THE PHILOSPHY OF THE IGNATIAN RETREAT
Giving Glory to God…Growing in Discernment…Renewing our Faith… Deepening Gospel Values…Finding Freedom Within
St Ignatius of Loyola developed his Spiritual Exercises (a series of Gospel-based prayer experiences) to help men and women make decisions for Christ. He had noticed in his own life that when he contemplated giving his life to God he experienced a deep consoling joy that did not leave him. When he considered continuing along his former path of courtier and warrior his feelings of peace and happiness quickly disappeared and he was left with dust and ashes
Today, the exercises help those who pray to discern God’s voice in the movements of their very own hearts. Trusting our deep feelings and the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives helps us to do the sorting and sifting that is essential for vital, ordered, Christian living. We learn to let go of our disordered attachments and live in more freedom. We learn to put God first.
Sitting beside a sparkling fountain, surrounded by flowers and mighty oaks, it is not difficult to see God in all things as St. Ignatius taught. Retreat is a time to rest, relax as we draw closer to God and to Christ. Time flows by easily and everything unfolds just as it should.
Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House is a facility that invites folks to walk away from the world – to retreat from the over-busyness of everyday life – to embrace a time that offers rest and spiritual healing. A wise person once said, “God speaks softly in the silence.” Retreat silence supports our listening to God’s gentle and loving voice within.
Many are concerned about their ability to remain silent during retreat, but these concerns fade in the restful flow of the retreat experience. Putting down the cell phone and leaving the laptop behind contribute to outer peace and silence which help us to develop the inner quiet our souls are longing for.
The retreatant, (that is the one on retreat), is invited to, “Be still and know that I am God.”