Spiritual Exercises: Getting Started

So…I visited my spiritual director last week. Once a quarter I drive up to the monastery in Beech Grove, IN, hang with the sisters for a couple of days, and, while I’m there, make a quick trip into Indy to talk with my spiritual director about, well, spiritual things.

Felicity and I started working together during Women Touched by Grace, the program for women pastors in which I participated from 2008-2010. Felicity and I were assigned to work together by the luck of the draw, but it ended up being a good fit…so good a fit, that I’ve decided to continue working with her, seeing her the four times a year.

When I met with Felicity last week, I asked about how we might structure our time and conversations. One of the things I love about Felicity is that she’s Quaker…which means that sitting in silence is really a cool thing to do. But still…our conversations are supposed to be focused on my spiritual disciplines (or at least my attempts at getting some!). So, I wondered if there was something that might help focus our conversations on that.

Felicity suggested that I try the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. I don’t know a whole lot about the Exercises. Here’s what I do know. Ignatius is the guy who started the Jesuits. He lived in something like the 16th c. (around the time of the Reformation). The Exercises were written to be done in a 30 day retreat, an exercise a day (I think). The 30 day retreat includes many meetings (weekly? daily?) with a spiritual director. It’s supposed to be VERY intense.

Because few people have 30 straight days to give to a retreat, some folks at Creighton University (a Jesuit university) designed a 34-week “real life” retreat. Each exercise lasts a week and is designed to be done in the midst of living your life.

Felicity’s suggestion was that I do the exercises as they’re outlined on the Creighton U website, then check in with her every week by email. (“They don’t have to be long emails!” she said.)

I started last Friday (two days ago). Don’t know how the journey will be, but I thought I might share some of it with you.

If you’ve ever done the exercises, I’d love to hear about your experiences.

If you want to see what I’m following, you can visit the website:


Peace for your journey…

About reallifepastor

I'm a pastor who's working out her faith...just like everyone else.
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