Come away and rest

The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves…and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. (Mark 6:30-31)

Like the apostles, our lives can feel full, if not overwhelming, especially at the onset of a busy academic year. And, like the apostles, Jesus invites us to come away and rest amidst the busy-ness of our daily lives. The Prayer in Daily Life (PDL) retreats, based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, provide a practical and intimate way to encounter God’s grace during the busy and even chaotic moments of daily life through designated times for prayer and spiritual direction during a typical week.

10594888395_698d74dd7c_oYears ago, I felt consumed with academic, professional and personal responsibilities. I did not make much space for rest, or for consistent prayer, even though I felt called to each opportunity by God. Knowing I needed a break, I signed up for the PDL. The idea of a retreat during my daily life intrigued me, especially since I could plan both my prayer and spiritual direction times around my schedule.

My encounter with Christ through scripture and my spiritual director that week shifted how I approached God, prayer and my daily activities. I did not have to leave everything behind to become aware of God’s active presence in my life; God met me where I was at, in the midst of a busy life. After the retreat, I continued with the prayer, and I began to experience what Ignatius calls being a contemplative in action, that is, allowing my deepening relationship with God to transform my work, relationships and focus. As time went on, I was able to respond to other calls in my life – chaplaincy, retreats and motherhood – with Ignatian prayer shaping my discernment and actions.

The overwhelmed feelings still persist; however, I now have the tools to respond to the invitation to “Come away…and rest” with a God who engages with and sustains me no matter what the circumstances of my day.

All are invited to experience an Ignatian way to “come away and rest…” through prayer and companionship at the Fall and Spring Prayer in Daily Life Retreats. For more information, please click here (new window).

Written by Natalie Perl Regan, Interim Director for the Prayer in Daily Life Retreat