The Concise Spiritual Exercises 2023

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The Concise Spiritual Exercises 2023

Friday 31 March 2023

Highlights of the Spiritual Exercises for busy people seeking nourishment and clarity

Would you like a deeper prayer life and to discover the desires God has for you? The full Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius provide an invaluable and time-tested framework for a powerful, life-changing encounter with God; however, they take a significant time commitment.

If you would like to experience the full Spiritual Exercises in a time frame that suits your busy life, The Concise Spiritual Exercises may be an option for you. You will experience key exercises in all four ‘Weeks’ or parts of the Spiritual Exercises over approximately four months.

Each of the four ‘Weeks’ commence with a retreat day (including refreshments, lunch and individual spiritual direction). Then in the month or so that follows, at home there will be five prayer periods each week of at least 30 minutes (one should be for an hour), following a guide. An online zoom spiritual direction session will be offered at a mutually convenient time approximately halfway through each ‘Week’ and a final spiritual direction face to face session will occur at the conclusion of the four months.

It is recommended that prior to embarking on The Concise Spiritual Exercises, that participants have had regular spiritual direction and experienced a silent retreat of at least two days. It is suggested that participants extend one or more of the monthly day retreats to two days (at additional cost).

You can commence this retreat at Peter Canisius House in Pymble NSW on 31 March 2023 or 2 June 2023.

The price is $990 which includes the four retreat days at Peter Canisius House in Pymble (use of a retreat room, facilities and grounds, refreshments, and lunch), all prayer materials and spiritual direction sessions.

Contact Sandra at JISA Canisius to enquire and make a booking:
Email or Phone 1300 392 636

The Concise Spiritual Exercises: An option for people with busy lives

For over 15 years I had desired to undertake the Spiritual Exercises, but it seemed more of a ‘life bucket list’ type desire that was very difficult to undertake with a full-time job and young children, using my annual holiday to go on a silent retreat. It seemed to ask a lot, not of me so much but of my wife who’d be literally left holding the baby!

Then I discovered the Concise Spiritual Exercises offered out of Canisius. This format is designed to fit into a retreatant’s life routine. Not as good an experience as going away on retreat but better than not doing it at all.

In this mode, each ‘Week’ of the Exercises takes about a month. It starts with a full day on a weekend, and then continues with a structured hour of daily prayer at home, five to six days a week. There was no need for me to use up any of my annual leave; all I had to do was stick to the habit of getting up on time for that ‘holy hour’.

All up, the Concise Exercises involved about 120 hours of time in prayer, compared to, I believe, around 160 hours for the full 30-day retreat. Because it was all done at home, the retreat was also a tiny fraction of the cost of the live-in version.

It was very gratifying to finally be able to complete the Exercises as, before I heard about this course, I believed the 30-day retreat was something I’d only be able to do in retirement. I recommend it for anyone who also feel drawn to undertake the full Exercises but, like me, assumed it to be impractical at their stage in life.

A big thanks to my retreat director, Guy Yeomans, and to JISA for working to make the Exercises more accessible.

Michael Walker


Friday 31 March 2023
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