SEEL is a 9 month retreat in "everyday life" that features daily prayer, spiritual direction every 2 weeks and monthly gatherings of prayerful reflection
What are the Spiritual Exercises?
St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, developed his Spiritual Exercises so that people could retreat for 30 days of prayer and silence to grow in their relationship with God and learn to listen for the voice of the Spirit in their lives. Eventually he also adapted the Exercises for people who could not, for various reasons, go away for 30 days.
This adaptation, called the 19th Annotation, is the basis of the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life retreat, referred to as SEEL, and it invites people to go through the Exercises with the guidance of a spiritual director over a period of nine months.
What are the requirements?
This retreat is ideally suited for those who have an established a discipline of personal prayer, have had the experience of sharing their experience with another, and who are committed to deepening their faith. Our spiritual directors work with those who desire to grow in these areas. Participants are expected to commit to an hour of prayer each day, meet with a spiritual director twice a month, and meet one Saturday a month for a three hour retreat with other participants.
Drawing on the Wisdom of St. Ignatius:
An Ignatian Way of Staying Centered in Turbulent Times
1) Savor goodness. Ignatius encouraged his directees to use their senses to notice God in all things—to savor the goodness and beauty of the world and all the creatures that bless it with life. Notice the birdsong. Gaze in awe at the snow-capped mountains. Let a child’s laughter permeate your spirit. Allow rich harmonies to move you.
2) Create space for stillness. Ignatius’s own experience taught him that we all benefit from making space for prayerful stillness during challenging times. Ignatian spirituality asks us to live as “contemplatives in action.” You might consider committing (or re-committing) to a practice of prayer, reflection, or meditation. The Examen is an excellent resource (see below).
3) Stay informed. Ignatian spirituality and Jesuit education have always emphasized the integration of faith and reason. We allow our minds and hearts and souls to be in conversation with one another. When you educate yourself about the important issues for our nation and the world, you are able to discern well how to respond. Speaking of which…
4) Separate what’s yours from what’s not. In other words, discern. There are many ways to use your gifts to make a difference in the world. Pay attention to what is bubbling up in you as your particular passion or desire. Perhaps it is running for office. Perhaps it is supporting or volunteering at a non-profit organization. Perhaps it is contacting legislators or attending a lobby day. Perhaps it is engaging in dialogue with people who feel differently than you do. Discern your deepest desire in these times-- that is where God is inviting you to respond. And then…
5) Select an action to take. We can choose to respond to challenging realities by cowering in fear or engaging with courage. In times of uncertainty, it is helpful to engage in action that arises from your discernment and that makes a direct difference for people in need. Pope Francis encourages us to respond boldly to injustice. Let your contemplation give rise to bold action, grounded in the Gospel values of love, justice and mercy.
6) Step back sometimes. Recognize when you’ve reached your limit of news or social media. Ignatius talked about the “dark spirit” being that which leads us away from God. Perhaps you notice a darkness descending as you endlessly pursue link after link, seeking signs of hope – or a few souls who mirror your desolation. Some of this is okay, but our bodies (and our anxiety level) tend to tell us when we need to close the laptop, turn off the phone and lovingly attend to the people and things in our sphere of influence.
7) Stay in relationship. Build the community that you desire to see in our world. The first Jesuits were a diverse group, from families who would have been intense rivals, yet they called themselves “companions” or “friends in the Lord.” They believed that dialogue, community and authentic relationship were foundational to their mission together.
Compiled by Jen Tilghman-Havens, Seattle University
And the Examen:
An Ignatian Examen
The Examen is a simple yet powerful practice developed by St. Ignatius almost 500 years ago. By cultivating an awareness of God’s presence in one’s lived experience, the Examen offers a framework for discerning how to expand our capacity to love and how to detach from that which makes us less than fully alive. One of the few rules of prayer that Ignatius made for the Jesuit order was the requirement that Jesuits practice the Examen twice daily—at noon and at the end of the day. It’s a habit that Jesuits, and many other seekers and people of faith, practice to this day.
1. Become aware of God’s presence. Place yourself in the presence of a loving God. Take some deep, centering breaths and allow the presence of the Holy Spirit to fill you with each breath. Feel your body soften and relax as though held tenderly.
2. Review the day with gratitude. Aware of God’s gentle presence, look back on the events of the day. Invite the images and memories from your day to come to your mind, without judging them or analyzing them. Just let the day’s events arise—your daily routines, conversations, work, and encounters with the natural world. Reflect on these questions as you notice a consolation and a desolation that surface from your day:
What in my day felt energizing, hopeful, life-giving, centering?
Where was I filled with gratitude?
When did I give and receive the most love?
How have I been fully able to attune to the present moment?
Where in my day did I feel anxious, hurried, drained, disturbed, or empty?
What made me feel less than fully alive or less than grateful?
When did I have the least sense of belonging to myself or others?
When was I distracted from what’s most important to me?
3. Pay attention to your emotions. One of St. Ignatius’s great insights was that we detect the presence of God in the awareness of our emotions. Ignatius himself was often moved to tears. Anxiety, apprehension, joy, unease—all of these are invitations for us to explore our interior life, not in judgment, but as a way of noticing where we might be called to attend more fully to the needs of your body, mind and spirit.
4. Choose one feature of the day on which to reflect more deeply. Allow your prayer to draw you to a feature of the day that is most significant or important. It may be a consolation to savor or a desolation to explore with curiosity. As you reflect, perhaps a prayer or intention arises from within—a desire to move cultivate more of what is most life-giving, or a desire to let go of that which holds you back from fully embodying God’s love in the world.
5. Look toward tomorrow. Ask for light to see tomorrow’s joys and challenges with greater insight. Call upon the Source of inspiration, hope, generosity and understanding so that you might discern well your path in the days ahead.
- Adapted by Jen Tilghman-Havens, MBA, MA/MSW
thejesuitpost.org “Basically, God, / grant me the wisdom / to remember that I’m / not you.”
"Be still and know that I am God ..." (the photo is from one of the retreat day environments. Beautiful!)
How are you on the road with Jesus this week?
Another account of Andrew's experience of the Spiritual exercises. What is it like to fall in love with Jesus?
relevantmagazine.com Actor Andrew Garfield recently visited The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and the two had an interesting discussion about spiritual exercises, fasting, faith, how preparing for the film Silence showed him about Jesus, the afterlife, doubt and even spiritual warfare. It’s a really fascinating conver...
Here are some photos from the 2016 Pilgrimage. Thanks, Lisa Dennison!
Open and affirming, ALL are welcome Sundays, 9 am in Hildebrand Hall (casual, contemporary service) and 11 am (more traditional service) in the Sanctuary.
Making Disciples. Serving the City.
The Facebook page for UCUCC is meant to be a presence so that folks can find out more about us and stay connected. We do want to be clear however, that this is not a page monitored regularly by pastors. Please send prayer requests to email@example.com
The Center for Spiritual Living is the place where people from all walks of life and spiritual paths come together to learn more about themselves, about Spirit, and about how to use spiritual principles to build a better life and world.
We are a small, sincere community of Zen practitioners in West Seattle. Please join us any Sunday morning for meditation in good company.
No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here! The United Church of Christ encourages the spiritual quest of each person and its churches are places to explore that journey with no tests of creed or dogma.
"A small church doing a disproportionate amount of good"
The place to be on Tuesdays @9pm! On Instagram, follow: @theinnseattle @theryanchurch
Growing Leaders to Grow Churches.
All are welcome so please come by! Discussion Board: https://www.facebook.com/groups/upcyacommunitygroup/ We meet every Tuesday, 7-9 pm at UPC (Knox Rm.)
Need housing? Email Sis. Williams: firstname.lastname@example.org Also, email@example.com Blog: http://ldsinstituteseattle.blogspot.com
Serving Christ by building an inclusive community that helps one another understand, experience, and reflect Christ's love.