"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
"The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius," one of the great masterpieces of the Christian canon, today continues to offer some of the most accessible and insightful guidance for going on retreat -- whether as a part of a group or by oneself. Based on the rich fruit of St. Ignatius' own meditations and practice, this guide for spiritual perfection has been treasured and faithfully used for centuries by members of the saint's Jesuit order and by millions more. Divided into four weeks of reflections and four key meditations -- on the Kingdom of God, the Two Standards (of Christ and Satan), the Three Classes of Men, and the Three Modes of Humility -- the whole retreat has at its center the emulation of Christ. Retreat masters, retreatants, and readers will benefit particualrly from Anthony Mottola's new translation, which renders the timeless masterpiece into language both accessible and faithful to St. Ignatius' original expression and spirit. The "Exercises" have been universally recognized as a brilliant and inspired guide to the development of a deeper Christian spirituality ever since St. Ignatius completed them in 1533. Great saints -- as well as countless religious and lay people -- have been spiritually shaped through their dedicated use. This four-week system of meditation and prayer continues to be the very backbone of Ignatian retreats, where earnest seekers come to examine their lives, contemplate the future, face decisions, and revitalize their souls. Both religious and lay people make Ignatian retreats to renew their Christian dedication and enthusiasm, but even those who cannot make such retreats have profited greatly from a careful reading of the "Exercises."