A DEEPER JOURNEY
The Ignatian retreats lead us to a journey towards the deepest truth of ourselves. They are a permanent discernment exercise. Who am I?, and, who is God?. These are the important questions. Claret had the opportunity to practice this method during his stay in the Jesuit novitiate in Rome between 1839 and 1840. Then he used it in many retreats he directed to laity, religious and priests. With regard to these latter ones, he points out that their conversion is the most difficult. It can look strange and even scandalous, but it is one of the contradictions of the spiritual life, namely, the one who leads others doesn´t allow others to lead him personally.
Today the social communication media spread the news about priests who are not faithful to their ministry. The sexual abuse of minors (though it is not more frequent by priests than by lay people) has most scandalized the Church and society. But there are other infidelities that demand conversion as a requirement for credibility. Claret teaches us not only to believe what is possible, but to trust in those who have received the gift of conforming themselves with Christ the shepherd, when they humbly recognize their limitations, they are transformed by the grace and recover their vocation as evangelizers.
The experience of Ignatian retreats is one of the few effective means to live a healing process. In this, the Word of God helps us to discover ourselves as creatures who find in God alone our “beginning and foundation”, to identify the sin that distorts this relationship of love, to know more deeply Jesus Christ to follow him, to ask for the gift of love, etc.
In our noisy world, the experience of the retreats helps all of us, not only the priests, to listen to “the silent music” of God in the silence of our heart.