Retreat: A Vacation with the Lord

by Kathleen Glavich, SND on July 4, 2012

in Blogs

We recharge our laptops and our cell phones. Sometimes our spiritual lives need recharging too. We religious have the luxury of making a week-long retreat every year. This is a time to withdraw from the busyness of ministry and world events and concentrate on deepening our relationship with God. Its a time to ask big questions, such as What am I doing with my life? What needs to change? Who is God for me? Anyone can make a retreat.

Retreat houses as well as parishes offer opportunities for solitude, silence, prayer, and reflection. These range from thirty-day retreats to half-days of recollection. Usually they are conducted by a retreat director. But private retreats are also an option. My community has the practice of making a morning retreat on one Sunday each month. Family and work commitments can make it difficult to get away for a formal retreat. But those who take their spiritual life seriously can carve out a few hours now and then to spend time with the Lord. I heard of one woman who drives to a quiet street, parks her car, and enjoys free time there praying.

A retreat may lead us to God through the wonders of creation. This past week God touched me through a running stream with thousands of darting tadpoles, thirteen soaring chicken hawks, and a fiery red sunset. God spoke through the Bible I read in my room and the readings at Mass. He spoke through the director, who presented Jesus as a rule-breaker who followed his heart. And God showed me a new way to pray.

God tells us in a psalm, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). In the gospel Jesus invites, “Come apart and rest awhile” (Mark 6:31). A wit pointed out that if we don’t come apart and rest awhile, we may just come apart!

Has a retreat ever made a difference in your life? How?


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