Friday, July 31, 2009

The Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola

Peter Paul Rubens

Today is the feast day of St Ignatius of Loyola, who was the founder of the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits. One of his enduring contributions to the Church are his spiritual exercises, which in their original form consisted of a 4-week or 30-day retreat. Today, the Jesuits and others provide retreats to experience the spiritual exercises over a weekend.

Last weekend, I did just that. I was attracted to the fact that these are silent retreats ( you are not allowed to talk) from beginning to end (except at Mass). I wanted the time to relax and have the opportunity to think without distractions. It was a wonderful experience. I come home with a focus that I had not had in ages and a feeling that I am headed in the right direction.

Do yourself a favor, take the time to experience on of these retreats. You will come home refreshed with a better understanding of yourself and the world around you.

This evening, however, I plan on seeing the movie "The Mission". A story about the Jesuits in South America during the age of discovery. I saw it many years ago and I remember it as a beautifully filmed yet tragic story about the European conquest of the New World. If you have not seen it, check it out.

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