St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises provided a ground-breaking model for entering into a deep relationship with Christ in the context of a retreat. However, the typical “30 Day” retreat that many Jesuits offer based on Ignatius’ writings is not easily accessible to the average lay person. The stress and busyness of daily living make it nearly impossible to set aside that amount of time spent in recollection.
The good news is that various Jesuit authors have been able to summarize Ignatius’ writings in a more simplified way that gets to the heart of his spirituality. Such was the task of Fr. Joseph Laramie, SJ, who recently wrote Abide in the Heart of Christ: A 10-Day Personal Retreat with St. Ignatius Loyola. Laramie succeeds in providing a much needed guide to making a personal retreat, not requiring a large investment of time. In fact, the daily exercises he gives only take 15-30 minutes each day!
But don’t let the short amount of time fool you! If you immerse yourself into each reflection, you will experience a profound spiritual renewal! All from the comfort of your own home!
Ave Maria Press summarizes the book in this way.
In Abide in the Heart of Christ, Rev. Joe Laramie, S.J., offers accessible wisdom from the foundations of Jesuit spirituality—St. Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises—in a ten-day personal retreat that will help you encounter Christ, grow your relationship with him, and shape your heart.
Laramie is your guide through this accessible retreat into the heart of Jesus. Based on a structure and approach he developed as a retreat leader at White House Jesuit Retreat in St. Louis, Laramie introduces you to classic themes of the Christian life, including sin, forgiveness, and creation.
This book also helps you learn how to use key scripture passages to reflect on your own experiences. Each reflection includes teachings from the Spiritual Exercises and offers examples from Laramie’s own life. Reflection questions and activities guide you in further contemplation to help you see what’s in your heart, encounter Christ in your daily life, and live more fully in his love each day.
This book should be of particular interest to members of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, as Laramie frames the retreat within the context of a devotion to the Heart of Jesus and much of what he writes about echoes The Way of the Heart that is essential to our spirituality.
If you want to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ, especially the Heart of Jesus, pick-up this book and get ready for a deep spiritual experience!