These are the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, a plan of contemplation to be carried out over about a month. St. Ignatius of Loyola (1419-1556) was the founder of the Jesuits, and was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. He published the Spiritual Exercises in 1548. The Exercises were intended for use by someone who would be conducting a retreat and are a series of notes on methods and things to cover. As such they read more like a manual and overview than a devotional book that one can look to for edification. They presume the person conducting the retreat or the exercises has already been through them. They are a central part of the first year training of Jesuit novitiates. However, one does not have to be a Jesuit-in-training to take advantage of the Exercises: Increasingly, lay people follow this path.
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