The weekend begins with the Ignatian Daily Examen, which asks the retreatant
to reflect on their day, identifying ways in which God was both present and not present.
The human word the Spiritual Director offers to the retreatant
is a mystagogic word, a secondary word, aimed at facilitating hearing the divine Word, which is the one that dwells in silence.
The spiritual upshot is to put before a retreatant
a costly God-centeredness willing to stand up to interior blockages to God's individual guidance.
There is also a series of questions upon which the retreatant
The director of a personalized retreat must combat within himself five major enemies of the other person's freedom: the director's own desire to have others dependent on him; his fear that he may lose control of the retreat if the retreatant
exercises freedom; the worry that he may not know what to do if the retreatant
takes a path that he himself is not accustomed to; his desire to achieve results in the retreat; inflexibility in his own spiritual life, with the tendency to feel his personal spirituality threatened when the retreatant
goes his own way.
One of the colloquies invites the retreatant
into conversation with the dying Jesus, speaking to him "in the way one friend speaks to another" and considering the questions: "What have I done for Christ?
Though not entirely unavoidable in such a comprehensive study, Patrick Samway lets his opinionated view of his subject shine through, as for example in this comment on Percy's last retreat at Manresa in April 1987: "He would not have been such a faithful retreatant
had he not experienced these weekends as grace-filled days in which to discover and discern the significance of what he professed" (p.
And yet, for the short-term retreatant
, the Gethsemani experience pales next to Tassajara's challenge to make vows for oneself and live them out: for three months or six months one must take the measure of one's faith, for that is what resides in the making of a vow.
The goal of the composition of place according to Jeronomino Nadal, who was deputed by Ignatius to elucidate the Exercises, is not simply to produce a mental drama of a biblical scene that unfolds in a retreatant
's mind but to compose a place, a scene, in which a dialogue between the persons in the gospel passage and the retreatant
can take place.
Many times issues surface that the retreatant
had not intended to work with or might even have forgotten.
31) Divided into Four Weeks that loosely correspond to the three "ways" of traditional mysticism, namely, the via purgativa, the via illuminativa, and the via unitiva, the text of the Exercises offers a retreat director instructions and scriptural references to aid the retreatant
in overcoming attachment to created things and thus to dispose him or her to the action of divine grace and to discern the will of God.
The experience of discerning the difference between the two can be a challenge--one fellow retreatant
confided that he felt like he'd been through a washing machine.