Wednesday, January 1, 2014

21 Spiritual Retreat Questions

Happy New Year!

Happy Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God!

I had a beautifully different New Years this year. Instead of parties with friends, fun drinks, and a TV turned to (the rerun of) the ball dropping in Times Square, I spent the night at a Marian Shrine with a friend. We went to Adoration at 11PM, then participated in mass at midnight. The rest of the day we engaged in prayer and conversation.

Like I said - beautiful. We each wanted to spend some time away for different reasons. Although it wasn't my intention, I'm beginning the new year with a plenary indulgence! How's that for starting out on the right foot?!

In our conversations, my friend and I made a list of retreat-type questions that we thought would fuel good thought and prayer. After completing the list and reflecting on it, we both picked out the question that was hardest for us to answer and focused on that area throughout our "mini-retreat". I feel it was spiritually fruitful for both of us!

Without further's the list of 21 questions! Use them for your own mini-retreat, even if that just means hiding in a quiet space in your home for a few minutes.
  1. What was the highlight of 2013? What word will define your 2014?
  2. What would God view as your biggest accomplishment?
  3. What's the key area you want to improve in your life? What proactive steps can you take towards it?
  4. What are you grateful for?
  5. Who are you grateful for? Have you told them?
  6. What topic are you avoiding talking about with God?
  7. Who has influenced you in your faith? Who are you influencing?
  8. Who is your role model in faith? How can you be more like him/her?
  9. When is it easy to trust God? When is it more difficult?
  10. How does God want you to improve your prayer life?
  11. How do you maintain active participation in mass?
  12. What's your biggest hurdle to loving God? How can you start to overcome it?
  13. Would others say your actions are an extension of God's love?
  14. Do you turn to prayer in times of desolation AND consolation?
  15. How can you grow closer to God this year? (ie. focus on increasing your faith, hope, or love?)
  16. Loving and serving God comes only after knowing Him. How can you deepen your understanding of God?
  17. Who can you purposefully be Christ for? How?
  18. What visible reminders do you have of your faith?
  19. "He is always with you, be always with Him." How?
  20. How do you show mercy?
  21. What are your top three priorities? Do you spend your time accordingly?

St. Thérèse of Lisieux (who is making her way into my life), pray for us!

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