*Advent Individually Guided Retreat

Starts: Sunday 4 December 2022 @ 3pm
Ends: Wednesday 7 December 2022 @ 10.30am

These days are open to anyone who wishes to experience a few days of prayer and silence as part of their Advent journey towards Christmas. “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.’ Hosea 2:14

What is an Individually Guided Retreat?

The difference between an Individually Guided Retreat and a preached retreat is that there is no specific input in the Individually Guided Retreat. Retreatants are responsible for their own retreat, and the retreat guide is a companion. Together they try to listen to what the Spirit is saying within the retreatant and to discern the spiritual direction the retreatant is being called into.

The background of the individually guided retreat is silence: silence to enable retreatants to listen to what God is saying to them. Apart from the daily meeting, for the rest of the day retreatants pray, reflect and generally organise the day so that they can listen deeply to what is going on. This is the ‘subject matter’ of the next day’s meeting with the retreat guide…

Advent is a particularly good time to spend time in the desert with John the Baptist who cried out, “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Mk 1:3). This message, ever-old, initially for the crowds two thousand years ago, is ever-new for us today. During this Advent season t is good for us to prepare the way of the Lord, clear away any obstacle that would prevent Jesus from coming to us, so that when he does appear on Christmas Day, he will have unimpeded access to our hearts.

The Retreat Guide

The retreat guide is available for about 40/45mins each day of the retreat, and during this time the role of the guide is to listen to what the retreatant has to share about what is going on within. Very often this may mean things that are occupying mind and heart from ordinary life experience. It is not primarily about sharing holy thoughts and ideas, though this may of course be part of it. Nor is the role of the guide to advise or tell the retreatant what to do.

Tips for the Retreatant

  • On beginning your Individually Guided Retreat, try to relax and enjoy the experience of having this period for God and yourself. Notice what comes into your mind.
  • We recommend that retreatants do not bring work to do or books to read, as these are well-known ways to escape from hearing the Word within.
  • Contemplative activities can be very helpful e.g. gardening, walking, drawing, painting, sewing or knitting, listening to reflective music.
  • During the Individually Guided Retreat pay attention to your dreams and feelings. Write down simply in a notebook anything that seems interesting or important to you.

Prices are to be confirmed. Please email dowryhouse@walsingham.org.uk to express your interest.