First Spiritual Exercises

The First Spiritual Exercises (FSE) combines the two ministries of spiritual conversation and spiritual exercises, akin to the form of the spiritual exercises given most frequently by Ignatius and the early Jesuits to anyone of good will.

These give questions helped create the First Spiritual Exercises:

  • What do I desire?
  • Where can I find life?
  • What is my true face?
  • What is under my feet?
  • Do I have to be strong to serve?

Humble Service & Deep Inner Peace 

The First Spiritual Exercises help a person ask for and receive inner peace. This inner peace is utterly unmistakable. I feel the love of God so overwhelmingly unconditional, so gently intimate, that I am left with a deep-seated peace that will survive all sorts of trials, selfishness and loss.

FSE Retreats & Spiritual Conversation 

The FSE is a four-week retreat in daily life, with a choice of four retreats. It involves a commitment to daily prayer from Monday to Thursday and a Sunday exercise. Retreatants usually meet weekly during the retreat and share their experience in spiritual conversation facilitated by trained guides. The FSE can always be adapted to the particular needs and circumstances of those making the retreat.

We can connect you with local spiritual conversation guides who give the FSE to parishes, pastoral teams, prayer groups, teaching staff, ecumenical groups and individuals. We work in collaboration with CIS teams, CLC and other Ignatian partners.

Praying an FSE retreat can bring us swiftly back into relationship with a personal God and the meaning and direction of our life journey. It slows us down, to reground us in what matters.

The FSE offers life through listening and conversation. A single story from another can change us for life. Such stories reach deep and catch us up, to transform and nourish. And our life stories carry life for others. The FSE is full of deep stories – our stories, the story of the universe, of people in great need, of intimacy with Jesus.

If you would like to experience one of these retreats in your parish, your group or personally, please contact us.

  • Inner Peace in Divine Love

In these exercises, we reflect on our experience of God’s gift to us. In remembering such gifts, we become open to gratitude and response. The exercises begin with our experience of love and teach us how to bring those original feelings into the present. Come and experience this journey into divine love.

  • Inner Peace in Darkness and Light 

These exercises take us in prayer through the mysteries of love, sin and mercy, healing and freedom. They track through the dark side of our humanity and life journey. But in doing so, with God’s tender love, they also provide us with a sure route to greater faith, wholeness and intimacy with God. Indeed, they lead us to a profound friendship with God. Come and experience this journey into the mercy of God.

  • Inner Peace in Friendship with Jesus 

Some friends play at friendship but a true friend sticks closer than one’s nearest kin.’ (Proverbs 18:24)                                                Using sacred symbols for each exercise, begin with the first acts of divine friendship, the creation of the universe and ourselves, and end with the last act of friendship, our eternal union with the Trinity. In the core of the retreat, we pray ‘friendship’ exercises that help people we know in need. Come and experience this journey into divine friendship.

  • Inner Peace in the Service of God 

The core of this retreat is praying the Beatitudes, gifts of the Spirit, works of mercy and more in a way that draws naturally on our own experience of these gifts in our lives. We are encouraged to ask for the grace we most need now. Come and experience this journey into a more fruitful service.



National Home Office

Ph.: +61-2-9488-4565 or visit their website: or or contact Annmaree Sutton, the Victorian Co-ordinator: