What are the Exercises? Perhaps it’s best to start with an analogy. If spiritual direction is like a day hike in the park, the Exercises are like thru-hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. Everything in terms of time, length, intensity, and focus are ramped up, but along with that, so are the benefits.
The official name is “The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.” They are a 500-year old way of cultivating a deeper friendship with Jesus, so that you come to know His heart and feel your own heart known by Him. My own experience of the Exercises as well as countless others through the centuries show that this to be exactly what happens. Deep shifts in perspective take place. Healing of all kinds happens. New insights are gained, and new dreams are birthed. Ignatius hoped that those who took the Exercises would go and set the world on fire for Jesus and His kingdom. His hope has become the living reality of so many.