Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL)
The Spiritual Exercises are an unfolding series of prayers, meditations, and reflections put together by St. Ignatius of Loyola out of his own personal spiritual experience and those of others to whom he listened. The process of the Spiritual Exercises respects the uniqueness of each person and leads participants to a deeper relationship with God and others. You may be asking questions such as: Do I desire a deeper relationship with God, myself, and the world in which I live? Do I desire a greater sense of direction and purpose in my life in light of my relationship with God? Do I feel that there is more to my life than I am experiencing? Do I want to understand better what I really want in my life? The retreat has helped many participants explore and find answers to these kinds of questions.
There are a few things that will be helpful in knowing that you are prepared for the SEEL Retreat: A regular habit of prayer; Personal experience(s) of the reality and presence of God in one's life and the world; A spirit of generosity with one’s time for God, an openness to God; Previous experience(s) with spiritual direction.
- The Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life Retreat for Loyola administrators, faculty, staff and graduate students will begin with an orientation gathering the week of September 13, 2021 and then continue until the Christmas break. The retreat will resume in mid-January 2022 until its completion during the first week of May, 2022.
- Praying daily from 40 minutes to one hour per day. This time may be completed all at once or in blocks of time. Resources will be available as aids to prayer, which often take many forms.
- Meeting weekly with a spiritual director for about an hour of conversation in which retreatants discuss the past week's experience of prayer and reflection. The SEEL retreat coordinators will pair retreatants with a spiritual director. Direction will occur in person or via Zoom based on the ability of the retreatant and director.
- Gathering quarterly with all retreatants for communal prayer and formation.
If you are unable to engage in the full Spiritual Exercises experience at this time, the Office of Mission and Identity hosts a number of other events throughout the year, including lunch events on Ignatian prayer and practice, Ignatian inspired book clubs, Lenten prayer groups and more. We can also assist you in finding a trusted spiritual guide or director to discuss the individua'sl understanding and experience of God.
“The retreat made God real for me and had me recognize where God is working in my life.”
“This retreat is probably the most significant experience I have had [...] as a faculty member at Loyola. I would
encourage other Loyolans to make this retreat.”
“I had no idea these exercises were so powerful and such a blessing.”
“The retreat was very timely in my life.”
“I wanted to grow in my own faith and to experience a greater sense of community at Loyola. The retreat met both of these expectations far more than I suspected it would.”
“Whenever prospective students come to meet with me, I always talk about Loyola's commitment to the individual and education of the 'whole person.' I've learned through my time in the Spiritual Exercises that Loyola feels the same way about staff and about spiritual development. I'm amazed that Loyola makes this incredible retreat available to staff. I've been so blessed by my time in the Spiritual Exercises.”
“This experience has been the best journey I have had in my ten years at Loyola.”
“By this name of Spiritual Exercises is meant every way of examining one’s conscience, of meditating, of contemplating, of praying vocally and mentally, and of performing other spiritual actions, as will be said later. For as strolling, walking and running are bodily exercises, so every way of preparing and disposing of the soul to rid itself of all the disordered tendencies, and, after it is rid, to seek and find the Divine Will as to the management of one’s life for the salvation of the soul, is called a Spiritual Exercise.” —Mark Mossa, S.J., The Spiritual Exercises, 1st Annotation, Saint Ignatius Loyola: The Spiritual Writings, 2012