A guided retreat includes optional presentations on a given topic, prayer time, possibly with rituals, and Eucharistic liturgy. Each participant will have the option of three sessions of individual spiritual direction. The environment is one of solitude and reflection.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
(Psalm 46: 10)
Preached retreats usually have a theme, Each day there will be a talk in the morning with suggestions for prayer during the day and, in the afternoon, another presentation of some sort, either another talk or some alternative form of meditative material. The retreat will be held in an atmosphere of silence. The week will also include opportunities for Eucharist, quiet reflection, there will be an opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation as well as a chance to meet with the retreat giver for individual conversation.
A Directed Retreat is a time specifically designed to help an individual experience the presence of God in their life and to listen to the call of God to them at this time. Each retreatant is assigned a director who is trained in the art of spiritual direction. The retreatant has the opportunity to meet with his or her director for minutes each day. The director listens and helps discern the presence of God in all that is happening in the individual’s prayer and reflections.
The days provide an environment of solitude. A relaxed silence is kept in the retreat center and those on retreat have the opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist, spend time in meditation, journaling, reading, art expression and listening to music. The goal is to set aside the busyness and normal activities in order to deepen your awareness of God and your relationship with God.
God is really the director of the retreat. The experience is unique for each person. God desires to draw closer to us in a relationship of love.