The Ignatian Journey: New Opportunities to strengthen your relationship with God
Many of us wish to deepen and strengthen our relationships with God. To guide this process, Ignatius developed a timeless 28-day retreat almost 500 years ago in which each participant builds their own relationship with God, not the relationship taught by their parents or the church. Scripture, prayer, and journaling are at the core of the process. The Ignatian process focuses on three things: movement toward God and consolation - when you feel closest to God - and desolation - when you feel far from God. Consolation and desolation are accepted by participants as gifts from God. As you experience your emotions during the process, they give you the opportunity to examine what has brought you closer to God and what has separated you from God. Much of this is done during the Examen prayer when you review your day with God to identify when and why you felt close to God or when and why you felt far from God.
In October, St. Paul’s will be offering two different experiences of Ignatian Spirituality. One will be a simple taste of the process with a 12-week journey. The other offering will be the full 28-day, 34-week Ignatian Retreat, either with leaders trained at St. Paul’s, or for those who have already experienced an Ignatian Journey, an opportunity to work through the journey again with Sister Carole Riley, a world-renowned expert.
The 12-week journey is designed to open you to ways that might help you strengthen your relationship with Jesus. It is based on the Ignatian 28-day retreat and builds on ancient principles that have led tens of thousands of men and women into a deeper understanding of themselves, God, and their relationship with Jesus.It is, however, just an initial taste of what you might experience in the full retreat. This introductory program was wildly successful when first offered over three years ago. Most who took this program went on to take the 28-day full blown retreat. If you are not sure whether the Ignatian approach to getting to know God is for you, then this is a great way to dip your toe into the water and try it out.We will offer one class on Saturday mornings at 9am beginning October 9th. This class will meet in person at the church- COVID allowing.
With the 28-day, 34-week retreat, we now have many trained leaders to guide each of us through the process. Some have been through the retreat a number of times; others struggled with the process but at the end realized how far they had traveled with God.We will form small groups of 5-8 people for this journey. The classes will be offered on a variety of days and times. Some classes will be in person, others on Zoom, again depending on what COVID is doing. We will determine the days, times and delivery method once we have an idea of how many people are interested.
As stated above, we will offer two levels of the 28-day, 34-week Ignatian experience. The first level is for those who have never done the retreat or for those who wish to repeat the retreat (many people do this numerous times). This level will be done with trained St. Paul’s leaders. For those interested in the regular 28-day course, more details about dates and times will be coming soon.
The second offering is a new opportunity for those who wish a rigorous dive deeper into the retreat process. Sister Carole Riley, Executive Director of the West Virginia Institute for Spirituality, will be teaching the course for those who wish to work with a world-wide expert. She has taught the 28-day retreat worldwide for over 40 years. She is both pastoral and rigorous. Those who have taken the retreat with her have found it incredibly rewarding. She will offer her Zoom based retreat on Wednesday evenings beginning at either 7 or 8pm depending on what works best for those who wish to take the journey with her.
More information about all these offerings will be coming soon.