Archives For Retreat

 

Life-giving and Life-sustaining
 
A Feature Review of
 

Invitation to Retreat:
The Gift and the Necessity of Time Away with God
Ruth Haley Barton

Hardback: IVP Books, 2018.
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Reviewed by Alicia Brummeler
 
Ruth Haley Barton’s Invitation to Retreat is a gift to readers. In a compelling and straightforward manner, she diagnoses what plagues most of us: busyness and exhaustion. However, she doesn’t leave readers hopeless. She identifies the cure: retreat is an essential spiritual practice.

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A Deeper Spiritual Practice

A Feature Review of

The First Spiritual Exercises: Four Guided Retreats
Fr. Michael Hansen, S.J

Paperback: Ave Maria Press, 2013
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Reviewed by Kimberly Roth.
 
Sitting at lunch with my dad, I excitedly described a book I was reviewing. He listened patiently, trying with all his might to hide the bit of skepticism behind his eyes, as his emergent daughter rambled on about this book that made the Ignatian First Spiritual Exercises accessible as an at-home guided retreat. Attempting desperately to avoid making it sound individualistic or isolationist, and hoping to keep the conversation focused on the merits of the book, I grabbed my smart phone to search for the name of the author which eluded me in the moment: Michael Hansen, S.J.
 
“Oh,” my father perked up, and the twitch in the corner of his eye weakened, “so he’s a Jesuit?”
 
Note to self: always lead with the author’s credentials. Clearly my very Catholic father feared this book was a watered down version of an ancient spiritual practice to make free-form Protestants feel like they were doing something liturgical.

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A Brief Review of

A 30 Day Retreat: A Personal Guide to Spiritual Renewal.
William Mills.
Paperback: Paulist Press, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Kevin Book-Satterlee.

Once while peering at the pitiful waves upon a Scottish coastline, I heard a voice from a Minnesota friend cry out, “These waves are huge!”  Huge?  These little ankle-biting waves couldn’t even push a turtle into shore, let alone a surfer.  But my friend did not have the luxury of growing up by the pounding waves of the Northern California Coast, where a bad day displays a series of four foot waves.  She instead marveled at the waves that “towered” over the ones that she had ever seen in the Great Lakes.

My experience with A 30 Day Retreat, by William Mills, reminded me of that coastal experience in Scotland.  I wanted to get a rush and ride the big waves of spirituality, but instead, I found myself wondering how anything could even get propelled.  Yet, despite my lack of enthusiasm for Mills’s book, perhaps one who’d never seen the giant waves of God’s spiritual life would take this book for something amazing.  Mills did, after all, write for a searching audience, not a twenty-something seminary grad.

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