19th Annotation Retreats
There are two ways of experiencing the full Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius – making a 30 days enclosed retreat and making the retreat in the flow of daily life. Both can be very profound and life changing experiences according to the needs and generosity of the individual.
St Ignatius realised that going away for 30 days was an option not available to everyone so he suggested that the same experience could be gained by remaining at home and continuing with the business of daily life. The 19th Annotation retreat requires that the person take two periods for prayer during their day. One would be for a longer time, no more than one hour, and would be the prayer based on the material the person has been given; the other would be a much shorter time for reflecting on how the day has been and how the prayer time has been reflected in this (often known as the Examen). A meeting with one’s companion or guide is important and this is usually every 7 to 10 days depending on the availability of each one.
In this meeting the retreatant shares what has happened in their prayer time and how God has been present or absent in the daily living. In the light of what is shared the companion offers suggests for further prayer.
The advantage of the retreat in daily life is that one is not restricted to 30 days, and it helps in forming a regular pattern for prayer. Also as things emerge they can be incorporated into the flow of life, rather than having to wait until one returns home.
There is usually an offering for this form of retreat and this is agreed between the individuals concerned.