What is a Retreat?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” Mat 11:29.
Longing for some peace and quiet? Wanting to get in touch with God?
Jesus says, “Come”. But you may say, “I do come each morning and on Sundays and at other times but God seems so far away and I get so busy and distracted!”
Is a Retreat the answer?
To retreat from the daily grind, the noise of life and the busyness of people and work. Wouldn’t it be good to be able to give your full attention to God and to know his special touch on your life? In the Gospels we often see Jesus going into the desert for solitude and silence and to meet with his God. When we are still and wholly present to God, he brings the refreshment our weary souls need and helps us focus that we may receive guidance and direction to empower us on the journey.
To connect and dialogue in a meaningful way it is essential to give God our undivided attention. In retreat it is easier to centre on his presence within and control distractions that may draw us away. In retreat we are free from the daily routines, the demands of family and work and we are able to present to God an open, receiving heart, a listening ear and eyes willing to see, wholly directed at the wonder and reality of his presence all around.
In the sacred space of a retreat we can look at the world, with fresh eyes, we can enter our concerns in the company of Jesus and find his healing and compassionate understanding. God is all around and in all things but we are more likely to see him and hear him and know him when we retreat and go to a quiet place, just to be with him. At a retreat we have the wonderful opportunity to hear the voice of God more clearly than in the midst of the noise of daily life. As we meditate on scriptures, sit and contemplate the beauty of his creation, pray and reflect and listen intently from the heart, God will speak and we will be blessed.
– Patricia Stitt
Reflections on Retreats