Our prayer is that On Retreat will help you break from habituated patterns of mind and frantic activity, make more space for God, and step into a new way of seeing, believing, and abiding.The descending way of humility is a movement towards our true self-realization. Each retreat will focus on a healthy body, a serene mind, and a powerful spirit. Your devoted guide will be modern day Christian mystic, Betty Skinner.
Affirming the Hope Hidden Within You,
~Cathy and Kitty
A Healthy Body
Do a few simple stretching exercises to energize your body, then silently integrate the inner peace of your practice for a few minutes.
A Serene Mind
Begin this portion of your time with God by sitting with a warm cup of coffee, tea, or water with lemon in a comfortable chair in a quiet place with your Bible close. Light a candle as a symbol of God’s presence with you.
A Meditation from Betty
From the tears of my own confession
That flowed with the touch of His kiss
It was this
His caress, His compassion
That compelled me
To journey deep inside
Where all the beauty of forgiveness hides
Asleep and silent, still
Until aroused and summoned at His will.
Yet, in this darkest midnight,
My only light, that of my heart’s desire,
My every substance melted by its fire,
I recognized the Stranger, my Beloved,
My Companion through the years.
For sense and intellect were gone.
In His eternity of forgiveness,
My faith grew strong, my fears grew dim
And there was nothing, nothing, nothing.
Do we not all somewhere hidden in our hearts deeply yearn to experience this intimacy with God? But how do we begin? It is all desire. We must choose to desire it. We come to prayer again and again asking God to intensify our desire. As we choose to take the next step as best we discern it, God finally meets us in the holy vacancy in our souls and, like a beam of light, pours through our transparency and connects with our spirit, filling us with this ultimate gift.
This movement toward God takes time and requires that we become partakers of solitude, silence, and prayer. It is not so much the quantity of time as much as the quality of your heart’s desire to be with God. Will you dedicate a little space in your life to be still and listen for His voice? Will you seek out and spend time with those who have already attained it? The great thirteenth century poet, Rumi, exhorts us:
“Receive the light from living saints or candles lit by those who have gone before.”
Our loving God is infinitely intimate and accessible. If you will cultivate the desire, God will make a way. Scientists approach the laws of nature with humility and perseverance and the desire to understand. If a theory doesn’t work, they simply intensify their desire and determination to find the answers. So persevere with humble trust, intentionally returning again and again until you find at last, the pearl of great price.
May our heart’s desire for God be intensified as we respond to the Love waiting within us, continually coming to Him in prayer. The Hidden Life Awakened
A Powerful Spirit
Spend a little time now, letting the Living Word speak to your heart.
Psalm 84 The Passion Translation
Rest Quietly with God
Use your imagination to visualize standing on the inside of the door of your heart, alert and listening for Jesus’ knock. If you are too busy or distracted, you may not hear it. Open the door. As air comes in and quietly does its life giving work, so Jesus will enter and do His blessed work in you. John 3:16
Journal every thought that arises without censoring as a child would. This is the indwelling Spirit speaking truth to you. Trust this for now.