasizes the need to understand Ignatian repetition (to ponder and savor) and to point to the Triple Colloquy.  Clarity here will help retreatant through the entire Spiritual Exercises.” “Go through the points in First exercise again.  Face the fear and anxiety that accompanied a previous thoughts.  Go directly to the text, not to previous notes.”                                                                                                                                                                                                   B. “Caution:  Ignatius cautions that the person cannot will sorrow, contrition, tears.  It is pure gift and the retreatant needs to asks for it.  Otherwise the director may make it come about, but this may not be from God.  We are totally powerless and dependent upon God. (cf [322])”
C. “[63] The three colloquies include:

1. “Deep abhorrence for my sin; opposite of affection”
2. “Understanding of the disorder of my actions—Ignatius has a passion for order; order is necessary for asceticism”
3. “Knowledge of the world—1 John 2:15-17; ‘world’ is an ambivalent term”

7. [64] Fourth exercise of Week 1 is a repetition of the previous repetition [63].

A. “Survey the entire thing in one fell sweep—do not go into details.”
B. “This exercise may be made without the Triple Colloquy.”

8. [65-70] “Fifth exercise on hell “some thought on the bodily experience of separation from God.”

A. “If this exercise evokes terror and fear of the wrong kind—instead of surrender in love—skip it.”  If we are going to take the word of God seriously, we’ve got to take it all, no matter how it repels us.  Face the fact that going to hell could happen to me.  This revelation is not meant to terrify us, but to be a saving factor in our redemption.”
B. “The fear asked for is the fear of what I could fall into and become if left to myself.”
C. “[67-70] are not taken one by one, or sense by sense, but flowing together.”

9. Fifteen minute review [77] to reflect upon and record the retreatant’s internal movements during the exercise.  This will help to “not run ahead of the present grace.”  These graces include “persistence in self-examination, ability to persevere, curbing of runaway thoughts and desires, and ability to discuss these graces with the companion.”

10. In regard to [79-89] Sr. Marian recommends “moderation in all things.”  “Women are inclined to martyrdom, quiet acceptance or large exaggeration; men can be stoic and controlling with difficulty surrendering to receptivity to grace.  Perfectionism is also a barrier to both.”

11. “During this week, dreams can be very vivid.  Are the dreams recurring?  A nightmare can be a release.”

Graces Available in the First Week:

a. “Experience of the righteousness and loving mercy of God
b. Sorrow and grief related to the sinfulness of humankind
c. Owning and naming personal sins and personality traits
d. Feeling the brokenness of humanity
e. Feeling interior helplessness
f. Humility
g. A chosen stance before the loving God
h. Gratitude—seeing all as gift
i. Strong sense that God will finish God’s work, formation in me
j. Desire to know God more with readiness to:

    • a. Do things to find God
    • b. Move into more honest, simpler thoughts
    • c. Pray
    • d. Freedom to accept whatever comes
    • e. Gain in awareness of strengths and weaknesses of interior life”

General Comments:  “If this week goes well one gets an insight into his own weakness, leading to surrender, not submission—the surrender of a beloved to a lover.  A person aware of his propensity for sin is no longer so cock-sure of himself.  He becomes a peace-maker, compassionate.  Realizing there is much in himself to forgive, he can forgive others.  A sin is what it is because it does violence to who and what I am.  God does not arbitrarily ordain some things as sins.  Sin: self-sufficiency, treating persons as things, hurting myself.  We must come to this meditation as we are—do not invent sins.  At completion I am alive! I have a future ahead of me.  I am what I am because of my past.  I am not what I ought (might) have been. I am me, now, Alive NOW!”

Scripture for Personal Sin, Surrender & God’s Mercy:  Mat 6:19-21, 24; 7:21-27; 8: 23-27; 18: 1-35; 19:16-22; 25:331-46; 26:39; Mk 1:40-45; Luke 1:38; 2:38-40, 51-52; 9:57-62; 14:25-27; 16:13; 19:1-10;  John 1:12; 3:16; 8:3-11; 9; 12:24-26; 4:34; 5:30; 14:6; 15:16; 20:29; Acts 5; Sam 11:12-15; Rom 1:5; 1:18-2:11; 5:1-11;  5:19; 6:16; 7:7-25; 8: 31-39; Gal 5:13-26; 1 John 1:5-2:17; 3:4-23; 4:1-5:5; Ez 16:14; 36:23-28 or 1-36; James: 1:13-27; 3:1-4:17; Is 5:1-24; 12:1-6; 59:1-21;     Ps 14, 30, 32, 36, 38, 51, 53, 86, 88, 102, 107, 130, 143, 146; 1 Tim 6:3-13; 2 Tim 3: 2-9; 1 Cor 2:14-16; 3:11; 6:12-20; 10/31; 2 Cor 4:7-11; 8:9; Jer 2, 5, 6; 10:23-24; 31:1-14, 21-22, 18-20; 32; Hosea 1, 2, 11:1-4; 14:2-10; Job 5:17; 35:6-36:12; 38:2; 40-1-5; 42:1-6; Deut 30:11-20; 2 Pet 2:1-3; Phil 2:7,11; 3:7-12; Col 3:1-4; Heb 5:18; 10: 5-7, 19-25, 37-38; 11:1-39; 12:1-4; Eph 1:1-14; Is 12:1-6; 28:23-29; 48; 51; 55:6-9; Joel 2:12-17; Haggai 1:5-11; Bar 5:1-9; Wisdom 11:21-12:2; Rev 1-3

Call of the King [91-100]

“Per Sr. Miriam: Notes from Fr. Rahner’s Spiritual Exercises pp. 128-129.

Parable—our lives are ordered not to abstract principles but to a concrete THOU.  We are faced by our very nature to ask ‘who is the Lord of the Battle.’  Lord Knight is provider (Luke 22:31-32; John 10:1-18), protector (Luke 11:11-13; 12:22-31), Leader (Mat 5-7; 16:24-28), Friend (John 15:13-17).

Exercise is a sort of second P & F: Theme = merciful God; preview of ideas to come; prepares for attitude to develop relationship with Jesus.”

Sr. Marian:  “this NOW, not historical but a present reality.  It is an appeal to the understanding—it is a logical thing to say YES.  What questions do we need answered before deciding to follow?  Examples: Romero, Aamara, Martin Luther King, Jr, Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day, Mother Jones, Harriet Tubman”

1. “Who is he? Is 8:9-20; 9:1-17; 11:1-11; 12:6; 42:1-4; 49: 1-7; 50:4-6; 52:13-53:12;  John ‘I AM’ passages
2. What is his cause? Mat 5, 6, 7
3. What is expected of followers?  Micah 6:8; Mat 16:24-28; Luke 9:23-26; Zech 8:9-23
4. What can we expect as followers?  Mat 10; Ecc 2; John 17:9-19”

Call of the King Exercise
1. [91] “It is good to saturate oneself with this consideration. It is called a consideration because it is something to mull over.”
2. “First prelude:  Jesus as preacher of the Word; bringer of Good News (Mat 9:35-37; Luke 8:1).  Jesus is engaged.”
3. “Second prelude: Ps 95; John 2:25”
4. [92-94] “The parable.  [92] describes the Leader.  [93] The King will not ask his followers to do what he has not done or will do.  [94] Response.”
5. “[95-99] is the application of the parable to Christ, our Lord.  [95] Describes the leader and the cause which indicates apostolic action.  [96-97] is the response. ‘Lord to whom shall we go?’  We go to the truly generous person, the lover.”
6. [98] “Indicates what it means to follow Christ.  Phil 3:7-16; John 14:9”

General Notes:  “The heroic leader of Ignatius’ time was called to rid Christ’s kingdom of the infidel, the Turk.”  For us to consider is the introduction to the Vatican II document: ‘The Church in the Modern World.’” 

Week II

1. [101-109] First Contemplation Incarnation begin with the usual preparatory prayer.

A. [102] “First Prelude to include [262] Luke 1:26-38”
B. [104] “Third Prelude is indicative of the Hebrew sense of “knowledge” that is ‘I grasp the person.’”
C. “Often it is good to include the Exercise on the Visitation [263]”
D. [106] “First Point is a ‘tryptic’ world, Trinity, Mary & Angel”

2. [110-112] “Ignatius encourages imaginative prayer throughout the Spiritual Exercises, first outlining his method in Contemplation of the Nativity. In general he views contemplation as viewing or gazing, which can stimulate reflections and feelings, which in turn lead to further images, emotions and mental prayer.”

3. [118-120] Third Contemplation and Fourth Contemplation–Repetitions of First and Second Contemplation

4. [121] The Fifth Contemplation- Application of the senses.

“My imagination can stimulate my senses to act: smell a rose, feel a pain, etc.  When one sense is affected, all my being is affected.  I can use this to make myself intuitively present to the scripture.  It would seem that this exercise should be a simple entering into the mystery, being contemplated with the senses wide open.  It is not a lot of activity on the part of the retreatant, as much as it is a quiet receptivity.  The progression of the five exercises from presentation of new mysteries to repetitions to the application of the senses is a quiet deepening experientially.  Using one’s senses to draw one back from a distraction is good, too.”

5. [127-134] “Notes:

A. “Stay with the one exercise.”
B. “Adapt if a prayer time is not productive”
C. [130] relates to [73-90] and the daily schedule”
D. “It is possible to include the [268] Presentation at the Temple and [269] Exile, Luke 2:22-39 & Mt 2:13-18. And [271] Obedience of Jesus and [272] Finding Jesus, Luke 2:51-52 & Luke 2:41-50”

6. “When we pray to God, we pray to a living God.  God reveals himself through his son—adapted to our understanding.  To the extent that I penetrate through to the inner life of Christ, I find my identity as Christian.”

[136-148] Two Standards Meditation—“another Kingdom Meditation with the stress on tactics: the enemy is explicated; there is a leading toward a deeper interiorization; am I driven or drawn?  Stress is on discratio charitatis.”

Satan

Riches: what I possess defines me. Satan wants self to rest on manipulation level of self- definitions and self-determination

Honor: Approval by others defines me.  Satan wants self to rest on notion of self-validation through depending on the validation of others.

Pride: Self-sufficiency defines me.  Satan wants self to rest on his own independence as self-definition

Self-definitions

Domination by material things—Infant stage

Experience of being loved-

Adolescent stage

Knowledge of God’s love—Adult stage

Final step in Christian self- definition.  We cannot define ourselves totally.

Christ

Poverty—freedom from self-definition in terms of what I have.  We desire to express this freedom in union with Christ.

Humiliations—Freedom from self-determination in terms of validation of others.

Humility—Freedom from independence as essence of self-validation.  Defining self in terms of God’s love.  *Here is where Ignatius wants to bring the person.  One’s mystery is caught up in the mystery of God.

“Be practical with this Two Standards Meditation.  What are MY riches? What gives ME honor?  How do I seek it? In what do I take pride?”

“Poverty of Spirit is the highest spiritual poverty.  All comes from the Father, which is the Gospel of John.  ‘Blessed are they who know they are poor.’  This calls for awareness of one’s essential emptiness.  And calls for child-like confidence that the Father will take care.”  “Actual poverty is full body-person awareness and living out of poverty—living a simple, common life.”

1. [135] “Introduction aids in the consideration and this is an exercise of great demand.  Aimed at understanding—using the mind.  At first glance, none of this makes sense, so pray for understanding”
2. [136] Rom 7:14-25; 2 Thes 2:3-17.
3. [138] “be present to the battle”  John 8 re: light and dark”
4. [139] “progression from light-understanding-knowledge-action”
5. [140] “look to Satan first to give light to the tactics of Christ”
6. [145] “consider how God respects our freedom”
7. [146] “this pre-supposes that those chosen ‘to help all’ are already disposed to the virtues desired”
8. [147] “Triple Colloquy described”  “Grace to identify with Christ and identify with Jesus’ suffering 1 Pet 4:13-16”
9. “Natural progression: [146] to desire [147] to bear [167] to choose
10. “Ignatius is trying to describe the process of either becoming totally alienated from God or totally devoted to God.”

[149-157] Three Classes of Men Meditation—“Seeks to form the attitude of complete openness to God; to true disposability.”   “We often have to make affective renunciation in our lives, then God often puts it back into our hands.”  Mat 21:28-23—Two sons were sent to work in the vineyard.  One said “I won’t,” but did.  One said “I will,” but did not.  Be doers of the Word, not bearers only.  Salvation is built upon free acts. (cf. Merton, Seeds of Contemplation, Ch. 1)

1. [149] to choose that which is better
2. [150] “Not dishonestly, but in some shrewd business deal, leaving an uneasiness in their soul.”
3. [151] “Stand in my place in communion of saints.  Not pure speculation.”
4. [153] “Never gets beyond desire.  Mat 7:21-27”
5. [154] “Having our cake and eating it too.  Compromising.”
6. [155] “What is God’s will for me in this?  Not impulsive.  What are my obligations?”
7. [157] “Pray against ourselves against this attachment. Agree contra this comes at the end of the meditation on the Two Standards.  It is a sort of forcing myself to true radical dispensability.”

[158-164] Ministry of Jesus interrupted by [175-168] Three Kinds of Humility

1. [159] Baptism of Jesus
2. [160] “Examen is vital to maintain the atmosphere of the Exercises.”
3. [165-168] “Here may move to the Three Kinds of Humility Exercise.”  “Scripture: John 6:64-71; 13:2-11; 14:21; Matt 15:2-11; 16:13-19; 19: 16-22”

A. [165] “First Kind: Union with Christ evident by person’s obedience working to never turn ones back on God—even to save his life–this can be heroic sanctity.  Submission to God’s commands.  Not radically open, but if faithful will lead to 2nd degree of humility.”

B. [166] “Second Kind: Intimacy with Christ with service to God is all that matters.  Includes disinterest, indifference and detachment. Life of great virtue.”  “Scripture: Rom 8:31-39; Mat 5:1-12; Mat 6:25-34; Luke 10:25-28”

C. [167] “Third Kind: Identification with Christ—even with externals.  This is not a principle of choice.  It can only be given by God.  Person demonstrates ‘ordered action’ (admired by Ignatius); Love of the Cross; Balancing of supernatural affection with natural affection.”  “Scripture: Micah 6:3, 4, 8; John 15:10-14; 1 Cor 1:15-22; 2 Cor 1:15-22; Phil 3:7-16; John 12:23-26; Is 52”

D. “Director must realize that the choice to present these kinds of humility is God’s, not the retreatant’s.  One does not get the gift by thinking it.  These are not prayers but are actions and attitudes that should permeate the day.” 

E. “There should now be a central principle evolving within the exercitant.  He/she should focus on it a bit and try to define it.  Let the Retreat translate itself to the exercitant.  Scripture: John 14:21; Mat 16:13-19; 14:22-23; 19:16-22; John 6:64-71; 13:2-11.  These describe a mode of response.  You put yourself in a position to experience all of this.  One of my affections becomes to be poor with Christ, etc.  This too must be ordered.”  “Levels of motivation to maintain present state of life: 1) conformity 2) identification & 3) internalization.”

4. [161-164] “Public Ministry of Jesus to Palm Sunday.  Scripture: Mat 21:1-7 & John 11:55-12:50.”
5. [161] “Desert temptations could well be when Jesus discerned his vocation.”
6. “Predictions of the Passion: Luke: 9:22-26; 9:44-46; 12:49-50; 18: 31-34.  John 3:1-21; 7:20-30; 8:27-30; 10:1-20; 12:20-41”
7. [275]  The Call:  “Scripture: John 1:29-51; Mat 4:9-13; 18-22; 19:13-28; Mk 1:16-20; 3:13-19; 5:18-20; 10:1-6; Luke 5:1-11; 6:12-16; 18:28-30; 1 Cor 1:26-31; 2 Cor 4:7-6:10; 4:1-21; 11:1-12:15; Eph 1:1-14; 3:14-21; Gal 1:11-2:21”
8. [278] Sermon on the Mount: “It is by the Beatitudes that we will be judged.  Oh, that we could grasp ‘poor of spirit.’  Luke 14:34-35; Mk 9:20”
9. “Tenth day may be changed to Mat 16:13-17:8 to include Peter’s confession of faith, Jesus’ prediction of the passion, conditions for following Christ, and Transfiguration.  Baptism and Transfiguration are considered opening and closing of Jesus public ministry.”

 Time for REVIEW: Key passages to be used at this time to let retreatant retrace his/her steps.  Accomplished by reading, in a continuous manner, certain key passages: [21] Purpose of the Exercises, [23] P & F, [53] Colloquy after sin meditation, [95] Kingdom, [97] Third point of Kingdom (interior Kingdom), [98] Eternal Lord of All, [146] Standard of Christ, [147] Triple Colloquy, [155] Third Class of Men—the More [157] Note on the Third Class, [167] Third Class of Humility, [169] Intro into making a choice in a way of life, and [189] Reformation of life.  Review is a type of preparation for making a choice and Week III.”

[169-189] Making a choice regarding station in life

    • 1. [169] Choice involves how to serve God.
    • 2. [171] “Fundamental problem today is not abiding by solemn choice.”
    • 3. [172] “If the choice made is not of “due order” then the retreatant must wrestle with this point.”
    • 4. [172] “There are too many good people who let life happen to them.  Freedom is one of our greatest gifts.  We have the right and the duty to be the masters of our lives, not to be led by inordinate attachments.”
    • 5. [175] Types of existential faith experiences.  “leads to the election time of the retreat”
    • a. Direct insight
    • b. [176] Wholesome struggle to make the best choice—this is the experience the Exercises are built around.
    • c. [179] “Need to be indifferent—look at things in the light of eternity.”
    • d. [180] “Praying for clarity.”
    • e. [183] “Confirmation comes through movements to consolation or desolation.  Offering the choice to God brings peace.”

Graces Available from Week II—“to know, love and follow Jesus”

    • 1. “New or deeper relationship with Jesus, especially the humanity of Jesus
    • 2. Awareness of being a ‘beloved of God’  ‘A sinner called’  ‘Confirmed in God’s love’  ‘clarification of past life’  
    • 3. Experience of sharing events in Jesus’ life thru Ignatian imaginative prayer
    • 4. Metanoia—making a choice to live with God—personal life has value
    • 5. Beginning contemplative stance—simplification of prayer
    • 6. Emergence of choice to be acted up
    • 7. Enlarged social awareness—cooperation with Salvation History, letting God draw world to salvation thu me
    • 8. Positive sense that my true and deep desires lead me to God and to live as Jesus lives
    • 9. Deepened experience of personal responsibility for spiritual life while working with director”

Week III

    • 1. “Preparation for the Passover” is used if the retreatant needs an introduction into the third week (Lk 22:7-13).”
    • 2. [190-199] First Contemplation: Last Supper [289] Jesus travels from Bethany to Jerusalem.  “Scripture: Mk 14:10-31; Mat 26:17-35; Luke 22:1-38; John 13-17”  The Last supper Exercise may use prayer of repetition.”

A. [191] Washing of the apostle’s feet “Scripture: John 14:17”

B. [193] “Jesus is suffering (compassioning) with my sins.”

C. [195] “Sometimes a person feels as though he is dragging himself through the Exercises.  This is good because it participates win the weight of Christ’s human nature bearing down on him.”

D. [199] “Colloquy should become more intimate—beware of withdrawl into formality.  What do you bring with you from the first and second weeks?” “Here is where the election becomes very personal.”

    • 3. [200-208] Second Contemplation: Last supper to the agony in the Garden.  “Scripture: Is 50:4-10; 52:13-53:2; Mat 26:36-46; Mk 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46.”

A. [201-202] “Jesus is making a gradual withdrawal.  Scripture: Mat 26:47-68; Mk 14:43-65; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-14, 19-24.”

B. [203] “Sorrow in union with Christ.” 

C. [205] “Adaptation is prominent in the director’s thought.”  “Exercises may tend to break down during this week.”

D. [208] “Peter’s Denial    Scripture: Mat 26:69-27:10; Mk 14:66-72; Luke 23:1-25; John 18:15-18, 25-27.”  “Jesus before Pilate  Scripture: Mat 27:11-26; Mk 15:1-15; Luke 23:26-31; John 18:28-19:16”  “Way of the Cross Scripture: Mat 27:27-34; Mk 15:16-23; Luke 23:26-31; John 19:16-17” Crucifixion and Death  Scripture: Mat 27:35-66; Mk 15:24-47; Luke 23:32-56; John 19:18-42”

    • 4. [209] “Seventh Day; the time of Holy Saturday can be compared to a wake—the time to assimilate sorrow.  You may want to go to Mary and say ‘Tell me about your son.’  Scripture: Lam 3; Rom 8; Ecc 3; Is 49; Song of Songs; Rev; Is 63.”

[210-217] Rules for Eating (Establishing an open, receptive state of being.)

    • 1. [210] “To secure for the future due order in the use of food and curbing our appetites in general.  Bread is used as bread is a staple in Europe.”
    • 2. [211] “Wine is also a staple in Europe.”
    • 3. [212] Eat courser foods and delicacies sparingly.
    • 4. [213] “Fasting usually helps; according to means.  Principle of experimentation.”
    • 5. “Explanation of Rules of Eating:
    • A. These are to prepare a person for moving into Week 1V
    • B. Be united with Christ on the level of appetite with something as common and simple as eating, a most common daily example of identification.
    • C. 1 Cor 10:31—Whatever you do, in the word or in work, whether eating or sleeping, do all in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
    • D. The basic hand-rule of our life becomes Christ—everything begins with him; do everything the way he would do it.  As we get close to Christ, the more sensitive we are to him.
    • E. Gluttony was a common sin in the time of Ignatius…is it ever not a common sin??
    • F. Remember our nerves are different from 16th Century Europe.
    • G. Penance and self-discipline—John 1:8-10.
    • H. We are not disembodied spirits.  As Human persons, we are subject to biological, physical and psychological laws that affect our faith life.
    • I. ‘Lift up your hearts!  We lift them up to the Lord.’” 

Graces available from Week III “Movements—Courage; Compassion; Surrender; Confirmation; Jesus enters passion with freedom, trust and love.  He remains faithful thru love.

    • 1. Strong clarification of image of God as Jesus did this for me; loving mercy
    • 2. Clarity about personal and social sin
    • 3. Desire to be human as Jesus is human.  Incorporated into Jesus’ suffering.  Simple, graceful union with Jesus.
    • 4. Confirmation of Jesus as friend as we ‘just stay close to me’
    • 5. Self-abandonment/total acceptance
    • 6. Confirmation of discipleship—dying with Jesus alters attitude 
    • 7. Greater gentleness, compassion with self and others
    • 8. Wisdom about gift of pain and suffering”

Week IV [218-229] Contemplation on the Resurrection Mysteries

    • 1. [218][299] “First Contemplation: Jesus appears to his mother

A. Mary meeting in context of appearing to all women of faith—John 20:11-18 & Luke 24:13-35; Luke 24:1-2; Mat 28:1-10; Mk 16:1-8

B. Emmaus—Luke 24:13-35  

       2.  “Second Contemplation: Jesus appears to the Apostles (in structure of [218])  

              A.  Without Thomas story—Luke 24:36-49; John 20:1-10; 19-23

              B.   With Thomas—John 20:24-29”

     3.   “Third Contemplation: Shore of Galilee and appearance to Many and Ascension

             A.  On the shore—John 21:1-25; 1 Cor 15:1-11

             B.  Ascension—Mat 28:16-20; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:1-14”

     4.  “Fourth Contemplation: Pentecost and Contemplatio– Exercise progresses through the following points: a. God is one who gives; b) God is one who indwells; c) God works my salvation through all things; d) I move from the acts of God to their source.

            A.  Pentecost—Acts 2:1-41

            B.  [230-237] Contemplatio—What God has done is indicative of how much he has loved; how much he has loved is finally explained by what he is.”  “This is a repetition of the entire four weeks/each point ties to one week.”  “Scripture for the Conemplatio: Rm 8:9-17; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16; Gal 2:20; Col 3:3-4

[230] CONTEMPLATIO “POINTS: 1. Not everyone who cries ‘Lord, Lord’ is a disciple.  Deeds indicate a natural union between God and self.  2.  [213] Natural union between persons who love is intercommunication.  Mutual surrender makes tow become interchangeably lover and beloved.”

[232] First Prelude: “Engages the presence of God and me & the community of all living, loving, thinking things.”

[233] Second Prelude: “To love and surrender to God because of who he is.  That God and I might become mutually lover and beloved.”

[234] First Point ties in with Week I: “Blessings of God as things are to be primarily experienced as gifts. Universal sweep: God and man moving through all things toward each other.”  Take, Lord, and Receive—Here recognition gives way to love, and love gives way to concrete surrender.  I consecrate every part of me; especially the unredeemed parts.”

[235] Second Point ties in with Week 2: “Presence of God—God does not remain outside of what he created.  He enters it.  God not only gives, but lives with his gifts.  Things are not only gifts but they are holy because the essence of God is there.  This essence gives them their meaning and value for me.  Scripture: Acts 17:28; Heb 1:2; John 1:16; Prologue”

[236] Third Point Labor of God ties in with Week 3 (Remember God invited retreatant to labor with him and compassion Jesus thru the Passion): “God is at work in the universe, with all things.  God works out my salvation within all things; all things are caught up in the redemptive workings of God.  When one discovers and reads these labors, and merges his/her choices and actions with the workings of God, he/she becomes a person of discernment.”  “Scripture: Job 5:17; 36:22-27; Gal 2:20; Eph 3:20”

[237] Fourth Point ties in with Week 4 as Jesus is the source of consolation: the experience of affectively being touched and caught up in the Spirit of God: “Participation in God.  Everything speaks of God as it resembles him and turns to him, the source.  This is to catch a glimpse of who is giving, who is present, and who is laboring for me.  What I have received are not only gifts and holy and lead me to him, but are participations in his nature i.e. human justice is divine justice, human energy is divine power, etc.  This last stage of interior knowledge is to reach, but not to grasp, apprehend but not to comprehend.  The ascent of the Contemplatio is to a deeper interiosity—into the depth that is God.” “Scripture: Rom 1:20; John 1:3, 16; Col 1:15”

“Scripture for the Contemplatio:  John Prologue; 4:10; 5:17; 6:27; 10:14-15; Mat 12:46-50; 1 John 3:16-24; 4:8-17; Acts 2:32-33; James 1:16-19, 22-25; 2:14-17; Eph 2:7-10, 22; Col 1:24; Rev 21:1-8; Lev 11:45; Ps 8; 104; 148”

“Covenant Scripture: Jer 31:1-34; Is 43:1-7, 18-21;Ez 36:14-17; John 14 – 17; Rev 22:17-20”

“Close of the Retreat Scripture: Acts 20:31-32; Ex 33:12-17; Jer 29:11-15

         Last Conference Considerations:

    • 1. Post retreat shock/noise
    • 2. Frustration
    • 3. Need to move out of solitude
    • 4. Prayer
    • 5. Spiritual direction
    • 6. Loss of supportive structure
    • 7. Particular Examen of consciousness
    • 8. Ecclesial Spirituality [352-370]  “Rules for thinking with the Church

A. At the time of Ignatius (16th Century) the same basic questions had arisen that we experience today: 

    • a. Authority of the Church
    • b. Validity of religious life  
    • c. In the first 10 rules Ignatius speaks practically based in the context of the 16thCentury.         

   B. In the last 8 rules, he is speaking out of the theology he studied in Paris.   He speaks of attitudes.  In Week III     spoke of ordering our appetites to Christ ([210-217] Rules for Eating).  Here he appeals more to the intellect and want our attitudes to be constant with those of the Risen Christ in his Church.

    • 9. “Scripture for the Close of the Retreat: Jer 29:11-15; Acts 20:31-32; Ex 33:12-17; Acts 2; 1 Cor 12; 1 Cor 15:37, 43; 2 Tim 1:6-10; 1 John 1:1-4; James 1:22-23; 2:14-17; Phil 3:7-16; Rm 8:35-39

Object Meditations:  

SEED (take a tiny seed and ponder its implications)—Mat 13:49; John 12:24; 1 Cor 3:5-9; Mk 4:26-29; 4:30-33; Mat 13:18-30; Mat 13:36-43

BREAD (take a piece of bread and examine it and ponder it) Ex 16:4; John 6:32; Ps 78:24; John 6:48; John 6:12; 1 Cor 10:16; Luke 24:30-35; Rom 11:16-18 (Jerusalem Bible)”

[313-327] Rules for the Discernment of Spirits Desolation/consolation are gifts from God; total movements within a person not those that ruffle the surface.

    • 1. [313] “Description of Rules for the First Week—concern with resistance and desolation”

A. [314] Situation of mortal sin—“person is in radical slavery” and Spirit will make use of light reason to sting the conscience and fill person with remorse.

B. [315] Person is earnestly working to cleanse their soul from sin.  “This is the person whom Ignatius presumes is receiving the retreat.  Temptations include harassment with anxiety, sadness, etc.  The Spirit will then offer graces of courage, consolation, tears, inspiration, and awareness from where the anxieties arise.  If  one can stop in the midst of a hour of discouragement and call it what it is—how rewarding.”

C. [316] Definition of consolation—“tears can show how feelings overflow from the interior to the exterior.”

D. [317] “Desolation is not an evil, but a visitation from God for the good of the soul.  It is a spiritual experience.  It is not a bad temper or down state due to selfish thought, but a sending of a touch stone.”

E. [318] How to handle desolation—do not made a change, as the evil spirit has worked to gain control.

F. [319] “To work against desolation pray and do penance.   Don’t distract yourself or ignore the problem; it needs to be acted upon.”

G. [320] “Though one cannot always perceive God’s presence, God is there and will assist in the resistance to desolation.  Call to mind your knowledge of the way God acts—in mercy and love.  Metaphor: a man who stands aside and watches his son to though a man-making experience.”

H. [321] “How to handle desolation: persevere in patience.  We live in a pain killing age, so patience is not modeled for us.” 

I. [322] “Causes of desolation: a) a warning sign that we are slipping and not open to growth b) an instrument of God to see how steady is our love for God c) a lesson in humility, to experience our spiritual poverty and dependence on God.

J. [323] “Enjoy consolation”

K. [324] “Keep in mind that consolation comes and goes as does desolation.”

L. [325] “Evil one is a seduction master and can win over someone who loses courage and seemingly cannot fight against human tendencies to sin.”

M. [326] “Secrecy is a manner of deceit and a function of the evil spirit.”

N. [327] “The devil can attack our strengths.  Everyone has their own Achilles heel and our greatest strength is usually the opening to our greatest weakness.  OR, our root sin is a door to our greatest grace.”

[328-336] Rules for the Discernment of Spirits Week II—“Movement is an expectation while receiving the Exercises.  These are related to courage and the phenomena of consolation.”

              A. [329] “Evil one works against consolation with irrational, useless worry about the future.”                                  

              B. [330] “One can get swept up into God for a fleeting moment.  Treasure these consolations without previous     cause against days of darkness and trials.”

              C. [331] “’Con Causa’ when the evil spirit causes consolation—for the purpose of perverse intent.”

              D. [332] “Angel of Light (Lucifer) begins with thoughts suited to the devout soul—beware of self-deception.”

              E. [333] “How to discern—clarify where the movement is leading.”

              F. [334] “Here is what to do when evil intent is detected: review—trace it back to the beginning (trigger) to be      able to guard against a similar experience in the future.  Purpose of discerning—learn from one temptation how to recognize the evil one in the future.”

              G. [335] “Since the action of the good angel is delicate, gentle and delightful, watch out for the violent reaction.  If I ever react and become defensive, it is a sign that I had better take stock.  I had better take a good look at myself.”

              H. [336] “Consolation without cause is sometimes not easily seen.  Prudence and discernment are closely related.”