Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) wanted to help everyone, no matter what age or stage of life, experience Jesus. He realized that many coming to join him in his endeavors knew about God in their heads, but not as well in their hearts. His exercises are designed for helping someone let God come close through a deep meditation on the life and teachings of Jesus.
One of Ignatius' basic tenets is his belief that people would benefit more greatly by discovering things about the real God and their real selves through contemplation on the Scriptures and how they connected to ordinary, everyday life. Through daily prayers and Scripture readings that largely focus on the life of Christ, the Spiritual Exercises have been so powerful and growth-inducing for many - including myself.
What is it?
I facilitate the Ignatian exercises through either Larry Warner's book, Journey with Jesus, or James Wakefield's book, Sacred Listening. It is a six months to a year process of prayer and journaling that moves the believer from approaching the scriptures merely with the head and helping make movement toward experiencing the scriptures and God with greater intimacy and prayerfully, clarity.
The exercises are not meant to be a personal Bible Study. Instead, they are more an invitation to encounter Christ's love and action in your present life and circumstances, with an invitation to open your heart to trust His love. Though you do them personally, you share them with an experienced "listener" who can help you uncover the movements of God's love and grace in and around your life.
Who can benefit from it?
- Anyone who wants to grow in intimacy with God, self and others through paying greater attention to God's presence and action in and through his or her life.
- Anyone who is ready to commit to and share the daily meditation and journaling process for 6 months to a year.
What do others say?
"There is no doubt that I wouldn't be where I am in my intimacy with Jesus and the new freedom I feel if I hadn't spent six months journeying in these exercises." ~ Vicki Blose
"I know few people who are called to 'attend to God' like Paula Gamble. Her ministry flows out of a life which is centered on worship, and because she is faithful to her primary calling and work, God has given her the spiritual authority to be a sweet aroma of Christ wherever she goes (2Cor 2:14). A woman who truly listens to God. I am hoping to have her lead me through the Ignatian Exercises and become my spiritual director. Dr. Myra Perrine (author of What's your God Language?)
What does it cost?
A suggested minimum donation of $275 for the 24 sessions is requested - but please don't let this keep you from exploring the possibility of this life-altering journey. Email me and we'll see if they are a good fit in your current journey.