You Need a Silent Retreat

As we’re now in the Easter season and summer is just around the corner, I want to strongly encourage all of you to sign yourselves up for a silent retreat this year. Yep, just look at your summer calendars, and do it.
Unfortunately for me, I’ll have to wait until my latest baby is done nursing before I can go, but for the rest of you, just do it!

You all know how important it is to step back in silence from time to time to be with God.  I’m sure I don’t need to convince you.  The hardest part, however, is actually going. Of course Satan hates silent retreats. He’ll do anything to prevent you from spending time with God. In fact, retreat masters will tell you to expect all kinds of obstacles to appear, especially at the last minute.

Let me give you an example. Last year I was signed up to attend a private silent retreat with a small group of mothers, but just hours before the retreat was to begin, our Retreat Master was forced to cancel. So we were left wondering if we should still go, without a Retreat Master?

Well, we decided yes. After all, what harm could come from spending time alone with God for a weekend, even if it wasn’t directed? And I am so glad we did! For God always provides, and He sent an excellent priest at the last minute to replace the previous one. We had a Shepherd and the Sacraments.

As an aside, it should also be noted that we had coffee available all day too. This is important because during day two or three, when you’ve already put in a few holy hours, read your Bible, prayed a rosary, walked a few miles, and spent an hour sitting on a rock pile at the end of a tree row, you will need coffee.

In any case, you all need to go on retreat, or into the desert, if you like. And since I can’t get enough of Cardinal Sarah lately, I’ll leave you with a small quotation from his latest book The Power of Silence.

“It is vitally important to withdraw to the desert in order to combat the dictatorship of a world filled with idols that gorge themselves on technology and material goods, a world dominated and manipulated by the media, a world that flees God by taking refuge in noise.”

By the way, have you ever read anything by Cardinal Sarah? He’s got two of the greatest books ever written out now – God or Nothing and The Power of Silence. Buy a copy for yourself and your priest. You won’t regret it.

Kim Heilman and her husband live in the cold, cold north where they are raising seven children.  She is a stay-at-home mom and is thankful for such things as coffee, wine, and the Catholic Church.  Her conversion story may be found in Ascension Press's Amazing Grace for Families book.  She also blogs at Musings From the Home.