Welcome to the St. Monica Spirituality Center. The Center exists to provide opportunities for individuals to deepen their relationship with Christ through a variety of experiences based on Catholic spirituality. As you review each program, see each as an opportunity and take note of what moves your heart both towards greater healing and inspiration.
Meet a single time with a trained spiritual director to explore a specific area of your prayer life, understanding of God, and/or a topic concerning your faith life.
Sometimes an event in one’s life raises questions about how we understand God, and who God might be. A meeting with a trained spiritual director can provide insight as to where to look for resources, what to do in prayer, and sometimes simply encouragement as to God’s loving presence on the journey.
If you might be interested in a one-on-one meeting distinct from other opportunities for confession/reconciliation with a priest, give us a call at the Center. No fee or donation is needed. Simply mention your interest in scheduling a “spiritual chat."
Experience a day and/or weekend opportunity with others to explore various themes of the spiritual life.
Attending a Spiritual retreat is time set apart to be in quiet and solitude with God. Retreats remove us from the distraction and noise in our lives into a place of spiritual renewal and refreshment. It is a way to experience a deepening of faith, an ongoing conversion and an entering into the presence of God and allowing him to nourish our hearts and our minds. The Catholic Encyclopedia describes the necessity of such retreats: “In the fever and agitation of modern life, the need of meditation and spiritual repose impresses itself on Christian souls who desire to reflect on their eternal destiny, and direct their life in this world towards God.”
Experiencing God’s Presence in Prayer:
A retreat gathering with James Finley
December 3, 9 am-12 pm, Church (coffee in Duval at 8:30 am)
Walk-ins Welcome, no registration required
In our time together James Finley will guide us in the gentle art of experiencing God’s presence in prayer. He will guide us in the graced evolution in which the intimate sincerity of lectio divina awakens a loving exchange with God in reflective meditation that in turn awakens the heart with longings for God that echo God’s longings for us. We will pay close attention to the signs that we are being led into mystical dimensions of union with God in which we learn to rest in graced realizations that we are God’s beloved.
Attention will be given to the challenges and unexpected graces that can occur in each evolving level of prayer as well as how carry our deepening union with God in prayer into our daily relationships with others. Time will be given for discussion of the themes presented.
James Finley is a former Trappist monk who studied closely with Thomas Merton. He is the author of Thomas Merton's Palace of Nowhere. He is a contemplative practitioner and a renowned psychological in Santa Monica, CA. He teaches for the Living School of Action and Contemplation as a core faculty member alongside Richard Rohr and Cynthia Bourgeault.
James Finley reminds us, “The contemplative way is like a monastery without walls, a gathering place for people who are searching for something more--something more meaningful, intimate, and richly present to the gift and miracle of their own life.” Our dear friend and gift to St. Monica, James Finley, helps us on this journey of life and love.
“If we are absolutely grounded in the absolute love of God that protects us from nothing even as it sustains us in all things, then we can face all things with courage and tenderness and touch the hurting places
in others and in ourselves with love.”
Attend a monthly talk on specific themes reflecting some of the spiritual wisdom of Catholic spirituality.
“What zest life acquires when we allow ourselves to be filled by the love of God!” -Pope Francis
Our Speaker Series is an effort to respond to our adult yearnings for lifelong faith formation…to be filled by the love of God!
It calls us wanting more and desiring a deeper understanding of who we are as Adult people of faith. Our Speaker events offer opportunities for inspiration, prayer, personal spiritual engagement, grace and fellowship with guest speakers who will guide us in better understanding and integrating our daily life to our life of faith. Pope Francis reminds us that God is continually waiting for us. Come and journey with God!!
♦“We need to rediscover a contemplative spirit, so that the love of God may warm our hearts.”
♦“Miracles happen. But prayer is needed! Prayer that is courageous, struggling and persevering, not prayer that is a mere formality.”
♦“Our deepest joy comes from Christ: remaining with him, walking with him, being his disciples.”
♦“We cannot live as Christians separate from the rock who is Christ. He gives us strength and stability, but also joy and serenity.”
During the 1530s, St. Ignatius Loyola began writing about the emotions that took hold of him — feelings of gratitude and anguish, consolation and sadness — while encountering the scriptures. Those meditations eventually became the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, first published in 1548.
The Spiritual Exercises is a compilation of meditations, prayers, and other contemplative practices. It is not like other classics in Western spirituality that are typically read from beginning to end. It is more like a handbook, especially for use by spiritual directors who accompany and guide people through this dynamic process of reflection.
-Taken from Jesuit West Province, June 2021.
Brackley, Dean, The Call to Discernment in Troubled Times, Crossroad Publishing Company, 2004.
Conroy, Maureen R.S.M., The Discerning Heart: Discovering a Personal God, Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1993.
Dyckman, Katherine M., SNJM; Garvin, Mary, SNJM; Liebert, Elizabeth, SNJM; The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women, New York: Paulist Press, 2001.
English, John J., S.J., Spiritual Freedom, 2nd Ed., Chicago: Loyola Press, 1995. Fleming, David, S.J., Like the Lightning: Dynamics of the Ignatian Exercises: St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Source, 2004
Ignatius of Loyola, Autobiography, O’Connor, J.F.X., S.J., New York: Benzinger Brothers, 1900. Go to: https://archive.org/details/stignatiusautobi00ignauoft
O’Brien, Kevin, S.J., The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life, Chicago: Loyola Press, 2011.
Savary, Louis M., The New Spiritual Exercises: In the Spirit of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, New York: Paulist Press, 2011.
Veltri, John, S.J., Orientations for Spiritual Growth - Vol 2: A and B.
For Those Who Accompany Others on the Inward Journey, http://www.julianmaddock.info/texts/veltri/o2/or2a_bintro.html
Aschenbrenner, George, S.J. Stretched for Greater Glory. Chicago: Loyola University Press, 2004.
Barry, William A., and Connolly, William J. The Practice of Spiritual Direction. New York: Seabury Press, 1982.
Cowan, Marian, and Futrell, John. Companions in Grace: Directing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. St. Louis, Mo.: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2000.
Gallagher, Timothy M. OMV.
The Examen Prayer: Ignatian Wisdom for our Lives. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2006.
The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2005.
Discerning the Will of God: An Ignatian Guide to Christian Decision Making. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2009.
Spiritual Consolation: An Ignatian Guide for Greater Discernment of Spirits. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2007.
Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2008.
An Ignatian Introduction to Prayer: Scriptural Reflections According to the Spiritual Exercises. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2008.
Ganss, George E., S.J. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius: A Translation and Commentary. St. Louis: The Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1992
Ivens, Michael, S.J. Understanding the Spiritual Exercises. Surrey, UK: Inigo Enterprises, 1998
Puhl, Louis, SJ., The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius: Based on Studies in the Language of the Autograph, Chicago: Loyola Press, 1968. On line website of this translation with interactive sections: http://spex.ignatianspirituality.com/SpiritualExercises/Puhl
Tetlow, Joseph A., S.J. Choosing Christ in the World: Directing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola According to Annotations Eighteen and Nineteen. St. Louis: The Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1989
Veltri, John, S.J., Orientations for Spiritual Growth – Vol. 1 – Collections of Helps for Prayers. 1993 (Retreat Center of Guelph, Ontario, Canada)
Privately published on line by Julian Maddock: http://orientations.jesuits.ca/veltri_orientations.html -or- http://www.julianmaddock.info/texts/veltri/o1/veltri.htm