The four key meditations of the Exercises--without which a retreat would not be Ignatian--are contemplations on the Kingdom of God, the Two Standards (of Christ and of Satan), the Three Classes of Men, and The Three Modes of Humility. Crowning the whole work of the Exercises is the Contemplation to Obtain Love, which synthesizes the total effort of the four weeks so that the retreatant resolves to live a life exclusively for God in joyous service.
The first step in the essential method of the Ignatian approach to spirituality is a whole-hearted desire for distinguished and generous service of Christ, and this desire is perfected and developed through active participation in the meditations given, the maintenance of complete silence, the constant observance of the movements of the soul from indifference through compunction to devotion to Christ, contemplation of His life and reform of one's own life and, finally, the union of the will in perfect familiarity with God.
The high praise that has been lavished on the Exercises through the years by religious and lay people is a continuing tribute to the worth of these meditations as a precise tool for re-energizing the spiritual life. This new translation provides a clear, orderly, and modern version of
the timeless classic.