I decided recently to do the Spiritual Exercises again.
Confession: Despite my job largely involving them, I’ve never done them all the way in one sitting. I’ve done parts of them at various times that add to a whole, but I haven’t made it through them in one fell swoop. Usually this is due to a host of reasons or… excuses really.
A few weeks ago someone asked me for advice on doing the Exercises and another person asked me if I was a trained Spiritual director. I took both of these as signs (there have been others) that I needed to finally commit to the journey. Like really commit.
So, I reached out to a new spiritual director, and I committed myself to the whole thing starting May 5th. It’s the exercises in real life so it’ll be spread out over 4 months instead of done in an elongated silent retreat (Jesuits do the exercises in a 30 day silent retreat).
Side note: I have always had men for spiritual directors. This time, I decided to work with a woman. When picking Spiritual Directors, you need someone who you mesh well with, who can see where you are coming from, but who also moves you forward in prayer. Women who direct the Exercises are rare but a growing group… and I think an important addition.
Admittedly, now that I’ve committed to it – I’m suddenly a bit overwhelmed by it. I mean, I’m all in. I’m committed… But every time before this, I’ve been able to wheedle my way out of it. I’m too busy. I don’t mesh well with this person. Excuses.
The truth is I think it’s gonna be great. I know retreats like this can be life changing. I know fear often accompanies things like this because God might just change your life and because this involves placing your trust in God instead of yourself.
I even bought a notebook. I never make it through notebooks before I mess up a page and give up. I’m a bit of a perfectionist. So, I’m starting this one in pencil. I hope I make it through every page this time. I plan on making it through the exercises in full this time.
After all, if I have done 380 days straight (so far) of pure barre, so I can certainly do this, right?
For more on the Spiritual Exercises click here.