Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Jesuis-tic Retreat

Manresa's St. Mary's Hall
 One of the terms that gives me fits in our ecclesial ("churched up") language is "eucharistic". I am sure that it's a valid term to refer to the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass. But it's the "ic" part that sort of sounds like Eucharist once removed. It feels like saying "buttery" or "Faulknerian". It's more description than noun.
And, yes, it has fallen out of my lips so many times that I should have to drop a nickel in the jar for "dirty ecclesial terms". With that being the case, we may be able to pay off this building fund (hint, hint)!

Anyway, at the constant urging of my capable staff, Ms. Terry and Paul, I have decided to make a retreat at Manresa House of Retreats just outside of Baton Rouge (even typing the town's name made my monitor smell a bit corndog-ic). It's a Jesuit retreat house and one of the great Jesuit experiences of prayer is the famed Spiritual Exercises. To do the Exercises right, the Jesuits strongly recommend 8 days at least, 30 days at most. And I don't have time for either. Or have made the time. Or can afford the time. Or some sort of excuse.

So when I make my plans to go, the Jesuits of Manresa have made one more solemn pact along with the others of their order, "Leave Tonos alone". And they do. I walk the grounds. I smoke cigars. I pray. I throw stuff in the river. I write. I sleep. I eat. I draw pictures. I peruse the library. And I let the Mass and the homily be my day's spiritual director. So it's not Jesuit spirituality, it's Jesuistic.
The Oaks at Manresa
I'll be away this next week getting all holy-ic and refreshed-ic. Pray for me. Pray for our Campus Ministry. And pray, this is personal, that they don't serve me meatloaf more than once.