One of the traps in the spiritual life is assuming that things will happen miraculously in one dramatic, unrepeatable moment. The authors illustrate the "slow work of God" (Teilhard de Chardin), an unfolding of God's plan for our lives over time, as a much more helpful and humanising way to look at faith. Using details from the life of St Ignatius Loyola. The 7 stages of Ignatius' life that reflect this slow process of growth in the Spirit are:
Lack of awareness and superficial religion (being 'asleep': his life as a courtier & soldier); Waking up (his dreams shattered at Pamplona, the painful convalescing at Loyola); Extremes (initial over-enthusiasm of being a pilgrim on the road to Manresa); Eyes Opened (deepening in faith at Montserrat, Manresa & the Cave); Gaining wisdom (beginning again, studying in Barcelona); Gathering a group (spiritual conversations about what to do, deliberations in Venice & Rome) and Embracing leadership (going against his pilgrim instincts to head up the Society in Rome)
The Ignatian spirituality points from each are drawn out and explained in imagined conversations with God, reflections, scripture pieces and real-life applications. The authors have established a very popular style of conveying the essentials of Ignatian spirituality and readers will find the book both accessible and enjoyable.