SPIRITUAL EXERCISES
and 
POPULAR PIETY
 

 


Clement of Alexandria (c. 216) describes a method of radical apophaticism

Plotinus (c. 260) recommends an inner journey intended to realize the divine

For many Desert Fathers and Mothers such as Evagrius Ponticus  (c. 350-500) biblical exegesis and nepsis (guardianship over thoughts) intertwine, creating a regularly-practiced exegesis of the heart, shared with an abba or amma.

Monastic Rules (c. 350-600) prescribe a daily program of psalmody, silence, lectio divina, manual labor, and manifestation of thoughts to a spiritual Elder.  This increasingly incorporates the images and texts relevant the changing seasons of the liturgical year.

Maximos Confessor and Germanus of Constantinople recommend allegorical, internal reflection on increasingly lengthy liturgical exercises

Gertrude the Great recommends Spiritual Exercises related to the liturgical day, intended to revive zeal associated with significant moments in consecrated life.

The Brethren of the Common life meditate on the humanity of Jesus: their principal text is The Imitation of Christ.

Garcia de Cisneros describes THREE WEEKS of Spiritual Exercises based on the purgative, illuminative, and unitive approach of Ps.-Dionysius.


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