Continuing the Journey – Savoring your Retreat

Often upon leaving our retreat experience we may recognize that we have had ‘encounters’ with God, be they ‘mountain top’ experiences, simple experiences of quiet and silence with God, or moments of challenge and growth. We wonder ‘can I continue to allow God to lead’ and continue to reveal the fruits of our time together – how can I carry the gifts forward into my everyday life? Perhaps the following practices can be helpful in continuing the journey…

Pray

  • Be intentional, yet realistic, in setting aside time for prayer – it may only be 5 minutes
  • Remember, prayer can include a daily awareness of God’s presence in our everyday experiences
  • Try new approaches to prayer

Reflect

  • In your busy day, give yourself room and permission to reflect
  • Take a few minutes to call to mind what has been happening during the day – what is significant? How did I respond? Or, did I react? Is there something I would like to bring to God for healing? Is there anything I need to say or do? Is there something I can release to God?
  • Where was my prayer focused today?
  • What was the best thing that happened today? How did I / can I show my gratitude?

Be Still

  • Quiet yourself enough to listen to God’s voice in the “hub” – our inner recesses where God dwells
  • Learn to savor the silence and the quiet – even small moments of intentional stillness can bring a sense of calm to the chaos
  • Give yourself permission to ‘breathe’ (you might be surprised what 3 deep breaths can do!)
  • Quiet your heart, become receptive and open to possibility

Ritual

  • Find a Spiritual Director to companion you on your journey
  • Join a faith-sharing group, prayer group or book club
  • Choose something that helps you relax
    • Take a little walk, if only in the parking lot
    • Light a candle or play some quiet music
    • Treat yourself to a book, massage, movie or flowers
    • Read through your journal or retreat notes

Printed Resources

Prayer:

  • William A. Barry, SJ, God and You: Prayer as a Personal Relationship (Paulist Press, 1987)
  • William A. Barry, SJ, Discernment in Prayer: Paying Attention to God (Ave Maria Press, 1990)
  • Joan Chittister, OSB, 25 Windows into the Soul: Praying with the Psalms (Benetvision, 2007)
  • Sybil MacBeth, Praying in Color: Drawing a new Path to God (Paraclete Press, 2007)
  • Christine Valters Painter, Lucy Wynkoop, OSB Lectio Divina: Contemplative Awakening and Awareness (Paulist Press, 2008)
  • Various Authors, Praying with Series…. (The Word Among Us) “This series makes available the rich spiritual teachings of mystics and guides whose wisdom can help us on our pilgrimages”

Reflection:

  • Dennis Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn, Matthew Linn, SJ, Sleeping with Bread: Holding What Gives You Life (Paulist Press, 1995)
  • Robert J. Wicks, No Problem: An Inner Workshop – Turning the Next Corner in Your Spiritual Life (Sorin Books, 2014)

Be Still:

  • Joseph M. Champlin, Slow Down: Five Minute Meditations to De-Stress Your Days (Sorin Books, 2004)
  • Robert J. Wicks, Snow Falling On Snow, (Paulist Press, 2001)
  • Macrina Wiederkehr, Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day (Sorin Books, 2008)

Ritual:

  • Kathleen O’Connell Chesto, Family Prayer for Family Times: Traditions, Celebrations and Rituals (Twenty-Third Publications, 2000)
  • Charles Cummings, The Mystery of the Ordinary (Harper and Rowe, 1982)

Just a few additional Authors to assist us with continuing the journey of faith:

Paula D-Arcy * Thomas Keating * Henri Nouwen * Ronald Rohlheiser Richard Rohr * Joyce Rupp * Margaret Silf * Robert Wicks