During the 1530s, St. Ignatius Loyola began writing about the emotions that he experienced in everyday life — feelings of gratitude or anguish, consolation or sadness. Those meditations eventually became the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, first published in 1548.
The Spiritual Exercises is a compilation of meditations, prayers, and other contemplative practices. The Spiritual Exercises is a handbook, especially for use by spiritual directors who accompany and guide people through this dynamic process of reflection. The goal of the Spiritual Exercises is to help people develop their attentiveness, their openness, and their responsiveness to God.