Similarities and differences between a retreat in daily life (19th annotation) and an enclosed (30-day, 20th annotation) retreat

In both situations the exercitant is:

  • making a choice and serious commitment to enter into the retreat, knowing something of what that personally involves;
  • following the dynamic of the full Exercises and open to their effects in terms of:
    • awareness of self as a loved sinner;
    • sensitivity to the Scriptures; and
    • a desire to serve in the world of today, etc.
  • discovering the Exercises “as a school of prayer” in which there are many ways of praying, not all of which may be familiar to the retreatant.

At the beginning it is important that the director and directee discuss the amount of time for prayer each day rather than leaving it to the prevailing mood. This may take time to discover and will probably need to be reviewed periodically.

Retreat in Daily Life (Annotation 19)Enclosed (Annotation 20) Retreat
The Exercises “for those engaged in public affairs or necessary business”, thus assuming that they cannot leave their everyday life, and will thus continue to live at home.The Exercises for “one who is more disengaged”, who “can withdraw from all friends and acquaintances and from all worldly cares”.
It is often difficult to find time and space for quiet prayer and the rhythm may change over the months.
Ignatius suggests “an hour and a half daily, ideally consisting of:
• 5 mins. preparation of prayer
• 60 mins. prayer time
• 10 mins. reflection
• 15 mins. consciousness examen
Generally four or five hours a day, in a quiet withdrawn place. Hence, the dynamic has quite an intense pace.