The primary purpose of St Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises is to facilitate the growth of a friendship with Jesus. Much of that growth occurs in the Second Week of the Exercises when retreatants pray with the gospel stories of Jesus’ life and ministry. The Encountering Jesus series is based on this Second Week encounter with the God who became human to be like us and be with us.
Many Catholics go through the motions of the faith, going to church, participating in the sacraments, saying prayers—but don’t fully have a deep and intimate relationship with the person of Jesus.
Inspired by the Spiritual Exercises, Encountering Jesus invites participants to meet Jesus face to face in scripture through the method of Ignatian prayer and group sharing.
Structure and Participant Commitment
Those who participate in the Encountering Jesus series commit to four weeks of individual prayer (four days per week), at least 30 minutes per day, each bookended with a group gathering which allows for sharing and offers a guided major meditation from the Second Week of the Spiritual Exercises. Here is the structure:
Encounter Jesus comes with leader scripts for each of the five gatherings, which means those unfamiliar to the Ignatian prayer tradition can easily lead a gathering in a familiar Ignatian format. You are free to adapt the structure of the gathering depending on the needs and desires of your group. In the PDF are some helpful resources you may use as handouts to aid participants in praying in the Ignatian way.
Participants are given Prayer Guidance sheets to use to aid in their prayer during the week. Each week participants commit to four prayer periods (of at least 30 minutes). The Prayer Guidance sheets guide them through a familiar structure of Ignatian prayer and include points to consider as they pray with the provided scripture passages. Leaders are provided with handouts on how to pray in the Ignatian way in order to aid in the process.
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