The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the fabric of our lives and our world. The habits, practices and past times we used to enjoy have been suspended or transported into a virtual world. In being confined to one place for such an extended period of time, we have been ‘grounded’ in the sense of having many of our freedoms limited and removed. But can this experience of physical grounding open up new spiritual ground? What might God be asking of us at this time: as individuals and as a church? How can we find new ways to be grounded: centred, balanced, fully present, and secure in the foundation that God provides for our lives?
This retreat offers time and space to bring these questions before God. A group of us carried out this retreat together, virtually, on Trinity Sunday. We have now adapted it so that you can use it individually, or perhaps with a house group. With all retreats, the difficult work is being done for us, by the Holy Spirit: we simply need to turn up and open up to what God might be saying to us.
May God the Holy Trinity bless you in your time of retreat.
1. Opening personal reflection questions.
Spend around 10-15 minutes thinking about these questions, writing down your answers if that is helpful.
What is your availability for God as you enter this time of retreat?
What facilitates your presence in God throughout the day? How has the experience of lock down affected this?
What hope are you bringing as you enter this time of retreat?
2. Grounded with God – Opening reflections from Laura (Video 1)
3. Extended silence
Set aside some time – perhaps 2 or 3 hours – for individual prayer and reflection. Please use any of the resources in this booklet: Grounded with God Resources that may help, or resources of your own. Let God be your guide. You may find it helpful to get outside and take a ‘walk of awareness’. A suggested format is found here, and there is also a very good ‘walking with God’ guide on the App and website ‘Pray as you Go’.
4. Reflections on the two HTHQ Icons of the Trinity from Rob (Video 2)
5. Silent prayer
You might want to use this helpful timer for a 20 minute period of silent prayer.
6. Leaning forwards with compassion and courage
What has the Spirit stirred in you during this time of retreat?
What are your hopes and fears as we move forwards through this pandemic?
What do you sense God is asking of you at this time? What do you need from God? What might be holding you back?
7. Closing prayer: Patient Trust
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ
If you wish to follow up, contact us.