A Weekend with Ignatius

I spent this past weekend at Villa Maria Retreat House in Frontenac, leading a weekend Ignatian retreat for members of the St. Catherine’s University community.  It was a wonderful and grace-filled weekend.

As I told the retreatants at the outset of the weekend, there is never a good/convenient time to do retreat. We have busy lives and what Ignatius would call the enemy spirit does everything possible to dissuade people from heeding Jesus’ invitation to “come away and rest awhile.”  The enemy spirit encourages you to think about all the things you need to or could be doing if you weren’t on a weekend retreat. Your job…the kids…the house…your extended family…your pets. Other ways you could productively use your time.  More so this particular weekend: It was, after all, Palm Sunday weekend, the week before Easter. How could anyone possibly, says the enemy spirit, take a long weekend to do retreat at this time of year!

But the individuals with whom I spent the weekend did not listen to the voice of the evil spirit. They accepted the invitation for time with God.

A fundamental premise of Ignatian Spirituality and of Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises is that God can and will speak to you. The key question is: will you let God do that? Will you give over some of your control over your time and agenda  to let God be God?

Last week I sent in the registration form for my 8-day summer retreat.  (For the first time, I’ll do retreat this summer at the Jesuit Retreat House in Sedalia, Colorado.)  If you haven’t already planned a retreat for 2015, why not think about doing so?  If you can’t do 8-days, do a weekend.  If you can’t do a weekend, how about at least an overnight.  If you can’t do that, perhaps you could at least do a “hermitage day” at a nearby retreat house.

Find some time to accept the invitation to spend some time with God.