How Do I Get Started Making The Retreat?

The three help pages on the right side of the home page, should answer most of your questions:
  • How to use this site to make a retreat. FAQ
  • Helps for making this retreat on your own.
  • Helps for a group making this retreat.

Each of the Weeks of the retreat has a Guide page that lays out how to make that week of the retreat. The Guide page gives the theme of the week, particularly the grace to pray for that week. On the right side of the weekly Guide are the resources you can use with that week.

  • The Photo: This image helps us focus during the week. There are instructions there for setting the photo on your desktop for the week.
  • Getting Started: Additional help for beginning that particular week, and shaping one's reflection during the week.
  • For the Journey: Fr. Larry Gillick, S.J. writes a simple reflection for the week, as an aid to entering more deeply.
  • In These or Similar Words: A help for praying with my own words, with an invitation to personalize my prayer.
  • Readings: Readings from Scripture or other sources that support the graces for that week.
  • Prayers: Another resource to help enrich the week's reflection.

Each week is different, in the graces asked for and in the material reflected upon. And, one week builds upon another. The growth is progressive and step-by-step.

The Retreat uses the movements of the Spiritual Exercises to help us grow in spiritual freedom and the ability to find intimacy with God in the midst of our every day busy lives.

When Should I Start the Retreat? The retreat can begun at any time. If you read the Sharing, you can tell there are people making one or another part of the retreat all time. We offer the option of making the retreat with the Liturgical year, by beginning about the middle of September each year. This is especially wonderful for people in a family or friends, or groups of people in a parish, making the retreat together. If we start in September, we will reflect on the nativity in December and the Passion during Lent.

So, how do I do this? It's simple. Early in the week, read as much of the Guide page and the resources to the right. They will shape what you do during the upcoming week. Usually, the invitation is to let the grace you are praying for become a part of the "background" of your daily life. Asking for the grace in the morning, and staying conscious of that grace throughout the day, will allow that grace, that reflection, to interact with the events, conversations, meetings and challenges of each day. And, spending a few moments each night to express our gratitude for what we have received, will begin to shape each very interactive week with God - my asking and opening my heart, and God being patient and generous with me.

Should I use the Sharing option? It is up to you. We believe that it will enrich the graces of the retreat to share your experience of how God is working in your week with someone, somehow: a spiritual director, a friend, several friends, a group, or by sharing the graces you received with others making the retreat.

Should I read the Sharing that is posted week by week? Reading the weekly sharing about the week you are praying with, can be helpful for some. It offers us the sense of the world-wide community making the retreat along with us. It also offers a variety of ways people respond to praying with the same material. If that is comforting for you, wonderful. If you find it distracting, don't read the sharing.

Should I read the Sharing beyond where I am in the Retreat? We recommend you don't jump ahead. You can read the
Retreat Feedback page, because that sharing is from people who have sent in their feedback to us after they have finished the retreat. It can give you a sense of what the retreat has to offer.

Most of all, trust in God. God will not be outdone in generosity.

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