What is a (silent) retreat?
A (silent) retreat is simply a matter of going into a separate place to seek Christian growth in a disciplined way. Retreat offers us the grace to be ourselves in God’s presence without self-consciousness, without masquerade. Retreat provides the chance to be both physically and spiritually refreshed. It is a blessed opportunity to spend time generously in the presence of God. In such a time, God helps us to empty ourselves of cares and anxieties, to be filled up with wisdom that restores us.
Why should I make a retreat?
You should make it because your heart demands it, because a definite yearning calls you to something better, something more. Why should you make a retreat? Because the stirrings of grace are prompting you, because the Lord is inviting you to spend time in the courts of praise. … Your heart longs for greater closeness with God – because you are worn out by many annoyances and worries, and you are seeking the refreshment of God’s presence; because you need rest from the anxieties of ordinary living, even from the legitimate responsibilities imposed by family, work, and church; because you want to follow the example of Jesus in going apart to pray.
When should I make a retreat?
When there is no time to do it, that’s when you most need to unclutter the calendar and go apart to pray. When the gridlock of your schedule relentlessly forbids it is the time you most need retreat. That is when your heart beats against the prison walls of your enslavement and says, “Yes, Lord, I want to spend time with you.”
(adapted from “Wilderness Time” by Emilie Griffin, p. 17-18)