A choose—your—own—plan retreat

A friend, after reading yesterday’s blog, wanted to know about the place I was retreating. Like so many of us, she was in need of a time away for spiritual refreshment.

Although in the days before the you know what, I retreated at least annually to Our Lady of Grace Monastery, in the you know what times, we have to be more creative. In these times, we especially have an invitation to create our own retreat, alone or with spiritual partners.

Here is my recipe for a create your own retreat:

Select a place to go where you can find a quiet space and includes access to the outdoors.

You can go with a plan, or create it as you move through the day. Ideally, it includes something to read,

something to make,

a place and a way to move, preferably outside

time to be still and silent, time to rest and time to laugh. What will you eat? Where will you eat?

For this Epiphany retreat, I chose a house I’ve rented many times which is familiar, pretty, and comfortable. It includes a kiva, well-stocked kitchen, beautiful art, and a garden with tables and chairs.

Before I entered the house, I made a stop at Cid’s grocery for food essentials—good bread, local cheese, half and half, organic fruit, ice cream and locally roasted coffee from my favorite coffee place.

Mornings bring a variety of quiet activities. This retreat has included some paired devotions—my friend and I are reading aloud the Gospel of Luke and from a book of poetry written by a woman of riper years—all in front of the fire.

And then the day enfolds with an intentionality of mindful attention to soul restoration.

A retreat plan anyone can use.

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