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.
“Learn of me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Jesus
Humility is simply seeing yourself as you are. Yes, you are weak and sinful, but this awareness, though important, is not perfect humility. Perfect humility comes from remembering and adoring God’s goodness and overwhelming love. If constant wallowing in self-hatred for sin and failures were humility, how could Jesus, who was without sin, have made the statement above? Why did He tell the prostitute wiping His feet with her tears that her sins were forgiven? Because with godly, heartfelt sorrow she offered Him “such extravagant love.” Luke 7:47-Amazing.
A Reflection from Betty
Humility is that lowliness of heart which seeks nothing for itself. It is an unselfconscious way of being. Pride is the false self’s illusions which promote an inordinate and blinding self-consciousness or self-hatred. The descending way of humility is a movement towards our true self’s realization. By descending, we expose the false in order to perceive the true. When we finally see the truth, we are free.
The path of humility goes through humiliation. Our consent to suffer the pain silently and alone for the sake of Love’s way gently, yet painfully, brings us to that low, empty place within our hearts where the Holy One and the human one meet in tenderest love and forgiveness – profound humility.
The self-emptying of the Incarnate God is the ultimate expression of humility and the most compelling invitation to empty ourselves of all that is false in us. The lower, the emptier we are before God, the more complete the inflow of His Divine Glory will be. Humility, the place of entire dependence on God, is, from the very nature of things, the first duty and the highest virtue of man. It is the root of every virtue.
“It is difficult for us to grasp the truth that Jesus came not to astonish us with the great power and high visibility of God, but rather to show us the way of hiddenness and humility. In contrast to our culture that applauds upward mobility, the inner life affirms that God’s path is the descending way. It leads us to a deeper understanding that, in His eyes, the most significant is often the most hidden.
This contemplative life of humility flows from a pure heart that has persevered through much suffering and found its way to the Source. When we finally come to see that our desire for God is an echo of God’s far more encompassing and passionate desire for us, we can offer others a glimpse of light in the midst of their confusion, darkness, and pain. It is the love, hope, and encouragement of the One in Whom all is lost, yet all is found.” The Hidden Life Awakened
A Powerful Spirit
Spend a little time now, letting the Living Word speak to your heart.
Rest Quietly with God
Use your imagination to visualize Jesus sitting there with you or in any other setting that brings you peace. He quietly asks you these questions: What do those closest to you think about you? How much truth is there in what they say? How do you treat them on a daily basis? How do you accept criticism? Will you become an observer of you and try to see where you need to change? With no self judgement, simply thank God for the amazing gift of forgiveness.
Journal every thought that arises without censoring as a child would. This is the indwelling Spirit speaking truth to you. Trust this for now.