During his year of solitude in the cave at Manresa in 1522, St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) experienced a method of prayer and discernment which he later named the “spiritual exercises.” The Jesuits and others have subsequently preached these spiritual exercises as a way of deepening prayer for priests, religious and lay people. Even the popes have traditionally done the spiritual exercises for a week during every Lent.
Our Religious Family has also been blessed to be marked by the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius through annual preaching of the week-long exercises and the full 30-day exercises for all the members every ten years.
This July a group of over thirty sisters participated in the full month-long retreat at the IVE St. Patrick’s Retreat Center in Upstate New York. While most were on the retreat for the first time, some sisters were doing the retreat for their second time, and some for their third time.
The schedule included structured points for meditation according to the “four week” prescription of St. Ignatius, in addition to daily Mass, Holy Hour, and the Liturgy of the Hours in common as usual.
During days of pause from the exercises, sisters had the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to the local shrine of the Jesuit North American Martyrs, St. Isaac Jogues and Companions at Auriesville.
We thank the IVE priests who preached the exercises and the postulants and assistants who attended to the needs of the participants.
In a special way, we congratulate all the sisters who completed the spiritual exercises. Above all we recognize the work of God in souls who seek Him, and we ask for the grace of fidelity to the inspirations and resolutions of the exercises. St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us!
Learn about upcoming Spiritual Exercises over Labor Day Weekend for women in Maryland.