Ignatius developed a programme of prayer and reflection on life, based
on the life of Christ, in which the person doing the Exercises looks
at how best to serve God in his or her life. The Exercises introduce
the retreatant to various ways of praying - using scripture in imaginative
contemplation, meditating upon ones own life.
The full programme of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius takes
about a month on a full-time basis, and nearly a year if done part time
in daily life.
Today the term 'retreat' covers a much broader range of
subjects than just the Spiritual exercises. Sometimes it is a time away
from the normal routine, perhaps in a place of quiet, where a person
can take some time to reflect and pray and take stock of life.
What is really important for me?
What should I do?
Where are you God?
Who am I?
Often there is someone to talk to on this time away, a spiritual guide
or director. Individually Guided Retreats are where the person sees
a guide daily to see how things are going and how to proceed most fruitfully.
Many retreats are made in silence to help focus the prayer.
On the other hand there are many group retreats where people talk of
life, pray together and often hear talks by the retreat director.
For details of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola
or Ignatius himself contact:
An on-line history of Ignatius is available: www.ignatiushistory.info/
If English isn't your language follow the flags above to the national
Many countries produce web pages with details of Ignatius and his Spirituality.