The Exercises give us the confidence that grows from personal experience, says Jim Conroy, SJ, on Busted Halo. “It gives to men and women who have that experience of God the ability to speak out of that truth of their experience. It’s not what Father said or what Sister said; it’s what I know from my own relationship with God. Now that’s all informed by our theology and by our faith, but to have legitimate experience with prayer and relationship with God — it gives you a confidence and even the words to speak the truth that you know.”
Fr. Conroy also warmly recommends the nineteenth annotation “retreat in daily life.”
Thirty days away in a retreat house, you can’t speak to anyone but your retreat director; it becomes kind of like a march. But, if you do a nineteenth annotative retreat, everything about your work, every relationship, everything you think about your family, everything you’ve ever experienced, your hopes, your fears — you can’t avoid that. Your prayer is going to be in context, in which you meet God in conversations that are intimately connected to your daily life.