Spiritual Exercise: Lunch Hour Series

In mid-2019, Assistant to the President for Mission Integration Catherine Punsalan-Manlimos was appointed to succeed John Staudenmaier, S.J., former assistant to the president for Mission and Identity.

Punsalan-Manlimos' new Office of Mission Integration (OMI) will continue to reinforce the importance of Detroit Mercy's Catholic, Mercy and Jesuit identity with students, faculty, staff and alumni.

John Staudenmaier, S.J.

John Staudenmaier, S.J., Detroit Mercy’s former assistant to the president for Mission & Identity, presents a selection of talks about the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola.

The four audio talks explore present day applications of the Spiritual Exercises in daily life to deepen our relationship with God.

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    John Staudenmaier, S.J., "The Inner Geography of Prayer"

    John Staudenmaier, S.J., explores the implications of St. Ignatius' "inner geography of prayer" in this talk from his special series on the Jesuit Spiritual Exercises.

    "The core method for prayer in the Spiritual Exercise is that one tries to find one's way to the place where one desires to pray now and, when I find my way to that place, I try to stay there "until I have been satisfied" before moving on to a new place."

    "This method applies to where I place my body (in the literal sense) and where I give my attention. This discipline of seeking the place of heart's desire and trying to stay there until I have been satisfied makes a powerful discipline for living ordinary life as well as for finding guidance in prayer."

    Running time is 49 minutes 5 seconds.


    John Staudenmaier, S.J., "Confronting Evil"

    John Staudenmaier, S.J., explores "Confronting Evil" as part of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, a method of prayer for reclaiming the violent places, those in one's personal life and in the world where we live.

    "Ignatius teaches a discipline in which I try to come close to the violences which burden me, violence done to me, violence done by me, and violence done in the world where I live. The violent parts of our past and our present reality are uninhabitable and toxic."

    "The Spiritual Exercise teaches a method for reclaiming those uninhabitable parts of my self and world. Coming close so that I can stay in the violated places until I have been met there by God and those places can lose their toxicities and become part of the fabric of my life again. All this, however, presumes basic emotional health, which shows itself in my capacity to be moved by beauty and by sorrow."

    Running time is 54 minutes 38 seconds.

    John Staudenmaier, S.J., "Making Decisions for a Better Life"

    John Staudenmaier, S.J., Detroit Mercy's former assistant to the president for Mission and Identity, presented this talk as part of his series on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. In this talk, Fr. Staudenmaier reflects on the following ideas:

    How, through my adult life, do I decide when to stick with the commitments I already have and when to change some of those commitments?

    Adults make such changes all the time: taking a new job, leaving our home and buying another, getting married, choosing a new career, driving up north for the weekend instead of staying home, pausing in the mid-morning's work to get a cup of coffee… large and small changes of one's present set of commitments; humans do this a lot.

    But adults also stick with commitments a lot: we will stay in our home at this address; we will stay married even though it is hard; I will stick with my career; I will keep working on this task (and not go out for a cup of coffee now). The Spiritual Exercise teaches a method for discerning when to stick and when to change, about small and large matters.

    Running time is 1 hour 1 minute 52 seconds.


    John Staudenmaier, S.J., "Grief and Joy in the Spiritual Life"

    John Staudenmaier, S.J., Detroit Mercy's former assistant to the president for Mission and Identity, presented this talk as part of a special series on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola.  Some ideas discussed include:

    Americans are, for the most part, better at strategy (planning, then executing the plan, then assessing success or failure) than at intimacy (grieving, rejoicing, savoring beauty, resting when tired). There's good and bad in that for sure.

    No planning and no sense of urgency lead to gradually dying. But no intimacy wears out the inner spirit, which is the source of an adult's energy for living. The Spiritual Exercise teaches a method of prayer in which I learn to be present to the griefs of my life and the joys of my life.

    It stems back to Ignatius' dictum, "I will stay there (at some place of grief or joy) until I have been satisfied." The Spiritual Exercise understands all true strategies, our purposeful commitments, as flowing from our intimate experiences of God and God's love for the world. This may be the most helpful single rule of prayer in the Spiritual Exercise for adult citizens of contemporary U.S. society.

    Running time is 1 hour 43 seconds.