Pope Pius XI in his encyclical letter Mens Nostra (The Promotion of the Spiritual Exercises) named St. Ignatius the heavenly Patron of all Spiritual Exercises and proclaimed “the excellence of spiritual doctrine altogether free from the perils and errors of false mysticism” and he praised “the admirable facility of adapting the exercises to any order or state of man, whether they devote themselves to contemplation in the cloisters, or lead an active life in the affairs of the world.”
From March 1st to March 6th, the seminarians of the Institute of the Incarnate Word took their yearly five-day Ignatian Spiritual Exercises at the Fulton Sheen House of Formation in Chillum, MD. Fr. Franco Liporace, IVE, currently serving at San Francisco de Asis in Chicago, preached the exercises in which five priest and nearly forty seminarians took part. The retreatants meditated over the course of the five days on Christ’s life and mission, examined their lives and spiritual resolutions, and strove to conform their wills to that of the Lord’s will. This opportunity to delve into the “silence of God” always provides an intimate time of prayer with the Lord, imitating the many times He prayed in silent and deserted places. The Holy Father, Pope Francis, recognized the crucial importance of the Spiritual Exercises for all Catholics. The Pope commented that “Those who live the Exercises in an authentic way experience the attraction and the appeal of God, and return renewed, transformed in ordinary life, in ministry, in daily relationships, bringing with them the fragrance of Christ.” Pope Francis also added that we need to meet with God, not just know him through “hearsay.”
May we always acknowledge Jesus as the root and center of our lives!
We give thanks to the Lord for the fruits of this retreat, and beg that He help us bear our crosses with Him in silence and docility this Lent.
St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us!