The Second Week (Part 2): How to Stay on the Path | Seeking God: A Jesuit Retreat

The Second Week of the Spiritual Exercises is split into two episodes. This second one focuses on how we can stay on the path to God on our journey of faith. The episode begins by outlining the discernment of spirits as a way to be attentive to the different spirits that pull us in one direction or another. Along with sharing lessons from St. Ignatius’s story, this episode offers concrete methods to help us respond to the urgings of the good spirit in our lives and resist the movements of the false spirit. Later in the episode, it shifts to friendship, beginning with our friendship with Jesus. An important component of the Second Week is praying over the life of Jesus and asking for the grace to know him more intimately, to love him more devotedly, and to follow him more completely. The technique of Ignatian Contemplation is introduced, which can help when praying with Gospel stories of Jesus. The episode also reflects on the many friends in faith who help inspire us and guide us, including friends of Jesus in the Scriptures, the Communion of Saints, and our own family and friends.

 

Suggested texts:

    • 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22
    • Psalm 34
    • Luke 10:29-37
    • Matthew 6:19-21

Points for Reflection: Reflect on the movements of the good spirit and the false spirit in your own life, and on friendships that help you stay on the path to God.

      • How does the false spirit try to lead you astray in sneaky and subtle ways?
      • Where do you most clearly see the good spirit at work in your life? How are you responding?
      • How are you deepening your friendship with Jesus?
      • Who are the friends in faith that inspire you and help you stay on the path to God? Reflect on friends of Jesus in the Gospels, your favorite Saints, and friends and family.

3 Methods of Discernment:

  1. Pros and cons list
  2. Imagine giving advice to a friend
  3. Imagine reflecting back from some time in the future

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