The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola
A Retreat in Everyday Life
The Gift of the Exercises
- Encounter the living God and God’s presence in creation and in your personal life story and current life circumstance.
- Learn to pray with scripture using meditation, contemplation and imagination.
- Develop in your ability to reflect on and verbalize your spiritual experience.
- Learn how to bring together contemplation and action.
- Grow in discernment.
- Grasp the Ignatian vision of Finding God in All Things.
Since the sixteenth century when St. Ignatius of Loyola created the Spiritual Exercises, people from all walks of life have been drawn to this powerful retreat experience. The most common form used by people today is “The Retreat in Everyday Life.” Those desiring to make this retreat commit to an hour of daily prayer with scripture, reflection on the prayer, and the keeping of a journal. In addition there are weekly meetings with a spiritual director. The meetings take place at Loyola Spirituality Center. The retreat is spread out over 8 to 10 months usually beginning in the fall.
Ignatius believed that the full Exercises needed extended time to unfold and that those making the retreat needed individual guidance. The dynamic of the Exercises should develop slowly so that the retreatants can move at their own pace without pressure.
Who will benefit from the Spiritual Exercises?
- Women and men serious about their spiritual life.
- Those who desire to grow in their relationship with Christ.
- Those who have important decisions to make about their life.
- The young who want to embark on their lives grounded in a faith tradition.
- Those in mid-life who want to discern the next step in their life.
- The newly retired who want to discern what comes next.
- The elders who seek to understand the path their lives have taken.
- Men and women who are in transition.
- Women and men in leadership positions.
- Those in Christian formation programs as part of a community or volunteer organization.
The most important requirement is that a person desires a deeper relationship with God.
It is helpful if one has experienced spiritual direction prior to making the exercises and has a practice of prayer or meditation.
An application process and an interview with a director will help to discover if a person is sufficiently free to enter into the dynamic or the retreat.
You may begin the exercises at any time.
The exercises typically take 8-9 months to complete. You can meet with your director weekly (32-36 sessions) or biweekly (16-18 sessions).
…are directors at Loyola Spirituality Center who have made the Spiritual Exercises themselves (this is important). Each holds a graduate degree, has specialized training in leading the Exercises, and has been prepared to guide others in this experience. They are trained as spiritual directors who know that it is God who truly directs. The directors help you discover how to pray best, how God prays in you and where God is leading you.
The suggested fee is $75 a session ($300 a month). Loyola’s standard fee for spiritual direction is $85 per session. We believe that lack of financial resources should not be a barrier to receiving spiritual direction at Loyola. Therefore we consider each person’s financial circumstances and a mutually acceptable payment plan will be determined.
“Work as if everything depended on God and pray as if everything depended on you”
“When I believe it, I’ll see it”
Contact one of our directors about making an Extended Ignatian Exercises retreat.