Andy Otto on the Fifth Week

The Spiritual Exercises are divided into four phases, called “weeks.” After the retreat experience is over, however, we face “the Fifth Week”—the rest of our lives. Andy Otto explains:

A retreat director once told me as my retreat was ending that as I went back to daily life the graces I gained on the retreat were mine. I could go back to them any time I wanted. Our encounter with God whether on a retreat or in a moment of prayer is a reality that we can recall any time we feel ourselves slipping backwards. The Fifth Week of our lives is a continual “re-collecting” of the graces given to us before and continuing to deepen our friendship with the divine.

What graces do you need to re-collect this week so that you can deepen your friendship with God?


  1. I wonder if you experience the “re-collecting” of grace as a respite from daily life, adding meaning, or as a basis in life, meaning coming from other places, like friends. Obviously, on needs each, or both. How do you maintain that search for balance? Thanks

  2. What a great concept, Andy. Some days I feel like a sieve, and grace seems to slip right out. I need constant refilling. But I need to remember that God is constantly infilling with boundless grace.


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