Toward Greater Freedom: Resources for the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola

This page is designed to be a resource those who wish to utilize the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola to lead one's self or others to developing a more personal relationship with Jesus. It is strongly recommended (and perhaps an absolute requirement) that before attempting to offer the Exercises to your students that you already have experience with them through some type of directed retreat. The purpose of these exercises is to help the student develop the skills needed to pray with the Scriptures in a creative, personal and dynamic manner. The learning is progressive and the student gradually learns how to express his or her emotions and spiritual insights. As such, it is best if they are done as a package deal rather than just selecting a few of them. The whole becomes much greater than the sum of its parts.

In the table below you will find a brief description of each of the 31 exercises. I recommend presenting the PowerPoint Introduction to the Spiritual Exercises before beginning. For the individual reflections, I worked with 45 minute classes. Using the individual reflections, I usually read the introduction, put on some calming music, and let the students have 30 minutes of quiet reflection. During this time, the students read the Scripture passage and pray with it. After 30 minutes, I give the students a copy of the Spiritual Exercise Journal sheet and they have 15 minutes to complete it. This prevents the students from writing at the beginning and helps them to avoid the temptation to see this simply as a completion assignment to be done in a hurried mannner.

    Introductory Resources

  1. The Spiritual Exercises - A summary of our Journey - An outline describing the reflections
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Introductory PowerPoint Presentation - Provides background information about the history and nature of the Spiritual Exercises
  4. Spiritual Exercise Journal: Blank page used to record reflections
  5. Grading Rubric (Working Draft): Used to grade student reflections
  6. Key Questions (Working Draft): Key Questions used as part of the grading rubric
  7. The Awareness Examen Log: Used to keep track of one's personal insights from the Daily Examen

    Disposition Days and Week 1 of the Spiritual Exercises

  1. Reflection #01 - Warmup Stretches
  2. Reflection #02 - God's Love Revealed
  3. Reflection #03 - Principle and Foundation
  4. Reflection #04 - God's Love
  5. Reflection #05 - Ignatian Indifference
  6. Reflection #06 - Sin
  7. Reflection #07 - God's Forgiving Love
  8. Reflection #08 - Seeing With th Eyes of Jesus from the Cross
  9. Reflection #09 - Called by Name

    Week 2 of the Spiritual Exercises

  10. Reflection #10 - Kingdom of Christ Meditation
  11. Reflection #11 - The Immaculate Conception of Mary
  12. Reflection #12 - The Annunciation of Jesus' Birth
  13. Reflection #13 - The Birth of Jesus
  14. Reflection #14 - The Magi Adore Jesus
  15. Reflection #15 - The Hidden Years of Jesus
  16. Reflection #16 - The Baptism of Jesus
  17. Reflection #17 - Jesus in the Desert
  18. Reflection #18 - The Three Responses
  19. Reflection #19 - Jesus the Healer
  20. Reflection #20 - Jesus the Friend
  21. Reflection #21 - Jesus the Preacher

    Week 3 of the Spiritual Exercises

  22. Reflection #22 - Jesus the Troublemaker
  23. Reflection #23 - Jesus Returns to Jerusalem
  24. Reflection #24 - The Last Supper
  25. Reflection #25 - The Passion of the Christ*: Peter's Denial/Garden of Gethsemane
  26. Reflection #26 - The Passion of the Christ*: The Trial of Jesus and the Scourging at the Pillar
  27. Reflection #27 - The Passion of the Christ*: Jesus Carries the Cross
  28. Reflection #28 - The Passion of the Christ*: The Death and Burial of Jesus

    Week 4 of the Spiritual Exercises

  29. Reflection #29 - The Resurrection of Jesus
  30. Reflection #30 - Jesus on the Road to Emmaus
  31. Reflection #31 - The Contemplatio
* n.b. The Passion of the Christ is a rated R film. It contains what can easily be considered as violent images. I have found it helpful to provide a Parent Information Sheet to inform parents that I will be showing the film. If a parent or student does not wish to see the film then in place of the film the student can read the appropriate sections from one of the gospels as provided on the sheets. Alternatively, the individual reflections can be done and In my opinion, the most graphical scenes are the scourging at the pillar and the crucifixion scenes.

    Additional Resources

  1. PowerPoint Presentation on First Week of the Exercises: Sin: Presentation to help the students deal understand the purpose of looking at one's personal sinfulness
  2. The Passion of the Christ: In Your Own Words: Student responses to the Third Week of the Spiritual Exercises
  3. Final Presentation Guideline: Given to the students to help them prepare for the Final Presentation
  4. Sample Final Presentation: The sample presentation is shared with the students to let them know what I am expecting from their own presentations.

    Recommended Reading

  1. Stretched for Greater Glory: What to Expect from the Spiritual Exercises by George Aschenbrenner, S.J.
  2. Finding God in All Things by William Barry, S.J.
  3. A Friendship Like No Other: Experiencing God's Amazing Embrace by William Barry, S.J.
  4. Draw Me Into Your Friendship: The Spiritual Exercises by David L. Fleming, S.J.
  5. The Ignatian Workout: Daily Spiritual Exercises for a Healthy Faith by Tim Muldoon
  6. The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius by Louis J. Puhl, S.J.
  7. Making Choices in Christ: The Foundations of Ignatian Spirituality by Joseph Tetlow, S.J.

    Recommended Websites

  1. Creighton University's Online Retreat
  2. The Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University
  3. Sacred Space - Daily Prayer Online
  4. - Toward Greater Freedom Community

This page and its resources were created by Anthony Borrow, S.J. and collaborators at Dallas Jesuit College Preparatory. All materials are copyrighted © 2007, Anthony Borrow, Dallas Jesuit College Preparatory, Dallas, Texas 75244. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to use these materials, please request permission from the author by sending an email to Your feedback, comments, and corrections are also welcome.

Last modified: Friday, 13 March 2020, 8:12 PM