I am not certain it is for me. When the warrior Iñigo was thirty, his leg was crushed by a cannon-ball. After setting, it was considerably shorter than the other. We are told he had it lengthened and straightened in a second operation out of vanity, to look good in hose, but a difference in leg length is a serious disability.
Recovering, he had two kinds of fantasy. In one, he had various knightly adventures, and won the love of a courtly lady. In the other, he followed the path of the Saints. He found that after the second kind he felt happy, and after the first kind he felt sad. He decided that the first came from his sinful nature, and the second from God.
Part of the first “week” of the Exercises involves confronting ones sins. A problem for me is that this does not fit my theory of my own nature. I am created good by God, and have imbibed from society inhibitions on my conduct, which I rail against, still mostly unconsciously. Integrated, I am Good; so my spiritual task is discovery of my God-given nature, not repentance. This is Original Blessing, rather than “original sin”: it involves self-discovery not self-abnegation.
Then again, my current stagnation may not indicate the good life well lived.
That first “week” is only a week on a full time retreat with five separate hours of meditation, reflection in between, and time with a spiritual director each day. The programme I have takes thirty weeks, with the first “week” taking eight weeks. This still involves an hour a day in silence, lectio divina and journalling, and ideally sharing my experiences with a listener for about half an hour a week. Such a listener might be doing the exercises at the same time.
Part of my reason for telling you this is to encourage myself to take these exercises seriously, but if anyone would care to be my listener, please use the Contact Me form.