Tuesday, May 16, 2006

An Octave (?) at Colombiere.

At several points over the course of the novitiate, Jesuit novices make a three-day retreat known, appropriately enough, as a 'triduum.' After making the 30-day Spiritual Exercises as a novice, every Jesuit is expected to make an annual eight-day retreat, which is what my fellow secundi and I spent the last week doing at Colombiere. This begs the question: if a three-day retreat is a triduum, what should one call an eight-day retreat? Until I find the answer, I'm going to provisionally refer to this experience as an 'octave.'

As far as I'm concerned, the octave went well. Under the able direction of Father David Meconi, I repeated many of the key meditations of the Spiritual Exercises. In the process, I acquired a deeper understanding of the ways in which I've grown over the past year and a half. In some instances, I found that I approached the material of the Exercises in pretty much the same way I did when I made the Long Retreat at Gloucester in January of last year. In many other instances, however, I could see how my experiences in the novitiate have deepened my spirituality. That's not to say that I'm perfect or that I 'get it' in an exceptionally profound or unique way, but this octave gave me an opportunity to reflect upon and appreciate the graces and challenges of Jesuit life so far. I'm grateful for the experience, and I look forward to my next octave. What graces will my next eight-day retreat uncover? God only knows. AMDG.


At May 17, 2006 8:09 AM, Blogger David Nowaczewski said...

Good to hear the retreat went well. Fr. Meconi stopped over for dinner before he finished up tertianship, great guy. We were going to grab lunch/dinner before you left for your long experment, any chance your game now that you are back in the area. Take care.

At May 18, 2006 2:59 PM, Blogger Joseph Koczera, S.J. said...


Good to hear from you and to know we have another common connection. I'm certainly still up for lunch or dinner - I'll e-mail you soon so we can start looking at possible dates.


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