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An Experience of the Spiritual Exercises

September 7, 2017

It is one of the most important experiences of the novices of the Hijas de Jesus Congregation to have a one month Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to learn how to pray, to ordinate affections and to deepen the relationship with God.
From July 25 at 7:00 pm to August 28, 2017(5:00 pm), two novices Celina and Crystal of Noviciado Internacional de la Madre Candida in Argentina did their 1 month Spiritual Exercises in “Casa Retiro de los Santos Martires” Asunción, Paraguay. They were accompanied by their novice mistress Sonia Maria Soares da Rocha. They did the Exercises with the novices of the Jesuits, with the monks, junior sisters of Salesians and Teresian sisters and 1 diocesan seminarian. All in all, they were 12 participants. The exercises were animated by Fr. Juan Carlos Juarez S.J. and Fr. Oscar Martin Lopez S.J. (Masters of Jesuit Novices in of Argentina and Paraguay). The exercises that were given included the theme of the Laudato Si. The experience marked a fraternal relationship among formands and formators for the experience living together for a month in a house although there was a silence. They also shared the diversity of cultures and the charism of their Congregations because they we’re from different countries and Congregations but they we’re united in the Spirit of our Loving Father.
The SpEx was started by situating ourselves in the ambiance of the SpEx. How we feel having the exercises and our expectations for that experience. At that time, we already entered in the grand silence. Then the Spex proper began in the first week dealing our relationships with God, with others, with the environment and little by little we entered into its dynamics.
After the 1st week, we had the day to rest and we went to the vacation house of the Jesuits and visited the Shrine of the Blessed Mother of Caacupe which is the Patron Saint of Paraguay.
On the second week, we started contemplating the life of Jesus. When were done with the 2nd week we visited another house of the Jesuits named Loyola and we visited again the Shine of Caacupe to thank the Blessed Mother for all the blessings that we received during those days.
The 3rd week went contemplating the Passion and the Crucifixion of Jesus and on the 4th week we contemplated His Resurrection. We also had the catechesis of the icons of the Resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus on the 4th week that was oriented by Fr. Wilber, (maestro de los monges). During those days, we did 4-5 prayers in a day.
It was a blessing that the feast day of St. Ignatius and Mo. Candida fell on those days. We celebrated the mass especially dedicated for these two saints who influenced our lives to follow their example in following Jesus. Although it was the feast day, we remained in the grand silence that we were having. On the feast day of Mo. Candida, the priests beg us to share about the life and experiences of Mo. Candida instead of having the homily. Therefore, Sonia, Celina and I shared something about Mo. Candida. We thank God for these marvelous experience that God let us to experience in our life and for all the blessings that He bestowed on us during that experience. We also thank all the people who accompanied us during those days; the sisters, our families and our friends who offered their prayers that helped us sustain and persevere in our prayers.


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