Many people have never been on a retreat but could benefit from one. I want to suggest that a spring retreat might be as valuable for you as spring break.
In the upcoming Lenten Season, March 4-9, our Saint Charles Retreat House is offering a retreat for persons who are very busy and who have never been on a retreat—or not for many years or decades. It will begin with a meal and overview on Sunday evening, March 4, from 6-7:00. At that time, you will be paired with a spiritual companion or guide who would talk with you each of the following days until Friday, March 9, when we conclude with a summary gathering to review what occurred and pray The Stations of the Cross, also from 6-7:00. Each day in between, you would take an hour in prayer, or with your spiritual partner, contemplating Lenten themes in which you accompany Jesus. You would journey with Him into the desert, to the mountaintop, and meet some scriptural characters (The Woman at the Well, The Man Born Blind, Lazarus and his sisters, and some of the people Christ encountered along the road to Calvary as He endured His passion); they are mostly people who, like us, are sinners and sojourners desiring to become saints, or at least faithful followers and friends.
This retreat may not be your thing. Nevertheless, you may have, at various times, given thought to strengthening your relationship with The Lord through a retreat or spiritual direction. This time of year—as winter looms and spring awaits—is a perfect time to do so. In the Gospel accounts, we are told that Jesus was continuously retreating. He, too, was extremely busy—people wouldn’t leave Him alone. So He went to the desert, went to the mountaintop, went to the seashore, got in a boat and crossed to another land. It sounds a bit like what we do each spring when we head to the deserts of Arizona or the mountains of Colorado or the beaches of Florida or get into a boat that takes us to other shores. Of course, the thing that is usually missing from our modern spring breaks is a spiritual component.
To retreat means to withdraw, get away, pull back, regroup, strategize, find a place of refuge or seclusion, enter a quiet place. Like Jesus, we ought to do this on a regular basis. When He retreated, He sought counsel from His heavenly Father while He pondered interior mysteries about His existence and His mission so that He could better deal with day to day challenges. While we retreat, we also ponder interior mysteries with the counsel and insight of others that might help us better understand who we are, whose we are, and what our mission and purpose is. Through self-awareness and self-understanding, we will get pointed toward self-betterment and peace so that we can deal with daily challenges in healthy and holy ways. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, will lead us.
If you are interested in the March 4-9 busy persons’ retreat or in a mini (four hour) retreat here, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 816-436-0880.