226-229. Notes on How to Proceed

 

1.         In the Fourth Phase we arrange the exercises on the model of the first contemplation just described with the necessary changes according to the particular mystery considered, similarly as we did in the passion phase. The companions can do the repetitions, application of the senses and the lengthening or shortening of the material contemplated also on the base of the Third Phase.

2.         If the companions do the Exercises in the secluded retreat form, they can do four exercises daily instead of five during this phase. The first one early in the morning, followed by two repetitions before noon and in the afternoon followed by the application of the senses in the evening. In this way the companions dedicate one entire day to each appearance contemplated ending with the Ascension. The entire Phase can be lengthened or shortened by choosing more or less of the appearances listed in the Appendix B “The Mysteries of the Life of Jesus Christ” [299-312]. Similarly, in the everyday life form of the Exercises, four sessions will be dedicated to each contemplated appearance of the risen Jesus. In this way we do the contemplations of the Fourth Phase with a slower pace, savoring the mysteries involved and letting the consolation seep into our hearts. St. Ignatius indicates this character of the resurrection phase when says: “In making the Application of the Senses, attention and more time is given to the more important parts and to points where the soul was more deeply moved and spiritual relish was greater” [227].

3.         The companions can use great freedom during this phase in structuring the individual exercises, and need not necessarily follow the five points as in the first contemplation presented above. They can decide if they wish more or less points or no points at all in the contemplations. Of course, they need to agree on this before entering the prayer session.

4.  During the Fourth Phase the companions need to change somewhat their ambient to favor the climate of joy and consolation and make use of the practical guidelines of the “Additions” [73-90] and of the “Notes” [127-131] applied of course to the thematic of the resurrection.

In the Fourth Phase for example during the morning preparations our thoughts need to be directed to the contemplated mystery of the resurrection and during the day we try to call to mind joyful and pleasant topics. We might say with the expression of Christotherapy that this is the time for “spirit-feasting” which we mentioned already earlier in the introduction to this phase.

In harmony with the climate of the contemplations of the resurrection the companions should not seek penances except to observe what is obligatory fast or abstinence the Church gives for the particular season they are in.