Holy Cross Hackett recently hosted a ‘Retreat in Daily Life’. The aim of the retreat was to give participants a special opportunity to draw closer to God in their personal prayer at home, by following a set pattern of prayerful meditations on Scripture passages over several days, drawing on the wisdom of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of Ignatian spirituality.
The Retreat in Daily Life was designed to do on your own, in your own time. You can find all the details at: holycrosshackett.org.au/?p=2228
Retreat participants Reverend Mandy Wheatley, Archdeacon Jane Simmonds and Chris Ledger share their experiences of the retreat.
Mandy writes: Recently Reverend Tim Watson offered an online Ignatian Retreat in Daily Life from Monday 30 Aug to Sunday 5 Sept.
Beautifully designed so that it could be done in our own time and in our own homes, we were given important opportunities to gather on Zoom for Morning Prayer and at the beginning and the end of the retreat for a final reflection time.
All the necessary resources and information were provided for us on the web page, including two most helpful short videos on how to pray with the Scriptures and the examination at the end of the day.
Why did you decide to do the retreat?
Mandy: During lock-down I was looking for a way to use the time given to us to make a retreat of some sort and reconnect with God.
Jane: I wanted to spend time alone with God, to seek healing and forgiveness for some of my memories.
Chris: It was offered at a time of personal transition for me and I welcomed it as a useful framework and guide.
What was the experience like?
Mandy: The Ignatian spiritual disciplines of reading the Bible, prayer and reflection fitted into everyday life for me, giving me a framework and impetus to refresh my faith.
I enjoyed simply praying every morning with others as we travelled spiritually together.
Jane: Intense. The Bible readings and guided meditations brought me into a sacred place, into the awesome presence of God, into a new relationship with him. There were tears and joy as I opened my life to his prompting and love. I felt confirmed in my ministry and at the same time given a new direction. There was the invitation to trust God in all things, in my past and for my future.
Praying the Examen at the end of the day helped me to relive the events in a new perspective. This was a humbling experience.
Doing the retreat at home was most beneficial. I was very comfortable in my surroundings and enjoyed the time to walk and think without having to keep to any external timetable.
Chris: It was calming, supportive, inspiring and opened me to listen to the ‘still small voice’.
What was the fruit of the retreat for you?
Mandy: Each day was like going on a journey which deepened my experience with God.
I found myself speaking to God and listening to God’s words for my life by intentionally doing small exercises at the beginning and the end of the day.
I also was able to make time throughout the day to stop and reflect on what God was saying to me moment by moment.
Jane: The main thing for me was peace and a bit of an appreciation of God’s immense love. The challenge is to share that overwhelming love with others.
Chris: It encouraged me to rest, listen, take a breath and to offer new gifts to church life in creative ways.
Would you recommend this form of retreat to others? Who would it suit?
Mandy: Anyone with a desire to grow spiritually will find it engaging and helpful.
I would be happy to recommend trying the retreat if you wanted to refocus on your relationship with God and the Bible.
Any one of the video teachings would be a great tool to use for devotions or reflection.
Those who enjoy using their imagination will be able to share with Jesus more deeply, especially using Tim’s clear teaching method.
Thank you so much Tim!
Jane: I have already recommended this retreat to deacons outside our diocese. I think it would suit people who are intentionally willing to explore a deeper relationship with God and who are prepared to spend the minimum set time each day to do this.
Chris: Yes. Almost anyone in lockdown at this time.