What is required for a good retreat? What issues come up during retreats? What is the main fruit of a retreat?
Retreats are of various kinds—silent, charismatic, praise and worship, directed, preached, etc. People attend retreats for various reasons and often describe their experience differently. Retreatants come in groups or can be directed individually. I have given several retreats—to priests, seminarians, sisters, and laity; to groups, as well as individually. Some retreatants come for retreats to find comfort in difficult times, others come to deepen their faith, some because it’s mandatory, some come out of curiosity, some for healing and some because of the preacher-director. A beautiful verse from scripture that highlights the desire for God, the desire to hear what God wants of us is taken from Matthew 4:4b, where we hear: “One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” Then, having heard and responded, we can say that we have and keep God on call. In a retreat context, this hearing and responding are done in a more intense way.
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Fr Konrad Noronha SJ