"Come away and rest awhile." Jesus invites us to be with him, offering our full and undivided attention to him. When we choose retreat, we make a generous investment in our friendship with Christ. We are not always generous with ourselves where God is concerned. Many of us have tried to incorporate regular times of solitude and silence into the rhythm of our ordinary lives, which may mean that we give God twenty minutes here and half an hour there. And there’s no question we are better for it! But we need more. Indeed, we long for more. In these pages Transforming Center founder and seasoned spiritual director Ruth Haley Barton gently leads us into retreat as a key practice that opens us to God. Based on her own practice and her experience leading hundreds of retreats for others, she will guide you in a very personal exploration of seven specific invitations contained within the general invitation to retreat. You will discover how to say yes to God's winsome invitation to greater freedom and surrender. There has never been a time when the invitation to retreat is so radical and so relevant, so needed and so welcome. It is not a luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual life.
Introduction: Invitation to Retreat 1. Strategic Withdrawal 2. Just Flop Down 3. The Sources of Our Exhaustion Interlude 4. Finding Your Rhythm on Retreat 5. Sweet Hours of Prayer 6. Letting Go of Your Grip 7. Relinquishing False-Self Patterns Interlude 8. Space for Discernment 9. Invitation to Recalibrate 10. Finding Spiritual Freedom Interlude 11. Remember the Signs 12. In Returning and Rest You Shall Be Saved Appendix 1: Fixed-Hour Prayer Appendix 2: Planning Your Retreat Notes