Preserving the Graces of One’s Retreat
Savoring the Graces
There are many ways that one can stay connected with the graces of your retreat. The journal entries that you may have made during the course of your retreat can serve as a reminder of your journey with God. For those who do not journal there is a similar method that you can use to capture the experiences for your future reference.
Before the retreat experiences fade in time and memory, spend awhile recalling these graced moments, the movements of the Spirit, just as was suggested in the presentation on The Contemplacio. Use a journal or other method to capture them. Perhaps you want to organize them according to the Retreat Weeks. Another way to order them is simply by the depth of feeling, depth of realizations, or depth of knowing of these graces.
It is important to articulate these graces so that they express as best, as fully, as you can, what they mean to you.
A further suggestion is that you print out these graces in separate lines, or groups. Then cut them into separate pieces of paper, and place these into a bowl or container. Select one grace at a time and contemplate that which you experienced and received from God for several days or as long as you find it to be profitable.
This process of Contemplation of the Graces can be used for any significant spiritual movements.
Praying the Examen
And Saint Ignatius reminds us all of the Examen, which he considered to be the key prayer for all to use so that we would become more aware of the movements of the Spirit in our daily lives. There are many books on the Examen, as well as both online and App resources.
A listing of some of these can be found : here
Take time for a Retreat
You might also consider making a directed retreat at one of the Retreat Houses listed here
In addition you might consider engaging in on-going Spiritual Direction. The primary job of a spiritual director is to accompany you on your spiritual journey. Trained directors are excellent listeners, who help you reflect on your spiritual life. Sometimes, the biggest challenge in getting started is finding a trained director in your area. The Office of Ignatian Spirituality assists in connecting those seeking a director with trained spiritual directors.
Their website is found here
If you feel called to some volunteer work the lgnatian Volunteer Corps® (IVC) provides men and women, most age 50 or better, opportunities to serve others and to transform lives. IVC matches the talents of experienced Volunteers with the greatest social needs of our time.
Their national website is https://ivcusa.org/.
The New England branch IVC website is https://ivcusa.org/ivc-offices/welcome-to-ivc-new-england/