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A time of grace

manresa_01The 8-day retreat that has just ended in Manresa was distinctive in two ways. The group of retreatants comprised Jesuits from the Irish, British, Dutch and Flemish provinces: the diversity of their languages and cultures reflected the global mission of the Society. While St Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises structured the retreat, these were supplemented by a substantial talk every day about areas of Christian concern, so that one’s prayer was “incarnated”. We bring the spirit of Jesus to all the encounters of our lives, with victims of clerical abuse, drug addicts, asylum-seekers and the homeless as well as with our Jesuit companions and our own sicknesses and failings. The eyes of faith transform them all. The retreat reflected the creative planning of a small committee, and was blessed by God with glorious weather, as well as unseen graces.