I may share some reflections coming off this retreat. More or less. Long-time readers know that while I’m not hesitant about sharing opinions, I’m less sure about the value of self-revelation in the blogosphere. But I will be following the program provided, and perhaps along the way, some insights that prove blogworthy will arise.
I shared with the people in the graduate school at Creighton a discussion I had 26 years ago with a Jesuit from this fine retreat facility. I had finished all my coursework, and my thesis was largely under control. I had the flexibility to get off work for several weeks, and the idea popped into my head of doing a thirty-day retreat (here) as I was about to commence full-time ministry. The conversation went something along these lines …
Have you ever made an Ignatian retreat?
–No, but that’s why I’m calling you now.
Have you ever done an extended retreat of any kind?
–Yes, a few times. But never with a Jesuit director.
Well, we recommend the eight-day retreat to get you started.
–I may never have another opportunity for a thirty-day retreat. I have been in spiritual direction for five years, and I do pray regularly.
We still recommend eight days.
–Are you absolutely sure?
We are. Eight days will suffice for this point in your spiritual life.
I think I arrived on retreat with a slight chip on my shoulder. While it was a very fruitful time as I got into it, the Jesuits were, of course, right. I was not ready for thirty days. By day seven, I was winding down and indeed, eight days were enough for who I was and what I needed at that time.
My first spiritual director (going back to 1982) employed Jesuit writings and methods and pieces, and so I’ve got all sorts of Ignatian pieces in my bag, I’ve never had a real immersion in the Spiritual Exercises. So I’m looking forward to adding this prayer time to my daily lectio.