Zooming into God's Presence

POST BY AWentworth

In the week leading up to Pentecost (May 24th -31st), the Jesuit Young Adult Ministries offered an online retreat in daily life called “Plugged In”.  

As its name indicates, the retreat aimed at allowing young adults to profit from the lockdown by rediscovering and ‘recharging’ their relationship with God. The 40 participants where individually accompanied by the Jesuit Young Adult Ministries Team along with a team of Jesuits and lay Spiritual Directors from across the country. The virtual milieu of Zoom proved to be a more fruitful means than expected by which the young adults could encounter God’s gentle and merciful presence.

Unlike a traditional silent retreat, a retreat in daily life invites the retreatant to carry on with their usual rhythm of life while making space for daily prayer (30-60 minutes) as well as daily spiritual direction (usually 30 minutes). Additionally, during the week, the young adults were offered three workshops on praying with The Scriptures, on Other Ways of Praying and on Navigating Life with God. Despite the geographical, cultural and professional diversity of the retreatants, the retreat helped the young adults to rediscover that God loves them personally and how God’s presence help clarify their life decisions.

St Ignatius insists that the Spiritual Exercises should be adapted to the dispositions of the persons who wish to receive them (in the famous 18th annotation). Unsurprisingly, the Jesuits (and our lay collaborators) have been applying this annotation for a long time. In this regard, the “Plugged In” retreat has invited the Jesuit Young Adult Ministries team to consider its importance so as to explore further on how to make the Spiritual Exercises available for younger, working adults. Accompanying young adults into the encounter of God in their particular realities reaffirms the Ignatian worldview:  that God still calls us to love him and serve him in all things…

Amid the anxiety and challenges of this pandemic, the Ignatian intuition resounds aloud:  God is labouring in the lives!

Blog by Carlos Chuquihuara SJ