What is a Silent Retreat?
- It is simply a time for total quiet. No phones. No TV. No radio. Not event talk.
- It is a time to draw near to Him in a new and refreshing way.
- It is a time to enter the crevice of the mountain, as Elijah did to meet God.
- It is a time to let your Heavenly Papa woo you with His lavish love.
- It is time to kneel in the garden, as Jesus did at Gethsemane.
- It is a time of luxury, completely unstructured; to rest, reflect, and renew ourselves in our Lord.
- It is a time to shift from "doing" to "being."
What Happens on a Silent Retreat?
After a brief introductory session and a meal together, everyone attending will then enter into silence. You will meet with Laura between 1-3 times (depending on length). She will guide the discussion in an effort to explore what God may be speaking to you.
We ask that there be no other speaking, including meals. The rest of the time is free:
- Free to walk, skip, jump, dance, or run.
- Free to pray, cry, or smile.
- Free to rest or sleep.
- Free to journal.
- Free to read. (However, anything other than the Bible and SR handouts is discouraged).
- Free to listen to your Father, the birds, the trees, the water.
- Free to slow down and look up.
But How Will I Know What TO DO?
The introductory session will help to set a course, but often your Heavenly Daddy has a different agenda than we plan. Without the noise many are quickly guided by God. Sometimes, initially, some wrestle with a period of discomfort and uncertainly.
But all find and experience something more than they anticipated. Usually participants don't want to leave; especially those who were most hesitant to attend. Let this be a time away, and a “honeymoon with God.”
And here’s some science to back up God’s advice. “The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.” http://tinyurl.com/j8foz2n I told you. God knows what He is talking (pun intended) about.
“Be STILL and KNOW, I am GOD!” Psalm 46:10
Is Fasting Part of the Silent Retreat?
You are fasting—from words!! But No, fasting from food is not required. However, if you chose, you may skip any or all meals to include a fast in your experience. Please let Laura know in advance.
"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."—Jesus (Mark 6:30-31)
To learn more, contact Laura: Laura@LauraPetherbridge.com
Some Famous Silent Retreaters
St. Teresa of Avila
St. John of the Cross
Ignatius of Loyola
History of the Ignatian Retreat
The word "retreat" in its etymological meaning signifies a withdrawal. In Catholic parlance then, a retreat means a withdrawal from secular things in order to go to the supernatural, to leave the temporal in order to find the eternal, to sacrifice the human in order to obtain the divine.
The whole of human history testifies to the fact that whenever God wished to make use of a man as a chosen instrument, that man had to "retreat" from the world and from his former mode of life, find God and become docile to his inspirations through this withdrawal and the inevitable asceticism or spiritual exercise this inevitably entailed.
Such was the case of Abraham, who had to leave the "house of his father and his kindred." Such was true too of Moses, who was tempered by God in forty years of shepherding in the desert. It was true of the Apostles, who withdrew to the upper room for 8 days under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
A spiritual retreat of one kind or another always preceded the manifestations of grace in the servants of God.