---------A weekend retreat by Fr. Larry Gillick, S.J.Larry Gillick, S.J.

This retreat was given by Fr. Larry Gillick, S.J.
at the Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House, Lake Elmo, Minnesota,
May 31 - June 3, 2018

This is a recording of a series of fourteen reflections of thirty minutes each. they are offering reflections on the main considerations and contemplations from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola.  They are not meant to be taken as a lecture-course on the Exercises, but are offered as stimuli to personal and intimate prayer

Conference 1

This first conference was presented on the evening of the Feast of Mary’s Visitation to Elizabeth following the Annunciation. (Luke 1, 26) Mary becomes a model of a person making the Exercises. She allows surprise to become a way of life, letting go from, so to be available for. It takes humility to be surprised.

Conference 2

What does God do as God? Mystery is becoming more mysterious, because of the amount of know-ables around us. God is not able to be known as we would want. God labors and prays within and around us.

Humans are mysteries to themselves and Jesus called His first disciples to “Come and see” not merely to see Him, but to see themselves as He does. (John, 1-35)

Conference 3

Chaos has to do with fractions when we would rather deal with order and whole numbers. We love the fixed, but we experience the broken. Jesus came as Light to show us how we can live more peacefully with the broken and chaos while He is laboring to bring us to life. Being healthy ourselves is knowing and accepting our own self-stories.

Conference 4

Mary makes a second visitation with Jesus at a wedding celebration (John chapter two) She has allowed herself to be visited and invited into the mystery of her own life and so into the lives of others. Jesus is invited to do something with the shame and chaotic a human situation.

Immediately after that Jesus invites Himself into another religiously disordered or chaotic situation with the sellers in the temple. What do we have to do to obtain God’s approval?

Conference 5

Daily Bread! About what do we pray when asking for it? What is meant by God’s Will and how do we know what it is! Security and data are current forms of the bread of our daily lives. Trusting is more difficult, because we think we know.

Conference 6

Virtues are seldom accompanied by the feeling of that virtue. The Apostles trusted, kind of, but were frightened, had questions, doubted, but still had faith. (Mark 4, 35)

Two persons went to pray. One prayed to himself and about himself. The second received prayer. (Luke 8, 9) What gives us our names will give us our dignity and that which gives us our dignity we will call our Creator, our God. Jesus gives us our worth-i-ness.

Conference 7

Identity! What and who tells us who we are. We can be so easily attracted to worship at false altars. We can become dependent on these altars hoping to avoid and escape the emptiness those altars provide. This is a self-creative trap seeking freedom from God by our being dependent on what leads to having to have new, more and impressive dependencies telling us who we are. Mary received her poverty which is the absolute foundation of human fullness.

Conference 8

Jesus lived the indicative mood not the subjunctive. Jesus listened to Who He was, not wondering Who He might be, if only, perhapsish kind of maybe. He came to stay as the Eternal “I Am” and so was available to listen to and respond to all other voices.

Conference 9

(Luke 7, 36) With Jesus, the future of those whom He met, is always more important than their past. Mercy is more a relational experience of healing than a judicial event of acquittal. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is more about His future in us than an accounting of our pasts. All the Sacraments are healing and missioning exercises. He came that we may have life!

Conference 10

Objectification, or objectifying persons are controlling, impersonal and self-centered. Objects are to be figured out and dealt with according to our powers and demands. Subjectification or living subjectively is allowing others to be other, to be subjects, persons, surprises and adventurous. There are hidden mysteries in everyone and everything to be reverenced and received as they are. It involves vulnerability and loss of self-centered manipulation. Living this way assists God in the continuing creation of the other. God is not an object to be figured out, but a lively and active subject Who honors us with divine creative love.

Conference 11

Jesus completes the four Servant Songs of the Prophet Isaiah. (Luke 22, 24) (John 13:4-16) We do not serve God as an indolent and passive receiver. We are invited to serve with Christ and in Christ, God’s people. God serves through our serving others. Serving them means bringing them closer to the tender and merciful ways and person of Jesus.

Conference 12

Mary, who had allowed Jesus into her life stands at the foot of the Cross watching Jesus give His life, both letting it all be done. Mary visits the cross receiving having listened. Jesus having listened during His whole life gratefully receives all that His life has been and offers it gratefully and faithfully. Obedience comes from the Latin words “To Listen to”. Mary allowed surprises, invitations, mysteries and the whole human experience to lead her to merely standing, watching and pondering. These are her graces of the Third Week of the Spiritual Exercises.

Conference 13

Two scenes involving Jesus and Mary which are not found in the Gospels are quite important for Ignatius and those experiencing the Exercises. The first is Jesus’ leaving home. There is much to consider in this simple imaginative contemplation.

The second is Jesus’ appearing to Mary immediately after His Resurrection. Ignatius could not picture Jesus, Who left her years before, would not desire to find her and console her within the trauma of His Passion. Before sending others out, (John 20, 19-23) He does the divinely human thing of beginning to form the Church.

Conference 14

One never finishes the Exercises, that would be a contradiction. We pray to be prayed over. We love productivity, immediacy, and options. Prayer does not resolve into products, but fruitfulness.  Evaluating our prayer takes the value out of the experience. We pray to be an answer, not to get answers. God prays within us so the optionality resolves into receptivity. We examine our day so as to become more attentive to listening to the good spirits and the ones which would distract us from living, creating and blessing all of life.

Downloading the Audio Retreat Conferences as MP3 files.

The Conferences of this retreat are in the MP3 file format. They can be listened to at the computer by clicking on the link to the left.

The individual mp3 files can be downloaded and can be listened to on a computer, without being connected to the internet (expecially helpful for a slowly or more costly connection). The files may also be copied to an mp3 player. Finally, the files can be burned to a CD to be played on a CD player, in a car or a portible device.

To download a Conference, place your cursor over the name of the Conference and hold down the RIGHT mouse button. Select "Save Link As ..." and chose where to save the file on your computer, or to save it directly to a media player or card attached to your computer.

Burning CD's

To burn these downloaded files to a CD, place a new CD/R disk in your CD drive. A pop up window should open, giving you your options. Your CD burner software should be one of the options that pops up. Choose Burn a CD option with that software.

You have two options, depending upon what you intend to do with the CD and what kind of device you will use to listen to it.

If they are copied as "DATA" they will remain as mp3 files and will pay on any CD player that plays mp3 files (and in most newer car CD players). All the files will easily fit on one CD. This is also the best option to use to send the files to someone else or if you intend to use this CD to copy the files to another computer or device.

If the files are copied as "MUSIC" they will be converted into higher quality CD media files, which will play on any CD player (and older model car CDs). Only two files will fit on each CD in this format.

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