An Experience of the Spiritual Exercises

As I mentioned already, I spent this past weekend giving a retreat for students and alum of the St. Catherine’s MAT program. Many, but not all of the participants are in a training program to become spiritual directors. The purpose of the retreat was to give the participants some flavor of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

Since the Exercises are traditionally done in a 30-day retreat or (more frequently these days) in the form of 9-month Retreat in Daily Living, all one can do in a weekend is provide a taste of the arc of the Exercises. Still, if I’ve learned anything in my years of serving as a spiritual director and leader of retreats, it is that God does amazing things in whatever time we give him. This weekend was no exception to that rule and the retreatants and I experienced God in very powerful and movings ways.

Over the course of the weekend, I gave talks on each of the major segments of the Spiritual Exercises, after each of which the retreatants had time for individual prayer with material relating to that segment. We also had time for sharing of the experience of the prayer. (Apart from the sharing, the retreatants remained in silence, which was a new – but welcome – experience for some of them.)

I recorded several of the talks I gave during the retreat. Saturday morning I talked about Week 2 of the Spiritual Exercises, the longest segment of the Exercises. In Week 2, we reflect on the person and life of Jesus, so that we may grow more and more in love with him and thus chose to follow him closely and faithfully. The podcast begins with a brief reminder about some dynamics of Ignatian Prayer before launching into the discussion of Week 2.

You can access a recording of my talk here or stream it from the icon below. (The podcast runs for 35:57.)

Note: I also recorded my talk on Week 1 of the Exercises, which you can find here; that podcast runs for 29:54.

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