London: Burns & Oates, 1963. 16mo. (6 3/4 inches tall), rounded black leatherette boards, all edges red, original gold foil dust jacket. Bright boards fine, shallow crease and gentlest edge-wear to price-clipped dust jacket. A near-fine copy. Item #652
"A COMPENDIUM OF SPIRITUALITY WHICH IS UNIQUE IN THE ANNALS OF CHRISTIAN ASCETIC AND SPIRITUAL LITERATURE" Golden Library edition of Ignatius Loyola's manual of practical contemplation, a new English translation of this landmark of Roman Catholic spirituality. Derived from his experiences at Loyola and Manresa in 1521-1522, Ignatius spent over twenty-five years developing the Excercitia. "At heart, Ignatian spirituality flows from the saint's most famous work, The Spiritual Exercises, which Ignatius wrote over many years; it was the fruit of his prayer and his experience in helping others pray. Any understanding of the spirituality of St. Ignatius and of his Jesuit Order begins with this short work" (James Martin). The text was largely complete by 1541 and first published in 1548. From the opening fundamental principle (rendered here as "Man has been created to praise, reverence and serve our Lord God, thereby saving his soul"), Loyola's "small book contains the marrow of his spiritual outlook and most quickly mirrors to us the synthesis of his principles" (George E. Ganss).
Fr. Corbishley's short Introduction provides a practical reason for bringing out a new translation in a new edition: "If we are to resist the erosion of our Christian and human values, we can hardly do better than to withdraw, however temporarily, from the skeptical climate that surrounds us and contemplate steadily the eternal verities as accepted and propounded by the author of the Exercises." This "temporary withdrawal" from the outside world advised by Corbishley describes the modern practice of retreats for laypersons, where "the Exercises are not to be read so much as prayed." The Spiritual Exercises are estimated to have been published some 4500 times since the sixteenth century. This edition was printed in Belgium and published by Burns and Oates as part of their Golden Library series, with a wonderful example of the distinctive gold foil dust wrapper. George E. Ganss. The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. James Martin, My Life with the Saints. Approbations.