TIPS FOR RETREAT IN DAILY LIFE
The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) has radically transformed the lives of people since the 16th century. Though primarily done within an environment of total solitude, one variation, i.e. the 19th Annotation Retreat, also known as retreat in daily life,allows a person to make the retreat while continuing with one’s regular life.
The active presence of the Divine Love (the Lifeline) constantly invites you to a wholehearted response.Down below are 5 points for an effective and fruitful participation in this retreat in daily life:
- Silence (Prayer):Temporary withdrawal from regular activity for at least one silent session of 30 to 45 minutes every day.Try to have at least two silent sessions a day.
- Schedule: Decide at what time of the day you will spend this moment/s of silence before entering the Retreat. Try to adhere to it till the last day of the Retreat.
- Theme: Personalize the theme of each day. Intensely desire that the theme enlightens your mind and more importantly touches your heart.
- Time of Silence (Prayer): (3 steps)
- Preparation: Go through the matter provided (passages from the Word of God, videos, commentaries, images, etc.). Somethings will touch your heart. Take a few points of what has touched your heart as matter to ponder upon during the time of silence.
- Time of Silence: (30 to 45 minutes)
As you enter into your silence and contemplate today’s world, become aware of the presence of the Divine Love (the Lifeline) that is dynamic. Ponder over the matter provided and allow it to enlighten you as well as move your heart. If you are distracted, gently come back to your silence. Use any method that anchors you to the theme of the day.
- Review: On completing of the time of silence, pause for a brief moment. Then make note of your feelings (not so much your thoughts). Recall positive moments of compassion, joy, hope, etc. or negative feelings of hopelessness, anger, despair, etc.
- Sharing: Share what you experienced during the time of silence with a small group of friends – either in your place of residence, in your community or through social media.
Fr Francis Pudhicherry, SJ
De Nobili College, Pune