EXEQUATUR. See Placet.

EXERCITIA SPIRITUALIA (" Spiritual Exercises "): A work by St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. Originally written in Spanish, it was translated into Latin and first published at Rome in 1548 with the approval of Paul III. The military asceticism and obedience which characterize the Jesuits a°e essentially the result of this book, which has promoted the steady growth of the order through the cen turies and extended its influence both to the regular and to the secular clergy. In its content the "Spiritual Exercises" is no new creation of its author, but is based on older rules for inward prayer and spiritual meditation, finding close analogues in the works of contemplative mystics of the close of the Middle Ages, such as Jan van Ruyebroeck. Among the more immediate sources Sources. were probably the Abecedario es piritual de las circonstancias de la passion de Cristo nuestro SeTreor y otros mysterioa (1521) of the Minorite Francesco de Oauna and the Exercitatorium spirituals (1500) of the Benedictine abbot Garcia de Cisneros. From the former book may have been derived much pertaining to the meditations on the Passion in the "third week" of Loyola's course, while the latter furnished the basis for the threefold way of purification, illu mination, and union. Manresa, where Loyola wrote the "Spiritual Exercises," is situated near Montserrat, where the Exercitatorium was composed, so that Ignatius doubtless came underthe same in fluences which had inspired De Cisneros. This is shown conclusively by the Benedictine Antonio de Ypez (d. 1621), while the older Jesuits main tained that the Exercitia had been miraculously revealed to Loyola at Manresa by the Virgin. Modern Jesuits, however, recognize more or less fully the dependence of Loyola's book on the Exercitat.')rium, although they emphasize the superiority of their founder's work over that of his predecessor both on account of its more practical form and because of the special rules for examination of conscience and care of souls which are lacking in the composition of De Cisneros.

The Exercitia apiritualia, which contains besides its main topic additions, annotations, and instructions, is based upon a series of meditations divided into four weeks. These meditations treat of purification through contemplation of the sinful corruption of mankind, illumination through contemplation of the incarnate and crucified Redeemer, and mystic union with the risen and glorified Savior. The first week, or via purgativa, leads to consciousness of sin and repentance for it by five daily,

meditations on the purpose of man tee- and complete resignation to the divine

mgt. will, the fall of man and angels, the

guilt incurred thereby, and the eternal Punishment of hell. In the course of each day one who practises these exercises is requfred to examine his conscience, and to watch and combat his besetting sins, while in the evening he moat review

Ezell Eaercitia 9Piritnalia

his general conduct during the past day. The via illuminativa occupies two weeks. The first half is devoted to meditations on the mysteries of the sending of the Redeemer from the time of his resolve to become incarnate to his Passion, closing with the requirement to choose between Christ and the world. The second half of the via illuminativa is devoted to meditations on the Passion, deepening and strengthening the resolve to follow Christ. The fourth week is filled with meditations on the resurrection and exaltation of Christ, wherein he who has died with Christ rises again as a new man united with God. The exercises close with a prayer of absolute resignation to God in Christ in memory, intelligence, and will. Certain ascetic practises are recommended for the promotion of meditation, but these are spiritual, such as the reading of ascetic writings, or frequent confession and communion, rather than fasting, scourging, and the like. To the Exercitia are appended certain "rules for harmony with the Church," intended to reconcile one who has gained union with God through the three ways wholly with the cardinal doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, thus guarding him against a heretical mysticism, and at the same time ignoring all teachings outside the Roman Catholic body.

Through their skilful adaptation to the requirements of Roman Catholic devotions, as well as through their elasticity, which rendered them suitable for use both within and without the Order of Jesus, the Exercitia spiritualia proved victorious over the attacks made upon it immediately after its appearance, even by Roman Catholic theologians. The Dominican Melchior Cano aroused opposition against the work in the University of

Alnala, and aided the archbishop of History and Toledo to forbid its use and disaemi-

Influence. nation in 1551. Yet within a few

decades Loyola's book met with the universal approval of the entire Roman Catholic

world, including the Dominicans themselves. St. Charles Borromeo had it recommended by a provincial synod of Milan in 1576, while Francis of Salsa, Juan and Thereaia de Avila', Vincent de Paul,

and others lauded it highly. A series of papal bulls sanctioned it, especially after 1593, when the

Directorium of Aquaviva, the General of the Order, required its use among the Jesuits. In an abbreviated form the Exercitia apiritualia was recom-

mended even to non

-Jesuits, both clergy and laity. Paul V. granted a plenary indulgence to all who should practise the Exercises for ten days (May 23, 1606); Alexander VII. granted similar privileges to the laity for a period of eight days (Oct.12,1657);

while Benedict XIV. reduced this minimum to five

days (July 15, 1749), and later even included those

who "should pass but a single day under the

direction of the Jesuits as a Preparation for a good death " (Mar. 29,1753),

In this double form of a four weeks' course for members of the Order of Jesus, to be performed at least twice, once during the novitiate and again after the completion of the education, and of an abbreviated course for non-Jesuits, the Ezercitid epiritualia is in use at the present day and is an


important factor in modern Roman Catholic religious thought and life.

O. Zöckler.

Bibliography: The "Exercises" were published in Eng. transl. from the Latin in London, 1847, 1880, 1870, and from the Spanish, ib. 1900. Consult: P. StSger, Die asketisahe Litemtur über die geisuirhen Uebungen, R,egens burg, 1850; A. Steinmetz, Hist. of the Jesuits, London, 1880; E. Gothein, Ignaz van Loyola, pp. 2B-38, Halle, 1885; F. H. Reueoh, Index der roabotensn Becher, ii. 294 295, Bonn, 1885; d. Brucker, Die peiaUichsrt Uebungen du heiligen Ipnas, Freiburg, 1890; O. Zöckler, Askew and Mbnehtum, pp. b94-599, Frankfort, 1898; Heimbuaher, Orden und Kongregationen, ii. 59-63.


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