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Personal Writings (Penguin Classics) Paperback – January 1, 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Latin

From the Back Cover

St. Ignatius of Loyola (c. 1491-1556), founder of the revolutionary Jesuit Order, is one of the key figures in Christian history. These Personal Writings reveal the intense inwardness and devotional depths of the private man. His Reminiscences give a vivid account of his conversion and psychological turmoil, of his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and of the years of study and controversy in Spain and Paris leading to the creation of the Society of Jesus. The immensely influential Spiritual Exercises offer guidelines for helping people discover God in their lives, coming to terms with their flaws, and making choices about their future. In the Spiritual Diary Ignatius shows himself drawing on these methods to work through a period of crisis. All these major works have been included in this volume, along with forty letters specially selected by the editors. Together with the Preface, Introduction to each text and detailed notes, they make one of the greatest of religious characters freshly available to modern readers.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1St Edition edition (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140433856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140433852
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Saint Ignatius was a Basque military officer from Loyola, a great saint, and the founder of one of the most influential religious orders in world history: the Society of Jesus(the Jesuits). His personal writings reveal a truly gentle, emotional man who gave up all the pleasures of nobility to become a poor, wretched pilgrim for the sake of Christ. His Reminisces recounts all the main events of his life, from his bravery in the battle that left him crippled for life, to his conversion in his recovery bed, and finally to his founding of the Jesuit order. His journal reveals his spirituality and describes his mystical experiences, his letters reveal his patience, wisdom, and kindness, and his tremendously popular Spiritual Exercises gives advice on how to dedicate your life to God and see His action all around you. Ignatius's writings resonate with the tender devotion and the firmness of purpose found only in the writings of the Saints. Reading this book, one can see the guiding hand of Providence in the life of Ignatius and in the history of the Church, a hand that can use even the worst sinner to bring a shattered world back to His Son.
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Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a common and useful type of Catholic spiritual exercise, you should know first that the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola may be a bit too dense and problematical for what you want. Many people like to pretend that they can do them on their own without an experienced Jesuit to monitor them. That is a 'new age' invention. It has nothing to do with how these exercises are actually praticed by those who hold the rightful ownership over them, namely the Jesuit order in full communion with the Holy See.

I would instead point you in the direction of The Divine Office (also called The Liturgy of the Hours) as a very wholesome and progressive type of daily prayer that is recommended to all the laity around the globe by the Holy See. The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola are certainly more than a little too heady and intense because of its meditations on topics like sinners in hell. I would recommend that you maybe read through the Spiritual Exercises and try to answer the questions without too much spiritual intensity (using more reason and logic than feelings) or adopting the extreme environmental settings that Jesuits would undertake in doing them. As laity you are not supposed to be doing these on your own anyway. After talking to a Jesuit, I found out that the exercises are not for everybody and the person undertaking the exercises, needs supervision. This can not be understated. Anything to the contrary would be a brand new invention by the reader.

God is love. Christianity without love is not Christianity.
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A superb new translation of some old favorites. The problems of the world are nothing that cannot be encountered with a soldier's discipline and a saint's faith. This is the first book I recommend to people who want to understand Jesuit spirituality after reading Martin's "The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything".
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