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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Spiritual Direction and Retreats

It is always a grace to have spiritual direction and to give spiritual direction to another. I have two coming today and so I am preparing in prayer to listen to them, but especially to listen to the Holy Spirit who is with both of us at this privileged time.
I find that my own preparation for receiving spiritual direction is quite important as it forces me to look over the past weeks to see how Jesus is reaching out to me and how I am responding. When I keep my prayer journal during the month I often can see a pattern in what God is doing or trying to do in my life. Lately, I have been less faithful about writing my journal.
The picture shows the cave at Manresa in Spain where St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote the Spiritual Exercises and where I had the grace one year to make a thirty-day retreat with a holy Jesuit who had been my director during the year I was part of the Institute for Religious Formation. The last night of retreat I kept vigil all night in this cave. Then, three years later, I was asked to give the thirty-day retreat to priests, a Religious brother, and a Benedictine Sister in Manresa. Both experiences are still very present to me. Since then I have made other directed retreats, a few for thirty days, but Manresa was special!

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