Last night, I finished my task of leading a group through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The six of us spent 30+ weeks together, sometimes in person, sometimes online, and all of it a very rich and rewarding experience for everyone. It is a great blessing for me to have seen the transformation of each pilgrim, and, as typical at the end of the Exercises, we gathered for a Mass of Thanksgiving, where together we savored the graces which God gifted to us.
The location of the Mass was Kane Chapel at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Maryland. A great friend of mine is the University Chaplain there, and he was very kind in celebrating our Mass. He too has been through the Exercises, and shared a bit about his own experiences. After Mass, we heading out to a corner pub and had had a celebratory dinner.
Last week at this time, I was preparing to lead a weekend Ignatian retreat for another group. 20+ people participated, and our weekend together proved to be quite fruitful as well. Now, this group is moving through our on-line retreat continuation, and from their comments, they are continuing to grow deeper in their relationship with God through integrating Ignatian Spirituality into their daily lives.
What a joy it is for me to personally witness the impact of this nearly 500 year old spirituality has on the lives of people living in the 21st century. What a gift. What a grace.