See below for a discussion of which Ignatian title may be right for you.
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Which Ignatian title is right for you?
You may already know which book or books are right for you. The following text is offered for those who may welcome additional information in making this choice. You may also listen to Fr. Tim explain the purpose of each book.
When you need short, practical exercises for young and
An Ignatian Introduction to Prayer
Group leaders who are looking for practical exercises for groups, including groups who may not have much experience in spiritual development, will want to acquire An Ignatian Introduction to Prayer: Scriptural Reflections According to the Spiritual Exercises. This book features forty short (two-page) Ignatian meditations, including scripture passages, meditative keys for entering into the scriptural story, and guided questions for reflection. These exercises are also useful for individual reflection both for experienced persons and beginners: beginners will recognize and resonate with some of the evocative passages from scripture; those familiar with Ignatian teaching will appreciate the Ignatian structure of the guided questions.
When your life is at a crossroads:
Discerning the Will of God
If you are facing a turning point in life, you know how difficult it can be to try to hear God's will amid the noise of other people’s expectations and your own wishes. Ignatius of Loyola developed a series of exercises and reflections designed to help you in these times so that your decision can be one that conforms to God’s will for your life.Discerning the Will of God: An Ignatian Guide to Christian Decision Making is a trustworthy guide to applying those reflections to your own particular circumstances. This guide, which does not require any prior knowledge of Ignatian spirituality, can be used by people of any faith, though some elements will be more directly applicable to Catholic readers.
When you want classic spiritual discipline to apply every
The Examen Prayer and Meditation and Contemplation
Individuals wanting to deepen their prayer lives using a spiritual discipline will find The Examen Prayer an important resource. The examen prayer is a powerful and increasingly popular practice for finding God’s hand in our everyday lives and learning to be receptive to God's blessings. This easy-to-read book uses stories and examples to explain what the examen is, how you can begin to pray it, how you can adapt it to your individual life, and what its benefits for your life can be. Highly practical!
A second favorite is Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture. Anyone familiar with Ignatian spirituality has heard about meditation and contemplation. In this volume, Fr. Gallagher explains what is unique to each practice, shows how you can profit from both at different times in your spiritual life, and reveals some of the forgotten elements (such as the preparatory steps and colloquy) and how the structure can be adapted to your particular spiritual needs.
Because The Examen Prayer draws from the experiences of everyday life, it can stand on its own as a guide to the prayer of examen. Those looking to begin their practice of meditation and contemplation, which for Ignatius is always based on scripture, may choose their own scripture passages or draw from the forty examples in An Ignatian Introduction to Prayer, mentioned earlier.
When you’re ready to move more deeply into Ignatian
The Discernment of Spirits and Spiritual Consolation
Spiritual directors, directees, and others who want to understand the deeper structures of Ignatian thought have come to rely on The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide to Everyday Living, and Spiritual Consolation: An Ignatian Guide for the Greater Discernment of Spirits. The Discernment of Spirits leads us through Ignatius’s Rules for discernment, showing both their precise insight into the human soul and their ability to illustrate the real-life struggles of spiritual seekers today. As Fr. Gallagher writes, his practical goal is “to offer an experience-based presentation of Ignatius’s rules for discernment of spirits in order to facilitate their ongoing application in the spiritual life. This is a book about living the spiritual life.” Because it forms the foundation for so many other aspects of Ignatian thought, The Discernment of Spirits has become Fr. Gallagher’s bestselling book and has been the basis for a TV series.
Spiritual Consolation extends this same approach, interweaving stories and principles for a more profound understanding of Ignatius's Second Rules for discernment.
Begin Again: The Life and Spiritual Legacy of Bruno Lanteri
Forthcoming: Crossroad, Fall 2013
In this biography of the Venerable Bruno Lanteri (1759–1830), founder of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, Fr. Gallagher tells the story of a man who served God and the Church courageously in times of persecution, ready to pay the price. Ven. Lanteri’s lifelong struggles with health, his dedicated service to priests, religious, and laity that rendered him “the man of a hundred tongues and a hundred arms,” his love for the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, his deep prayer, his struggles to overcome his limitations, his enduring quest for holiness, his message of God’s mercy to the disheartened, and his invitation to begin again in times of failure, are detailed in this book. This book is for all who seek inspiration in living their faith amid the vicissitudes and struggles of daily life.
“A man who sought always to remain in the background is brought forward in this book
so that all can begin again to discover his virtues and appreciate his influence today.”
—Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago