Individual_Retreats

WHAT IS AN INDIVIDUALLY DIRECTED RETREAT?

A spring scene: two people walk from the house toward the bridge and grottoIn an individually directed retreat three parties are involved. The first is the Lord who desires to draw closer to us in a relationship of love, and who invites and inspires individuals for that purpose to come aside to a secluded place and rest a while (Mk 6:30-32).

The second is the retreatant, a person who is seeking a more intimate relationship with the Lord and perhaps the Lord’s will in some particular area of life. The retreatant responds willingly under grace to God’s call, sets aside the normal occupations and preoccupations of daily life, comes to a place apart, like Manresa, and takes the time to grow quiet, to center, and to listen for what the Lord will say. Retreatants need to have experience in prayer, the ability to enter into silence, enough self-awareness to recognize their own inward movements and feelings and their moments of consolation and desolation in prayer, and enough openness and trust to share these experiences with their director.

The third party is the retreat director. “Spiritual companion on the journey” might be a more appropriate title, since it is the Lord who directs both retreat and retreatant. The director, in daily meetings with the retreatant, listens to and encourages retreatants to give voice to their experience in prayer and to come to a deeper perception and understanding of that experience. Together they try to discover the movements of the Holy Spirit, to discern the direction God appears to be leading, and to choose topics for prayer that seem the most appropriate at that moment.

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The Sacred Heart Court
(Photo: Dave Brockman)

Thus, while conference retreats are aimed at the general situation of a number of people, and private retreats are sometimes made by experienced retreatants on their own without a director, individually directed retreats are tailored to suit the unique calling and experience of an individual through the assistance of an experienced spiritual guide. Manresa retreat directors draw upon their experience and knowledge of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola and upon the spirituality, dynamic, principles, and various meditations and prayer forms of those Exercises to advise retreatants about the unique and personal journey that each retreatant is making.

On a typical day retreatants will meet individually with the director. For Roman Catholics the Eucharist is a focal point of the day. The rest of the time is spent in meditation and other activities designed to deepen their awareness of God and their relationship with God. These activities are solitary and contemplative and can include journaling, reading, listening to music, or walking on Manresa’s 39-acre grounds.The number, nature and length of periods of formal prayer each day will depend upon the ability and needs of the individual, as will the length of the retreat itself. Most people make retreats of five to eight days in length. We strongly recommend a minimum of at least three full days since it takes some time just to slow down and get into the silence.

To inquire further contact us.

To apply for a retreat of eight days or fewer select the dates most convenient to you and register online here or by using the printable form that is on our Menu to the left. Among other considerations, acceptance of the application will depend upon the availability of room and an appropriate director for the time chosen.