Why a Silent Directed Retreat?


Jesus calls us to retreat: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:28

A silent retreat offers the privilege and freedom to concentrate our attention fully on God; desiring deeper intimacy, we seek Him with our body and soul. In a sense going on a silent retreat is an act of faith: not demanding a specific outcome, simply coming to God with empty hands and receptive hearts; no agenda, just being available to God. Abandoning your busy life and all the roles you play, you offer yourself to God for whatever he wishes to say to you or do in you. You are invited to simply be loved in the presence of God. We were created for intimate friendship with Him, and He longs for us to wait on Him in listening silence and receive His word and love in the depths of our hearts.

A silent directed retreat allows you the opportunity to seek God with others. Community gatherings offer times of worship and thoughts for meditation on scripture for your solitude time with God. The facilitator simply offers the rhythms and prepares the “upper room” space to relax with the Lord and commune with Him. A variety of optional prayer stations are provided. Optional opportunities for a conversation with a spiritual director can help you go deeper into both God’s heart and your own. The Holy Spirit is seen as the Director of your retreat, and the One to follow as you listen for His still small voice. The hope is for each retreatant to encounter God’s loving presence and receive what is needed for this season in their journey of faith.

Some other fruits of your silent retreat may be:

  • Training in self-control. James 3:6 says the tongue is harder to control than a horse! At first it requires energy to inhibit your desire to speak, and then as you relax you may begin to realize that continual talking is the real dissipator of energy. When we choose time for silence our words become more meaningful as we discover how much we depend on our words to project and maintain our self-images as our identity and self-worth.
  • Deeper intimacy with God and renewed dedication to prayer. Retreat is a place to meet with God as the Lover of your soul and the One who knows you best. He is always faithful to “show up” as we take the time to gaze into His face, and allow HIm to burn His image more deeply into our souls. 
  • Self-knowledge. As you draw near to God, he will draw near to you (Jm 4:8). When we encounter God, we emerge more deeply loved just as we are, in deeper awareness of our need for His mercy and grace. When we focus our attention towards God, He often leads us back towards ourselves with His gentle invitations of spiritual formation. A retreat invites reflection on life questions such as: Who am I when I am alone with God and with myself? Am I fulfilling God's purpose and meaning for my life?

“Lord, let me know myself; let me know you.” — Augustine, Confessions

In the atmosphere of prayer, a retreat allows for leisurely enjoyment of nature, naps and intentional meditation on the word. There is no pressure to produce or accomplish - just hanging out with God and investing in our friendship with Him. As we create space to soak in God’s word, expectantly wait on Him, and notice our deepest desires, He gives us our marching orders for becoming even more powerful witnesses of Jesus Christ when we return to our daily lives. 

Retreat is a “planned assault on compulsive busyness, a form of radical surgery to help you slow down and live into the unhurried pace of eternity.”  — Sara Park McLaughlin, Meeting God in Silence

Read more: Why Retreat?
You are invited to join us at our next Silent Directed Retreat on April 14-15, 2023. Learn more here.

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