One of the most important works of the Society of St. Pius X is the preaching of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Down through the centuries since they were first preached by Ignatius and his followers, the Exercises have received the fulsome praise of the popes even to our day. This is certainly the preferred retreat method in the Catholic Church and every other method of retreat has been in one way or another inspired by it. This preaching method is highly successful provided the plan of St. Ignatius is closely followed and no innovative deviations are permitted. There is really no improving upon what has been received from the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
A retreat is vital to the development of a profound spiritual life for a serious Catholic. In the retreat of St. Ignatius, order in one’s life and true peace of soul and a renewed zeal for the faith are the key components. A real attachment to the person of Jesus Christ and His royal Kingship are awakened in the soul of the person following the retreat. Their life is changed forever if the retreat is well followed.
Perhaps the retreatant is seeking to overcome some serious fault in his life, or trying to discern the particular will of God for his life or anxious about an important life change that has to be made, this particular Ignatian retreat is the answer. A retreat undertaken in an atmosphere of prayerful silence and meditation is one in which God speaks to the soul. Consultation with the Fathers who preach the exercises forms an important part of the retreat in which spiritual guidance is given proper to one’s state in life.
The retreat usually lasts five days and involves the making of a general confession advocated by St. Ignatius and encouraged by the Church.