Depending on how many years seminarians have been at Allen Hall exams come sooner (for those studying at Heythrop College for their Theology degrees) or later (for those doing fundamental biblical and philosophical work in-house). This last weekend we all made the attempt to put revision aside and remember that the study is a means towards a greater knowledge and love of God who has called us. Fr Simon Bishop SJ came to lead us in this term’s Silent Weekend and focused our attention on the First Principle and Foundation from St Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises. So we were led to question our hearts’ desires and to seek for freedom, thanksgiving and joy. Were we tempted to pick up the odd textbook in the space and quiet of the weekend? Probably not, with St Ignatius asking us to be ‘desiring and choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created.’
The small space of the weekend makes us look forward to the week of Annual Retreat in later June, when exams will be over; surely, a time of freedom and joy.