East Durham, New York July 14th, 2011 – For the past month, from June 14th to July 14th, the novices and first philosophy class of the IVE partook in the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises at the St. Patrick Retreat Center in Upstate New York.
Directed by Fr. Pablo Bonello, the exercitants strove to know, desire, and choose “the greater glory of God” over the course of thirty days of prayer, fasting, and silence.
Composed by St. Ignatius of Loyola between 1522 and 1524, the spiritual exercises are broken into four periods, or weeks, the first of which focuses on the knowledge of sin while the three following concentrate on gaining a deep understanding of the life, Passion, and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The purpose of these exercises is conversion and conformity of one’s life and will to that of God’s will. With the intent of modeling Our Lord, fasting and tempted in the desert, the IVE regularly offers these exercises to its religious in shorter formats throughout the year, while the extended thirty-day retreat is typically made within a year of the conclusion of novitiate and every ten years thereafter.
An additional blessing came during the concluding Mass, in which the novices of the IVE made their formal consecration to Mary, according to the method of St. Louis de Montfort.
In the wake of the retreat, the exercitants are grateful to God for this marvelous chance to grow in devotion to His Son and love of His Mother, giving thanks in particular for all who supported them through prayer over this month of retreat and contemplation. May we all come to know God’s will more clearly in our lives and have the courage to follow it faithfully.
St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.
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