If you are here right now reading this, then the Retreat in Daily Life may be for you or it may not. Only you can decide that. For you see, God gave each of us the freedom to choose as we will, and no one can take that away. But if you are here reading this then the Retreat in Daily Life may be for you.
Maybe you have heard someone spoke after mass. You know the annoying announcement after mass when you are just waiting to be dismissed to go into the world proclaiming the good news. Maybe the speaker wasn’t all that eloquent but you could see the sincerity of her demeanor. Or you could hear the earnestness of the tone of her voice, Or was it something in the story she shared. Or maybe it was just a feeling you had listening to her.
Maybe it was a blurb in the bulletin. You don’t normally read the bulletin, but you just happen to be reading it while waiting for your spouse to go to the restroom after mass. Or, you may be reading it while drinking your morning coffee because the newspaper was wet. Or maybe you were looking for details for an event at church or the funeral of acquaintance. And just this morning you had heard something on the TV or the radio that talked about not putting off things until tomorrow.
Maybe it was the homily your pastor gave. Maybe he wasn’t the first one that spoke about encountering God. Yet none of them ever told you how to encounter God in any practical way. Maybe you have heard someone talked about having a personal relationship with God, and wondered what that would be like. Maybe you heard a friend talked about experiencing the Retreat in Daily Life. Maybe you’ve seen the joy in their eyes and felt the peace in their hearts when they talk about God and wondered what that would be like.
Maybe you have felt something missing in your life. No there’s nothing wrong with your life. You have a job that you’re good at and pays you adequately. Your family are all healthy and happy as well as any family can be. You’re active in the church and have many friends in the various ministries and activities. Yet you can’t shake that nagging feeling that there’s something more. And it goes away if you keep yourself busy enough.
Yet here you are. So maybe this is the right time for you to consider making the Retreat in Daily Life. Exactly what is the Retreat in Daily Life. It is exactly as it sounds, a retreat from life each day to spend time in quiet to read scripture, to be with God, and to reflect on that experience. That’s it in a nutshell. That’s not so bad, is it?
Sure, you can think of a thousand and one ways that the Retreat in Daily life is not for you, and they would all be valid. The Retreat in Daily Life is not for the faint of heart nor the weak of will. There is a daily commitment to spend time apart to be alone with God. It can be overwhelming and maybe intimidating if you’ve never prayed that way before. That’s why you will meet with a spiritual director twice a month. A spiritual director is someone who has trained to accompany people on their spiritual journeys. They have themselves made similar journeys and will serve as your guide and companion. All spiritual directors for the Retreat in Daily Life have each made the retreat themselves and have been trained to accompany someone making the Retreat in Daily Life.
What is the point of experiencing a great wonder if you cannot share it with someone who can appreciate it. Each week retreatants come together in small groups to share as much or as little as they are comfortable about what they are experiencing that week. Some retreat guides or facilitators have referred to this experience as the sharing of the fruits of prayer. Many retreatants have remarked that the sharing is just as enriching as their own prayer experiences.
Many times in scripture, Jesus would go off alone to pray. Have you ever wondered why? Maybe he is calling you to go off and be with him in prayer but you’ve always been hesitant perhaps even afraid. The Retreat in Daily Life maybe the answer to that nagging longing that you couldn’t quite name. Only you can decide, but you don’t have to make that decision on your own. A retreat guide can help you discern if this is the right time for you to make the retreat.
Jesus tells of the parable of a pearl of such great value that the merchant sold all that he possessed to buy it. What is it about the pearl that compelled the merchant to sell all that he owned to purchase it? What is the great pearl that would compel you to give up all that you have to attain it? Do you know?
Maybe the Retreat in Daily Life is for you.