During the week of the 6th-10th, during which we celebrated the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, a group of twenty girls were blessed with the opportunity to have Spiritual Exercises with Fr. Rafael. Even though the retreat was short (we started on Tuesday and finished on Saturday), thanks to Fr. Rafael we made the most of each moment and were able to be close to the Lord both physically and spiritually.
Our Spiritual Exercises were made up of different meditations and reflections throughout the day. We normally had three talks during the day about things that we encounter in the world in our every day lives and in the afternoon we had a deeper reflection about some event related to the Lord´s life. We had to imagine the situation that we were meditating upon, try to imagine the Lord in that situation, what He might have felt, and accompany Him in that particular moment of His life. It is important for us to do these meditations well because in order to open our eyes to the reality of what Jesus did for us, it is important to experience what he experienced and suffered out of love for us. Some of the things we meditated upon this year were; sin and the devil, the meditation of the Two Standards so that we could see that we can not live in between two worlds (“because you are neither hot nor cold, I am about the spew you from my mouth.” ), the rules of discernment to understand that the devil tries to make us see the pleasures of this world and that the voice of the Holy Spirit can become bothersome to us because it tells us what we do not want to hear, etc. The meditations about Christ´s life were about the Transfiguration, the face of Christ, the Wedding Feast of Cana where we saw a foreshadowing of things that would come to pass in his Passion, etc.
For many girls it was their first time doing Spiritual Exercises. Others had already done Spiritual Exercises in the past but not with the Home of the Mother. Thanks be to God, all of us were able to experience in some way the the grace of God which has helped us center our lives and help us in our preparation for Jesus´coming in Christmas.
Each year in Spiritual Exercises Fr. Rafael gives us a theme to meditate upon. This year our theme was: “Live these Spiritual Exercises with Sr. Clare.”
The objective of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises is for the person to overcome themself and order their life. This means that only when we reorganize our priorities and place the Lord first in our lives will we be truly happy. As the Lord said, “whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for me will save it.” He gave his life for us and in this way saved us all. He is great and we are so small, what better way do we have to repay the Lord for all that he has done for us than give our lives for Him?