As a follow up to my post on youth retreats, it's important to mention the importance of retreats for adults as well.
I consider myself very fortunate to know a lot of people who are seriously knowledgable about the Catholic faith, but even among these, the most committed Catholics I know, too few have ever taken the time to go on a substantial retreat. I understand the reasons. Retreats are costly. Financially, they can cost just under $200 for a weekend (although that includes two nights lodging, 6 meals, and a stipend for the travel expenses of the very fine priests who preach the retreats). The investment of one's time, however, may be the greater cost. A weekend away from one's family is both hard on the individual going on retreat, and may place a bit of a burden on the spouse left at home to tend to the children alone (when the weekend is usually time for everyone to catch their breath and get a bit of rest). In light of the above, it is understandable why so few feel that they can make the effort to go on retreat. Personally, there are times when those reasons are my own, as they are for me this year. However, I remain a huge proponent of retreats because of the experiences I have had when paying the price. All it took was one silent retreat, done according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, to hook me. I have been on several more over the years, even if I cannot make one every time I have the chance. Year in and year out, I ask friends to join me, and few, if any, are willing. What kills me is that I know how much fruit comes out of a good retreat, and I want that for as many people as possible. Well, perhaps now there is a way.
On Zenit this morning, I saw that the priests who have preached a few of the retreats I have made are now producing a series of retreats online. Though I suspect nothing can duplicate the experience of being away from home in an austere setting in silence, this is probably about as good a substitute as one will find if they are unable to make such a retreat. Please click on the link below. The site is very user friendly, and they walk one through the method step-by-step, so there is no doubt about how to do it correctly and to reap the greatest benefits possible. If nothing else, consider doing this for Lent and see if it doesn't change your life - even in a small way.
I will put a permanent link to the retreats on my sidebar. It is my fervent prayer that it may be a source of sanctification for others and give glory to God.