Updated: Aug 4
Some of the top talk show hosts use their late-night programs as a medium to give their opinions about a topic. Now it is my turn. I just completed a 30-day Ignatian retreat. Here are my top reasons for recommending JRC.
10. A warm and hospitable welcome from the JRC Jesuit priests and the lay staff. Healthful and delicious meals were enjoyed by each person. Rooms were comfortable and clean.
9. I particularly enjoyed walking the labyrinth which is on the property. There are many religious reasons for walking the labyrinth, but my favorite is that, historically, pilgrims who could not travel to the Holy Land would walk the labyrinth where they would find Christ at the center.
8. A helpful orientation about Ignatian spirituality and Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises helped the retreatants to enter more fully into the retreat.
7. A thorough introduction to St. Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and the writer of the Spiritual Exercises. For nearly 500 years, priests, religious, and lay people have been growing closer to Christ through the Exercises. It is still a practice which is so viable today!
6. The Jesuit Retreat Center is in the hills of Los Altos. The grounds are so conducive to prayer with gardens, a fountain, Stations of the Cross, hiking paths, and so much more. God’s beautiful creation was another pathway to spiritual growth.
5. Strong community was evident even though we were in silence. It was a surprise to feel a deep closeness with fellow retreatants in this environment of silence.
4. Daily Mass with top-notch, inspiring homilies. Each celebrant spoke from his heart in simple, meaningful ways.
3. SILENCE. In the constant noise and busy-ness of our society, it is a great gift to have nearly complete silence for a month. God speaks to the heart in silence.
2. Well-qualified, experienced, understanding Ignatian spiritual directors. My companions and I concurred that our directors were compassionate, active listeners who helped us to grow in a deeper relationship with Christ and a stronger commitment to serve God’s people.
And now for my top reason to go to The Jesuit Retreat Center…
1. Spending time with Jesus through the Spiritual Exercises and falling in love with Jesus all over again.
Discern if God is calling you to a 30-day, 8-day or one of the other programs at JRC. You can then make your own top ten list!
Sister Mary Colette Theobald, SND
Sister of Notre Dame
Thousand Oaks, California