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Such translations have the great advantage of enabling one to see almost at a glance what the original form of expression was. There is less danger, too, in these translations of interpretation and of substituting the translator's ideas for the meaning of the original. Furthermore, emphasis is not so easily shifted to words or phrases in such a way that the meaning is changed. But these translations also labor under great difficulties, and this seems to be especially true of the Exercises. In this case, a literal translation often fails to render the true meaning, and at times has no meaning at all.
The most dangerous source of error is the use of an English word, similar to the Spanish and derived from the same Latin root. As a result, this practice has been the source of many errors. Words of Latin origin are simply transferred to the translation.
Thus the words "annotation," "composition," "election," "deliberation," "deliberate," and others are used, though their meaning does not correspond to the sense in the Spanish original. The consequence is that a terminology is developed which is not readily understood except by those who are familiar with the Exercises. The sentence structure and the limping Spanish used by St. Ignatius present even greater difficulties. The modern Spanish sentence is very different from the English sentence, and this is even more true of sixteenth-century Spanish.
It is above all true of the Spanish of a Basque nobleman who had only the elements of an education when he wrote his book, and used an acquired language with little knowledge of its literary form. If the long, loosely knit sentences of the Spanish original are retained in English, they make reading and understanding difficult, and turn people from the use and study of the Exercises. One of the chief difficulties in translation is the constantly recurring participial construction.
It is vague and not very clear in the original, and becomes impossible in English. It may stand for almost any kind of clause or phrase. To find the correct, corresponding English form means interpretation by considering the meaning in the context and in the opinion of the best commentators. Even in modern Spanish, finite forms must be substituted for the constantly recurring gerunds used by St. Frequently sentences must be broken up, and phrases must be made independent sentences.
The result may appear a very free version, while as a matter of fact it is merely translating clearly and accurately into English. The aim of this translation is to represent as nearly as possible, idea with idea, Spanish idiom with corresponding English idiom, Spanish sentence structure with English sentence structure, and the quaint forms of the original with the forms common at present. Every effort has been made to add nothing and to omit nothing.
Idiom may demand frequent omission of connectives where English understands them; accuracy may demand two words to explain one or a circumlocution where no convenient word is available; clearness may demand substituting an equivalent saying or figure for the Spanish where it would not be understood in English.
But all these things are required for a correct translation.
The intention is to produce a clear, idiomatic, and readable translation. It is not possible to make a literary translation of a book that is really a set of directions. But by breaking up the long sentences, and by getting away from the Spanish idiom, it is possible to have a translation that can easily be read and understood.
Many translations make such difficult reading that those who should be constantly using the book are deterred from doing so. The text used for the translation is the convenient and accurate Spanish-Latin text, published by Marietti, Turin,and edited by the author of the critical edition in the volume on the Exercises in the Monumenta Historica Societatis Jesu.
This edition has convenient marginal s for every section, which the editor hopes to make official by inserting in a revision of the critical edition. They prove very useful for cross reference and for gathering material on the Exercises. The section on the language of the Exercises, especially the glossarium in the volume on the Exercises in the Monumenta Historicaalso proved very helpful.
The text has been kept clear of all references, and notes arranged according to the marginal s have been placed in the back. They are not a commentary, but state the reasons for the translation adopted and for the form used. Readers long used to Father Roothaan's version and various literal translations may be surprised at the apparent difference between the present text and the traditional renditions. They will find in the notes the reasons for the change. All of the standard commentaries have influenced the translation, but it is not surprising if the influence of Father Jaime Nonell, S.
For many years his books on the Exercises 5 have been the translator's constant companions, and have been used by him as their clearest and most logical interpretation. In conclusion the translator wishes to express his thanks for the many valuable suggestions by those who have read the whole manuscript.
Exercitia SpiritualiaMadrid, Ignatius Literally TranslatedLondon, The purpose of these observations is to provide some understanding of the spiritual exercises which follow and to serve as a help both for the one who is to give them and for the exercitant. For just as taking a walk, journeying on foot, and running are bodily exercises, so we call Spiritual Exercises every way of preparing and disposing the soul to rid itself of all inordinate attachments, and, after their removal, of seeking and finding the will of God in the disposition of our life for the salvation of our soul.
The one who explains to another the method and order of meditating or contemplating should narrate accurately the facts of the contemplation or meditation. Let him adhere to the points, and add only a short or summary explanation. The reason for this is that when one in meditating takes the solid foundation of facts, and goes over it and reflects on it for himself, he may find something that makes them a little clearer or better understood.
This may arise either from his own reasoning, or from the grace of God enlightening his mind. Now this produces greater spiritual relish and fruit than if one in giving the Exercises had explained and developed the meaning at great length. For it is not much knowledge that fills and satisfies the soul, but the intimate understanding and relish of the truth. In all the Spiritual Exercises which follow, we make use of the acts of the intellect in reasoning, and of the acts of the will in manifesting our love.
However, we must observe that when in acts of the will we address God our Lord or His saints either vocally or mentally, greater reverence is required on our part than when we use the intellect in reasoning.
Four Weeks are ased to the Exercises given below. This corresponds to the four parts into which they are divided, namely: the first part, which is devoted to the consideration and contemplation of sin; the second part, which is taken up with the life of Christ our Lord up to Palm Sunday inclusive; the third part, which treats of the passion of Christ our Lord; the fourth part, which deals with the Resurrection and Ascension; to this are appended Three Methods of Prayer. However, it is not meant that each week should necessarily consist of seven or eight days. For it may happen that in the First Week some are slower in attaining what is sought, namely, contrition, sorrow, and tears for sin.
Some, too, may be more diligent than others, and some more disturbed and tried by different spirits. It may be necessary, therefore, at times to shorten the Week, and at others to lengthen it. So in our search for the fruit that is proper to the matter ased, we may have to do the same in all the subsequent Weeks. However, the Exercises should be finished in approximately thirty days.
It will be very profitable for the one who is to go through the Exercises to enter upon them with magnanimity and generosity toward his Creator and Lord, and to offer Him his entire will and liberty, that His Divine Majesty may dispose of him and all he possesses according to His most holy will. When the one who is giving the Exercises perceives that the exercitant is not affected by any spiritual experiences, such as consolations or desolations, and that he is not troubled by different spirits, he ought to ply him with questions about the exercises.
He should ask him whether he makes them at the appointed times, and how he makes them. He should question him about the Additional Directions, whether he is diligent in the observance of them. He will demand an in detail of each one of these points. Consolation and desolation are treated in —; the Additional Directions are given in 73— If the director of the Exercises observes that the exercitant is in desolation and tempted, let him not deal severely and harshly with him, but gently and kindly. He should encourage and strengthen him for the future by exposing to him the wiles of the enemy of our human nature, and by getting him to prepare and dispose himself for the coming consolation.
If the one who is giving the Exercises should perceive from desolations, from the wiles of the enemy, and from consolations that the exercitant has need of them, he should explain to him the rules of the First Week and of the Second Week for the understanding of different spirits, —, and — It should be observed that when the exercitant is engaged in the Exercises of the First Week, if he is a person unskilled in spiritual things, and if he is tempted grossly and openly, for example, by bringing before his mind obstacles to his advance in the service of God our Lord, such as labors, shame, fear for his good name in the eyes of the world, etc.
For while the rules of the First Week will be very helpful to him, those of the Second Week will be harmful, since they deal with matter that is too subtle and advanced for him to understand. When the one who is giving the Exercises perceives that the exercitant is being assailed and tempted under the appearance of good, then is the proper time to explain to him the rules of the Second Week, which we mentioned above. For commonly the enemy of our human nature tempts more under the appearance of good when one is exercising himself in the illuminative way. This corresponds to the Exercises of the Second Week.
He does not tempt him so much under the appearance of good when he is exercising himself in the purgative way, which corresponds to the Exercises of the First Week. While the exercitant is engaged in the First Week of the Exercises, it will be helpful if he knows nothing of what is to be done in the Second Week. Rather, let him labor to attain what he is seeking in the First Week as if he hoped to find no good in the Second.
He who is giving the Exercises must insist with the exercitant that since he is to spend an hour in each of the five exercises or contemplations which are made every day, he must always take care that he is satisfied in the consciousness of having persevered in the exercise for a full hour. Let him rather exceed an hour than not use the full time. For the enemy is accustomed to make every effort that the hour to be devoted to a contemplation, meditation, or prayer should be shortened. We must remember that during the time of consolation it is easy, and requires only a slight effort, to continue a whole hour in contemplation, but in time of desolation it is very difficult to do so.Saint Ignace guy looking to text
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