Tuesday, 10 May 2011
The Benefits of Going on Retreat
In August Beata, myself and the boys will be visiting the Taize Community in France. Taize is where Beata and I met as 19 year olds. Returning to Taize is always a very special time for us as a family. It is a wonderful to be able to spend time in prayer and Bible study, living simply, and meeting people from all corners of the world. For me the opportunity to go on retreat to places like Taize, helps draw me closer to God, and what matters most in life. Pope John Paul II once described Taize as "that little springtime!" I understand what he means, because I always come away from Taize feeling spiritually refreshed and renewed.
More and more people are discovering the benefits of going on Christian retreats. A retreat gives a chance to step aside from life for a while, to rest and just 'be' in a welcoming, peaceful place. Retreats offer the opportunity to find space, reflect, pray, and reconnect with God and yourself. Of course you don't need to go all the way to France to go on retreat, there are plenty of places closer to home. There are a wide variety of retreats to choose from, depending on what you are interested in, and what you are looking for. Most retreats vary in length from anything between two to seven days, although there are some that last up to thirty days.
If you are wishing for some quiet time, wanting a weekend to develop your interest, longing to know more about prayer, need some time for reflection away from work and family, or wanting to deepen your spiritual life, then a retreat could be for you.
If you are not been on a retreat before, and not sure what to expect, then I would encourage you to take the opportunity to go on day retreat, Lichfield Diocese regularly runs quiet days, and there are places locally where you can go for a quiet day or mini retreat.
If you would like more information about Christian retreats I recommend the Retreat Association website www.retreats.org.uk. Finally, if you do fancy spending a week on retreat amongst the vineyards of Burgundy visit the Taize website www.taize.fr