Full Spiritual Exercises

Holy Trinity offers the full Spiritual Exercises in the 19th Annotation format (in daily life) throughout the year. This journey can be incorporated into one’s daily routine over a 9-month period.

What are the Spiritual Exercises?

• The Spiritual Exercises provide a structured way of praying that invites the one making the Exercises to a greater openness to God’s Spirit, so that one’s whole being is affected.“The term ‘spiritual exercises’ denotes every way of examining one’s conscience, of meditating, contemplating, of praying vocally and mentally and other spiritual activities….” The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, Annotation 1

•The book of the Spiritual Exercisesis composed of notes for the one who gives the Exercises to another.

Why does one make the Exercises?

“For just as strolling, walking and running are exercises for the body, so ‘spiritual exercises’ is the name given to every way of preparing and making ourselves ready to get rid of all disordered affections so that once rid of them, one might seek and find the divine will in regard to the disposition of one’s life for the salvation of the soul.”Annotation 1

Who can make the Spiritual Exercises?

* A woman or man who is seeking something ‘more’ in their relationship with God.

It is highly profitable for the exercitant to begin the Exercises in a magnanimous spirit and with great liberality towards their Creator and Lord…”Annotation 5

* A person who desires to know and love Jesus more deeply and be more like him in his/her daily life.

* An individual who wants greater spiritual freedom so that one’s choices are more in harmony with the values of the Gospel.

* A Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish person who wants to become more aware of “the finger of God” in one’s daily life.

*Someone who has a major life decision to make.

Where can a person make the Spiritual Exercises?

* The 8-9 month retreatcan be made while a person lives at home, and continues taking care of their work and home responsibilities. This retreat has been offered at Holy Trinity since the parish was founded in 1794. It consists of the following:

  •  praying with suggested meditations and Scripture passages for 60 minutes each day and reflecting on one’s prayer experience. A person taken up with public affairs or necessary business… can set aside for the Exercises an hour and a half a day.”Annotation 19
  • meeting with a trained Ignatian spiritual guide for one hour each week.

* A 30-day retreatcan be made in a retreat house, such as The Jesuit Center in Wernersville, PA or The Ignatius Jesuit Center in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

” A person who is more at liberty … takes appropriate steps to withdraw from all friends and acquaintances, and from all secular preoccupations. For example, one can change residence and go to another house or room so as to live there in the most complete privacy possible… without the fear of acquaintances getting in the way…”Annotation 20

How does one prepare to make the Exercises?

Develop a practice of praying daily.

Make an Ignatian retreat either at a retreat house or in daily life.

Pray the Examen on a daily basis.

Become comfortable talking with a trained spiritual guide about your prayer and your relationship with God.

For more information, please contact Martina O’Shea, Pastoral Associate for Ignatian Spirituality and Prayer at 202-903-2810.