1. Retreats are the best! One of the activities that was suggested to me was to write a letter to myself at the end of the retreat of all the new insights I gained and have someone mail it to me in a few months. The retreat leaders did this for us (all the participants wrote a letter) and it was surprising to read my thoughts a few months later. It definitely brought back the retreat high!

  2. Lisa, I’m glad to read that you had a fruitful retreat. While we can’t exactly keep the retreat high, we can certainly find ways to take the graces from a retreat into daily life. I like to journal and take photos, and both of those become memory-joggers when I need a reminder.

    You might also be interested in these tips for taking the Spiritual Exercises with you:

  3. Andrew

    The timing of your could not be much better. On Saturday my class finished an eight day Ignatian retreat at the St. Anthony Spirituality Center in Marathon, WI. It is my second time on a retreat like this. Most of the initial anticipation regards getting away from the cities to be some place where it is quiet. While that is indeed nice, the ability to pray in a most powerful that I had never done before was the best part. I do not share my prayer to brag but to show how powerful the Ignatian exercises and prayer are. Last summer on the first retreat I was granted a vision of myself standing at an altar. On the other side were steps that led to three chairs. The two chairs (from my perspective) were not occupied any discerible figures, just a myst or cloud. Standing in front of the chair on the left was Jesus. He said, “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age”. Then he walked down the steps and laid on the altar. From him on the altar I proceeded to offer up the sacrifice. Thanks to this recent retreat, I was given the meaning to at least part of the vision. The first was that Jesus freely gave up himself for us. The second was that by permitting me to offer up the sacrifice from him, he wants me to be one of his priests. God would have probably made that known to me at some point anyway, but I contend that it pleases Him when His children actively and passively discern His will for them and how to accomplish it.

    • Andrew, I am so proud to know you. Thank you for sharing that extraordinarily beautiful witness. What a beautiful gift you have been blessed with — thank you for being open to receive and use it for God’s greater glory. Praying for you as you continue your journey!

  4. Sue Smith

    Just expanding on the letters/journaling idea. One thing my husband and I each do on our respective annual retreats is to write a hand-written letter to each of our children (even the babies, it goes in their book)to present to them when we return. Often we don’t take the time to say what’s on our hearts and express our delight and gratitude to the kids in the midst of daily life, so it’s been very nice to be able to do that in a retreat setting. The older ones keep them in their bibles and I’ve spied them re-reading them a time or two.;) It helps them understand the purpose of our retreats is to hopefully be better parents and spouses when we return (not just to “get away from them” for a weekend–which puts the focus too selfishly on “me” instead of “we” and makes them feel like they’re a burden to us instead of the precious gifts they are) and to carry the spirit of our retreat home to the kids.

    • Thank you, Sue. This is a lovely idea. Actually there are several lovely things in your comment. I admire that you and Pat commit time to go on individual annual retreats. And I’m excited to implement hand-written letters to my kids, too. Terrific response and input. THANKS, dear!

  5. As you know, I was with you on retreat at the St.Benedict Retreat Center. And, like most people,once I am back into my routine, I lose my “retreat high.” This retreat was very different for me. The planned times to reflect and share were new. What I enjoyed the most was the private reflection, so, on Monday morning I tried to mimic what I did at the center. I sat outside, and just listened for God in the wind. I tried to empty my mind, allowing myself to stop thinking about my agenda, and let Him fill the space. I did the same thing today. I hope I can continue; it is such a peaceful way to begin my day. And, more importantly, I was able to do this at home.

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