The New Year often brings about resolutions to exercise more, but one Jesuit is now offering personal spiritual training for those who want to “work out” a different part of their lives.
Jesuit Father Randy Roche is the director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Recently, Fr. Roche came up with the idea of adapting the personal training approach used for physical training to spirituality and added personal spiritual training to the center’s offerings.
“One day I thought, ‘What if we could be personal trainers for people looking for help with a particular problem or who want to learn how to bring more reflection into their lives?’” Fr. Roche said. “We could offer a less formal version of the Spiritual Exercises for people who know they have a hunger and are looking for someone to guide them.”
The exercises, which include meditating and contemplating, are “spirituality for busy people.” The personal training sessions are designed to meet immediate individual needs and take only the time necessary to help accomplish a goal.
Fr. Roche said most of the participants at the center are LMU faculty and staff members with questions about how to reflect and get in touch with feelings as they relate to making choices. Others need help with striking a balance between thinking and feeling. Once the goal is accomplished, things don’t stop there. Participants can return for maintenance sessions or an occasional spiritual tune-up.
Currently Fr. Roche shares training duties at the center with Jesuit Bishop Gordon Bennett and Anne Hennessy, CSJ. “My dream has always been that there will eventually be some faculty and staff who will do some of the training,” said Fr. Roche.
Fr. Roche has also started a blog for the center. “It lets people comment and add their own take on Ignatian spirituality and it’s open to anyone. We also are on Facebook and I’m writing a weekly spirituality essay for our website,” Fr. Roche said.
For more on Fr. Roche and the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at LMU, read the full story at AJCU Connections.