Time in Silence

For the past several months, I have been building in one monthly retreat day into my calendar, on the advice of a spiritual director. I had been complaining that although I try to set aside an hour to pray in silence in the morning, I often long for the longer spaces of silence a time of retreat provides. Time in silence is nourishing and grounding. Silence gives the space to hear God speak, whether through […]

An Invitation to Love

Very little in our culture makes it easy to love God and our neighbor. Too soon in childhood we learn to fear God and others. Fear gets in the way of love. Too soon also we learn to want things only because others have them; thus we are taught to be competitive with others. Fear, envy, and the desire to win out over others get in the way of loving others. Moreover, God can seem […]

How Autumn Can Enhance Your Spiritual Retreat

Shifts between seasons can boost our ability to do spiritual retreat. For instance, in autumn, we experience a natural regrouping; many of us plan as enthusiastically during September as we do in January at the new year. Often, this is a time of assessment on many levels. Autumn is also a time of fade-out leading to winter dormancy. Those of us who live in climates that turn cold and barren feel a definite urge to […]

The Ignatian Adventure in Oklahoma City

On February 17, 2017, hundreds of faithful in Oklahoma participated in a spiritual enrichment day titled “The Graces of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.” The day was hosted by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral. Fr. Kevin O’Brien, SJ, led participants in a reflection on the “Grace of the Incarnation,” based on his popular, award-winning book The Ignatian Adventure, published by Loyola Press. The Roots of […]

Jesuit Retreats

The Midwest Jesuits recently featured a story “On Retreat with the Jesuits,” interesting in particular for readers who may not have previously experienced an Ignatian retreat. Silent prayer is part of many Jesuit retreats, but retreatants also typically meet one-on-one with a spiritual director. “Retreats are very much between a person and God,” says Fr. Chris Manahan, SJ, director of the Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh, Wis. “Directors are only there to […]

Three Ways to Cultivate a Retreat State of Mind

Every year, when autumn rolls around, I want to go on retreat. Maybe it’s the smell of the autumn leaves clothed in brilliance, dancing down to earth, or maybe it’s the crisp air and waning light. Autumn is a feast for the senses, and God’s handiwork is apparent everywhere. Yet, every year without fail, autumn proves a time too busy to get away, even for a weekend. School has just begun, sports are in full […]

The 19th Annotation: What Is It, and What Can You Expect?

You may have heard of the 19th annotation in regard to prayer retreats or the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Simply put, the 19th annotation—sometimes called an Ignatian Retreat in Daily Life—is a version of the Spiritual Exercises designed for people who cannot be away for 30 days to do the Exercises as they were practiced originally. Most of the time, the “19th” is done by people who work full-time but who want to do […]

Veterans Retreat

White House Jesuit Retreat in St. Louis hosted an Ignatian retreat for veterans last month. As reported on the Jesuits’ website: “St. Ignatius himself was a veteran,” said Bill Schmitt, lay director of White House and a Vietnam veteran. “He was injured in battle and wanted books of heroism and chivalry, and they brought him books on the saints. He got interested and received a spiritual awakening while he was recovering.” The retreat took the […]

Not the Expected Retreat

I had scheduled a three-night retreat at the monastery. I needed this retreat. It was to be a really good silent retreat. I would take no book except for a Bible. I would have no plans, instead letting the Holy Spirit lead me however it would. (Somehow, I failed to see the contradiction in planning to have no plans.) When I walked into the guest house and was greeted by Tim, an elderly stranger using […]

Billionaire Building Retreat Center

Billionaire Joe Ricketts is building a retreat center in Nebraska’s Platte River Valley, expected to open in 2018. The Cloisters on the Platte, as it’s known, will feature Ignatian silent retreats. Ricketts has been visiting churches and organizations in the Omaha Archdiocese to encourage people to try a retreat like the one that changed his life, as reported in the National Catholic Register. His faith also got a boost when he attended his second-ever retreat […]

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