Patricia A. Merlo, M.P.M.

Do you want to be more aware of God’s Presence in your life?

If “yes”, then this might be the right time for you to make the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The Exercises provide a framework in which you can:

  • come to know God and His Son, Jesus, more intimately
  • become the person God created you to be when “He knit you together in your mother’s womb” (Ps 139)
  • discern what God is asking of you before you try “to obey God’s Will”
  • strengthen your commitment to building the Kingdom of God among us

Traditionally offered as a 30 day retreat, the Exercises can be made as a “Retreat in Daily Life”. Ideally, the person making the Exercises will:

  • begin in September (since the Exercises follow the Liturgical calendar)
  • commit to 45 minutes of daily prayer (centered on specific Scripture selections)
  • meet weekly with a guide (in person or via Skype when necessary)

Additional Remarks:

  • Making the Spiritual Exercises complements (but does not replace) regular spiritual  direction. The Holy Spirit is the ultimate Director of the Spiritual Exercises.
  • Being guided through the Spiritual Exercises involves a confidential and personal relationship. As a result, the initial meeting is designed to see if I will be a good match for you. If so, we will schedule our appointments at a mutually convenient time at Our Lady of Refuge Parish Offices in Orchard Lake.
  • Contact Information: If you are interested in learning more, please visit my website:, or contact me at, or at 248.909.9531.

     Outline of the Spiritual Exercises as Developed
by St. Ignatius of Loyola


First Principle and Foundation

  • God’s creative, unconditional love and call for total response.
  • A positive sense of God, self, creation.
  • Desire for freedom.

First Section: Purgation

The problem of evil: global and personal sin.
The need for healing from fear, guilt, poor self-image.

Conversion from personal sin (not a breach of a law but of a love relationship).

  • Coming to faith in Christ crucified (Paul to the Romans).
  • Knowing oneself as totally forgiven.
  • Baptism and reconciliation.

Discipleship: Incorporation into Christ.

  • The Call of the King: Christ’s call to follow him.
  • Deeper desire to be a disciple.

Second Section: Illumination

Contemplation of Jesus in the Gospels.

  • In his infancy: in the imaginative stories of Matthew and Luke.
  • In his adult life: his message to all, and to me.

A choice to follow him:

  • In spiritual poverty, self-emptying, and humility.
  • Rejecting the way of evil: greed, honors, and pride.
  • A practical decision to live one’s life with and for Christ in service.

Third and Fourth Sections: Union

The Passion of Christ: strength to carry out one’s mission.

Deeper sorrow for sin and compassion for God’s suffering people.

To live in the joy of the Lord: making a total response of love to God’s Love.

Contemplation on God’s Love: a deep and generous response to God’s gifts.

(This outline was originally retrieved on August 3, 2013.)


(Page Last Updated 8/16/2014)

©2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 Patty Merlo