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What are the “Spiritual Exercises”?

By the term “Spiritual Exercises” is meant every method of examination of conscience, of meditation, of contemplation, of vocal and mental prayer, and of other spiritual activities that will be mentioned later. For just as taking a walk, journeying on foot, and running are bodily exercises, so we call Spiritual Exercises every way of preparing and disposing the soul to rid itself of all inordinate attachments, and after their removal, of seeking and finding the will of God in the disposition of our life for the salvation of our soul.

-The Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius 1522-24 AD

Contemporary Translation

Any means by which we come into contact with God: Means of overcoming our resistances and to relate to God, and in that relating, to discover and try to live out God’s hopes for us.