We’re keeping this retreat simple.
Each day of our retreat will have the following five elements:
Reading Scripture. One story from Scripture will be shared with you. The story has been selected to focus on one event during Holy Week. We are already quite familiar with the events that transpired during the very first Holy Week, but by focusing on just one story a day, we hope we will be able to take a deeper dive into the mysteries of Lent.
Stilling the Self. The Scriptural passage will be followed by a time of quiet reflection on the Gospel story, as well as on your life. Scripture often has a way of shedding light on what’s going on in the world and in our own lives. We just need to quiet ourselves and listen. So an essential part of this retreat will be you going off-screen to pray and reflect on Scripture and your life. I hope you take advantage of this rare opportunity!
Sharing with Strangers. Sharing your thoughts and feelings has always been an important ingredient in our online retreat since the very first year we started. First of all, sharing is anonymous by default so it’s confidential.
Secondly, when we share, we clarify our thoughts and feelings for ourselves, and we get to relish the graces that we’ve received. That’s a pretty good reason to participate, isn’t it?
But just as importantly, sharing builds our online faith community. We learn about one another’s journeys and struggles. We learn from one another. And we can pray for one another. So often in past retreats, we realize that the strangers we share with turn out to be kindred spirits who find themselves on similar journeys.
Stretching the Soul. I’ve described my surgery last December as “soul-stretching” because of the challenges–and graces–it brought me. This Holy Week, could the Lord be likewise challenging us to do more and to become more as a result of our reflections and prayers? The answer is probably “Yes” because as you may have guessed, God is constantly calling us to grow into better and holier people. I will suggest some ideas, but at the end of the day, it is you who will decide what God’s call to you may be this Holy Week.
Praying through Song. We will end each day’s module with a song. If you are familiar with our Pins of Light retreats, you will know what to expect: The songs we will feature are “unlikely” choices because they are often not explicitly religious, but rather secular songs–but given a religious twist. Precisely because they are non-religious, these songs can sometimes surprise us and express our thoughts and feelings in a fresh and more powerful manner. I hope our songs will be a good way for us to end each day.
Needless to say, it is important to make an effort not to skim or scroll quickly through the retreat. This retreat has been designed to be shorter than previous years’, so slow down, take your time, linger…