Exercises in Daily Life
Ignatius knew that not everybody would be able to make a retreat of thirty days. Practical man that he was, he devised an alternative way of making the Exercises: instead of withdrawing into solitude and concentrated prayer for a month, he suggests that the Exercises can be made in daily life, spread out over a much longer period of time.
The Exercises in Daily Life have the advantage of enabling an integration of everyday life with a vibrant experience of faith and prayer
This form of making the Exercises usually takes some nine months or more, depending on the pace at which a person moves through the experience under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It involves a commitment to daily prayer and reflection as well as a weekly or fortnightly meeting with an experienced director. This form of making the Spiritual Exercises, which has grown in popularity in recent years, may not have the concentrated focus associated with the thirty-day retreat, but it does have the advantage of facilitating the integration of faith and prayer in everyday life.
As with the thirty-day format, entry into this retreat usually grows out of experience with shorter directed retreats, regular daily prayer and on-going spiritual direction. The retreat can be made at any time of the year, but it is particularly appropriate if it can start about September, because the course of the retreat then coincides - in most cases - with the celebrations of the liturgical year.