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. 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
Trusting the Darkness
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 Reflection from Betty
We need to shift our focus and accept that this season of darkness is truly a time of preparation, a stilling. Acceptance of this ‘not-knowing’ brings forth a complete transformation of self if we will trust it. Its purpose is purification and purgation and leads ultimately to freedom—freedom to finally be who God created us to be, to love and live in God, and to be filled with God. If we will allow the darkness and the silence, God will allow the seeds of our false self to die enough for Him to send up a little sprout of new life. It takes a long time for a tree to grow to its fullness, but as it emerges from the darkness, it offers shelter and beauty to the world.
The way of trust lies through Gethsemane and Holy Saturday. We move from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, omitting Holy Saturday—the tomb. Every phase of our Lord’s life and every aspect of His death speaks to us, if we will open to it. Divine obedience was lived out at the Last Supper, accepted at Gethsemane, accomplished on the cross, and perfected alone in the darkness of the tomb. Our assent to time in the darkness of tomb is so often the missing link in our lives. The wilderness of our suffering is not just a place of darkness and temptation. It is the place of our transformation through which the false self must move. It is the place of conversion where the emotional pain of a lifetime, stored in the unconscious, is revealed and then gradually let go of. This is not a time of separateness, although it may feel that way; it is a time that links us to the Eternal. It is in walking through the darkness that we learn to discern the voice of the Beloved and receive the grace of interior resurrection and the capacity for divine union. All things grow in darkness and silence. There are hidden depths that only the Spirit can reach. It is a hidden life. The Hidden Life Awakened
For Further Reflection
You might want to watch this three-minute video. Betty will talk a little about Transformation not Restoration.
A Powerful Spirit
Spend a little time now, letting the Living Word speak to your heart.
Psalm 18 The Message Bible
Rest Quietly with God
Use your imagination to visualize Jesus sitting there with you. It is dark and you are in pain. He lights a candle and reaches out His hand.
Journal every thought that arises without censoring as a child would. This is the indwelling Spirit speaking truth to you. Trust this for now.
Just One Thing
Are you holding on to any resentment about a difficult situation you are living with? Quieting any self judgement, acknowledge that this is where your growth needs to happen.