Consistently rated amongst ‘Books that have changed the world’  The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius is a small manual which distills a lifetime of spiritual experiences and learning of the saint.  Over the course of four centuries it has gone through more than 4500 editions – translated into many languages. According to Ignatian Scholar – George Ganss – this accounts for more than one new edition every month since its first publication. An Incredible testament to its influence.

However before you decide to buy it – be warned it is not a book to be read – but a book to be experienced.  What is meant by this is that the manual was never intended to be read, curled up by the fire, you would be disappointed if you were to read it as you would any other book. It has no literary or aesthetic pretensions – moreover it is intended as a manual for the ‘director’ or a retreat – not the retreatant themselves.

It was first published by Ignatius reluctantly, indirectly to clear his name.  Because of the radical changes that took place in the lives of people experiencing the exercises – princess, dukes, professors as well as many others – Ignatius had attracted a lot of suspicion, and at times even resentment by those who didn’t understand his method – and this ignorance made them suspicious. His enemies  slandered Ignatius – accusing him of bewitchment, so he submitted his Exercises to the highest authority – The Pope.  His greatest critics, as is often the case, were from within the Church itself – driven by jealousy, perhaps, and also an understandable suspicion of anything too new at a time of tortuous upheaval, schism and reform in the Church. After an investigation Paul III wholeheartedly approved the Exercises in 1548.

Ignatian Spirituality

Based on the experience of St Ignatius of Loyola, Ignatian spirituality is a way to pray, an approach to making decisions, and a practical guide to everyday life. Ignatian spirituality sees God as actively involved in the world and intimately involved with us in every moment. It is at the heart of the work of the Jesuits today. The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius are a way of focusing our prayer and helping us respond to God as he is present and calling us in our deepest desires. To understand a little more about the Spiritual Exercises you may have time to read these blog entries.

Many people find Ignatian ways very helpful in a  modern world that can be difficult to hear the voice of God – so making Ignatian retreats, or even just being able to talk to an Ignatian spiritual director become an important part of their lives. If you are interested – but one to explore more from the safe anonymity of the web below are some links that may help.

Jesuit Retreat Houses in English Speaking Countries  

UK –  Loyola Hall, Liverpool         St Beunos, Wales

USA – Links Page to all retreat Houses      Map of Retreat Houses

Ireland – Dollymount, Dublin

Canada 

Australia 

Europewide (other languages)

Places that offer retreats in Daily Life 

UK  Mount St Center London     Ignatian Spirituality Center, Glasgow

Ireland Sli – Eile

USA  List of Jesuit Parishes

Canada – Montreal     Halifax

Australia – Melbourne

On line resources in Ignatian Spirituality

Pray-as-you-go (daily prayer in Mp3)

Sacred Space  (on line prayer in many languages)

Creighton (on-line retreats)

Loyola Press – 3 minute retreats!

Other 6 – where did you find God today?

Rome (Curia) – Secretariat for Ignatian Spirituality 

Please let me know if you would like a link included, or if a link is broken.  I am not responsible for the content of external links.

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The ‘School of the Heart’ as St Ignatius called it or tertianship represents the final phase of training for a Jesuit. It was during this year of my formation, when I was away from home, that I started writing this blog. The archives from September 2011 – May 2012 are postings I made whilst on tertianship.

St Ignatius Loyola – founder of the Jesuits

St. Ignatius says of the goals of tertianship in the Constitutions:

…after those who were sent to studies have achieved the diligent and careful formation of the intellect by learning, they will find it helpful during the period of last probation to apply themselves in the school of the heart, by exercising themselves in spiritual and corporal pursuits which can engender in them greater humility, abnegation of all sensual love and will and judgement of their own, and also greater knowledge and love of God our Lord: that when they themselves have made greater progress they can better help others to progress for glory to God our Lord”

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Giving and receiving a blessing after mass in Karnataka, India

AMDG

Hello – thanks for visiting!  My name is Fr Tim Byron SJ – I am a Jesuit priest currently working in Manchester, UK as Catholic Chaplain to the Universities of Manchester  (click here for website) and also in the city-centre church of the Holy Name  (website) . I started this blog as a way of keeping in touch with former students, family and friends whilst in the Philippines and India.  It was an incredible year for me and many of the experiences have been archived here.  I have decided to continue the blog now I am back in the UK partly because it dismays me how the church and faith is so often misrepresented in the media. So this blog is a small attempt to correct some of these misrepresentations.

One of the values of the Jesuits is the desire to find God in all things. So my postings may well cover many topics that I am enthusiastic about. Please leave any comments or links – I will try and share the things that I discover in life and in my work. Please feel free to respond to the postings – I have already seen how some responses have had a big impact on others who read the blog, you maybe doings someone a great favour.  It is all about sowing seeds!

Baptising Mary – the first child of my cousin Pat.

12 Comments:

  • JP Morrison

    Hi Tim. I knew the Phillipines were far away, but your picture seems to indicate it is somewhere in space. Is this the case? Wishing you every success out there and this blog will boldly go where no Jesuit has gone before. Thoughts and prayers are with you (and Liverpool who probably need them more..) Take care mate. JP

    • Hey JP – great to hear from you – you know I am a space cadet… head in the stars etc, especially after such a poor performance against Spurs. Mon morning was the first timeI felt relieved not to be going into college… anyway still experimenting with Blog so stars have have been replaced by tropicla beachfront (don’t tell anyone it is Malaysian not Phillipino) only 973 miles difference, like Glasgow – Portsmouth and back again.

  • Legz

    Wow – I love the picture from India – anyway i can get a bigger copy?

  • JP Morrison

    Hi Tim, Look after yourself out there! Very moving accounts and a real challenge for the community. I’m sure you will be a great asset to them after all your wood felling in Wales. Yesterday we held the Annual Jesuit Schools’ Sixth Form Conference. It was a great success and John Moffatt was excellent. Pacome and Andreas did us proud. We made them work hard and provide solutions to Sec State for Education on what makes our schools special to be used elsewhere. You would be proud!

    • That sounds great – we have two real gems and gentleman with pacome and andreas. If you haev time email me acopy of anything they produced for Gove…. also could you ask teh Moff to send me any presentation he gave them? No worries if not possible. Was quoted in a speech in the Phillipines Senate on monday! Don’t ask me why….

  • pilar

    Tim – I remember you from Madrid – great to discover this blog. I will be following with eyes that are peeled open. Besos de Cantoblanco.

  • Simply wanna remark on few general things, The website design is perfect, the content material is very good : D.

  • This is a beautiful blog, Father. I enjoyed the post about the “Black Nazarene”.

  • Bok

    It is such a blessing to be part of your journey, Fr. Tim! Your presence is very refreshing and consoling. May you continue to inspire and touch the lives of the people whom you encounter. I will never forget your sharing to us that the world has become your home. All the best!

  • Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic but
    I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?

    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with
    hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  • A most impressive site!

    Please show Fr William how to do the same! He gave wonderful homilies at Farm St but I could never persuade him to record them and put them on the website (despite the example of the US Jesuits, whose online sermons were not as good).

    He did at least email. Now I cannot even find his new email address on the Holy Name site! Perhaps you could also mention that I would like to drop in on him over the Christmas period (when I am visiting relatives in Bolton). Any clues as to when he might be around or celebrating mass would be good! I have met only three people who had such a profound influence on my spiritual life. The other Jesuit died some time ago, and I have completely lost touch with the third.

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