Those of you who have participated in Charis retreats, days of prayers, service trips, etc. probably know that St. Ignatius not only founded the Society of Jesus (commonly known as the Jesuits), but also handed down to us the Spiritual Exercises as a guide for enriching our lives and strengthening our relationships with God. While the Spiritual Exercises are intended to be given in a retreat format over a 30-day silent period, not everyone is able to participate in a retreat of that length. So in his 19th Annotation about the retreat, St. Ignatius wisely said that the retreat could also be given in the context of daily life.
Currently 4 young adults (myself and 3 men who have been active in Charis activities, retreats, and/or spiritual direction) have discerned and committed to a 3-month retreat of the Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life which may be extended to a 6-month period. Each of us has committed to praying an hour per day as we follow through the days and weeks of the Exercises as prescribed by St. Ignatius within the context of our own daily lives. Each of us will not make this journey alone, but will have the companionship of a spiritual director with whom we will meet on the weekly basis. Additionally, we will meet as a community of retreatants every other week to discuss, pray, and delve deeper into the Exercises under the guidance of Fr. Bill Creed, S.J.
For each of this will be a deeply personal and individual journey. We will proceed through the retreat and retreat materials at our own paces and within our own levels of comfort. The journey begins for each of us with a reflection on our lives through writing about and reflecting upon the events which define who we are. And so as we write our own autobiographies and enter into the Exercises, I invite you to also reflect upon your lives and the defining events that have made up your journey.
- Leigh H.