We know we should cultivate silence in our lives. Why don’t we?

By waiting and by calm you shall be saved,
in quiet and in trust shall be your strength. — Isaiah 30:15

In a recent New York Times column, spiritual writer Tish Harrison Warren tackles this dilemma: “Though I crave silence, I run from it as well. It can make one feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. Like most of us, I have been habituated to noise every moment.”

“Sitting in silence is hard for me, but I know I need it. I think we all do,” Harrison Warren continues. “We need a still and quiet place to become fully human, fully alive to the goodness and grief so palpable in this world if we have a second to listen for it. I want to learn to better wait in silence.”

Medical research has found that people who practice silence, even for as little as two minutes, lower their blood pressure, slow their heart rate, reduce muscle tension and increase focus and cognition.

We know intuitively that we feel better when we take a break from the hurly-burly, screen-focused noisy lives we live.

Scripture, science and experience tell us that we all should cultivate silence in our lives. If we know this, why do we resist it? Why is it so hard to find quiet?

If you want “to learn to better wait in silence,” a silent, directed retreat with Precious Blood Renewal Center might be what you’re looking for.

A directed retreat reconnects us with God. It gives us an opportunity to step outside of our everyday life, to rest in God’s love, to understand more deeply who we are and who we are called to be.

Options to Consider

For years the Renewal Center has offered three- and five-day directed retreats at our guest house, and we continue that practice. Now we are offering the same chance to connect with our spiritual directors through a guided retreat, but you can do it from your home. We have added a stay-at-home option for people who want to make the retreat from their own homes.

All people making the retreat begin with a communal prayer experience and then individuals meet one-on-one with our trained, experienced retreat directors. The group meetings and prayers are a hybrid experience, with some retreatants in person and others joining by Zoom. The individual meetings too can be conducted in person or via Zoom.

The Renewal Center hosts weekend-long, silent, directed retreats about three times a year. Follow this link for details on the current schedule.

Why should I try a Directed Retreat?

A directed retreat might be for you if:

  • You’re experiencing or anticipating a transition in your life.
  • You’re looking for something to recharge your batteries.
  • You’re dealing with a loss, change, or challenge in your life and could use some community, guidance, and support.
  • You’re unsatisfied with your relationship with God and/or others and want to make changes.
  • You’re curious about questions of faith and spirituality and want to learn how to engage in those questions.
  • People come for their own purposes and desires, and one of the strengths of a retreat is that people can come for many reasons and each gets what they need.

If you are looking for a longer experience, your retreat can be extended a day or two before or after the given dates.

Our Spiritual Directors

Sr. Linda Zahner was inspired by the Benedictine Sisters who taught her in grade and high school. She entered the Benedictine Community of Mount St. Scholastica shortly after graduation. She has worked in education as a teacher, administrator, and executive officer for a consolidated Catholic school system in Iowa. In her next career, she completed certification as a spiritual director and retreat director from the Creighton Spirituality Program. In addition, she completed massage therapy training at the Universal College of Healing Arts in Omaha, Nebraska and remains Nationally Certified. She is also a certified Eden Energy Medicine clinical practitioner. Within the monastic community and at Sophia Spirituality Center she guides retreats and offers therapeutic massages, contemplative healing touch, promoting a holistic approach to health and wellbeing of body, mind, and spirit.

Fr. Ron Will, a Precious Blood priest, is a graduate of Catholic Theological Union and Creighton University’s School of Christian Spirituality. Fr. Ron has a special interest in helping form intentional disciples of Jesus, encouraging others to go spiritually deep-sea diving to explore a deeper relationship with God, and walking with people as they dive into the ocean of God’s mystery actually experiencing God rather than simply dipping one’s toe into the water.

Photo 59604433 © Gary Cooper | Dreamstime.com


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