What is a mini-retreat or Quiet day?
On Sunday, it was proposed that we have a day of spiritual preparation during Advent as a help for the upcoming, great feast of the Nativity of our Lord, Jesus. Sunday’s informal, impromptu meeting may have left some with misconceptions about the day. As we hope all will join us, I hope this note will clear up some possible questions.
On December 9, 2010, St Mark’s Church will be the location of a day of preparation. We will have some structure and some free time in order to consider. A quiet day is not a day for the preacher to fill you with the preacher’s thoughts and ideas. It is a time for some words, followed by free time, which is quiet in nature, to consider the words, to pray, and most importantly to be receptive of our Lord. We can prepare for His coming, by listening to Him, in prayer. We can only receive Him when we are still. “Be still and know that I am God!” Our liturgy is there to help us each Sunday to prepare for receiving Him.
Being quiet means turning off distractions, cell phones, computers, not filling space with words, music, thoughts of what you need to do, planning and the like. This is in opposition to the frenetic nature of the world, as seen during the “pre-Christmas” season, we call Advent. If we focus on His coming in quietness, we shall be blessed.
There is a certain structured part of the day. We start with Morning Prayer, a brief talk, followed by free, quiet time, wherein you may sit in the church, if you wish. You may walk down the street and contemplate and pray. You are not confined to space or time for awhile. Should anybody wish to receive the Sacrament of Confession during this time, there will be time. We will then come together for Mass or Holy Communion and some again brief comments. We will conclude at Noon and those interested could lunch together.
Quiet Day Schedule:
9:00 am Morning Prayer
9:20 am First Talk
9:30 am Quiet time for prayer, meditation, contemplation, while sitting, standing or walking, inside the church, on the street or even to the lagoon
10:30 am Re Gather for Mass, Second Talk for a sermon
11:30 am A Time for sharing
Noon For those who wish, lunch at a nearby restaurant
It has long been the church’s practice to fast and abstain from the world, from excessive chatter, indulgent eating, looking inward so that the upcoming feast is more blessed. This is the goal for the day. For those who are new to the practice, it may be daunting. Let us take a small step this year and see what this mini-retreat is all about.