As Jesus began His ministry, He took some time to Himself and retreated from society to find a quiet place. He entered the desert and began a nice long discussion with His Father.
Before He did any of His ministerial work, before He performed any miracles, before he recruited any of His Apostles, He took time to work on His own relationship with His Father.
Jesus’ life was focused on showing us what we should do with our own lives. Taking time for ourselves to develop a deeper connection with the Father is no exception. Jesus was all-powerful and all-knowing, yet He took the time to retreat. So should we.
Prepare for spiritual battle
With the world the way it is, we all face many battles that will test us and force us to face Evil head on. The Devil is tricky and knows how to win at this game. In order for us to win this game and to avoid allowing the Devil to take control, we need to be prepared. By going on a retreat, we get stronger and smarter; we become better at fighting this battle, the stronger our connection with God, the more our chances of success go up.
Learn to love ourselves
God calls us all to love one another and to love Him, but He admits before we can do any of that we have to love ourselves. Sometimes it’s hard to love who we are, especially as teenagers. When we make a retreat, we provide God with the opportunity to help in making us better people, and He helps us find a way to love who we are. If we do not accept and love who we are, we will never be able to help anyone else, including helping God.
High School retreat opportunities
At Dowling Catholic High School, we provide all of our students the opportunity to make a retreat. High school students who do not attend Dowling are also welcome to attend. We have four very strong programs created for each year of a student’s high school career.
As freshmen, the student have a chance to experience a change of heart on our Metenoia retreat. When they reach their sophomore year, they are able to start the process of working on becoming a better person through our Quest retreat. As juniors, the Dowling students are given the chance to make a Kairos retreat where they will work hard on determining who they are, who Jesus is, what Jesus’ is trying to say to them, and what to do with His message. Finally, before the students go off to college, we provide them with an opportunity to make a Radix retreat. On this retreat, they will reflect on their years in high school and work on a plan to stay connected with their faith even after they leave home and go to college.
Jesus went on retreat…shouldn’t we all?
Making a retreat is an opportunity for us all to get closer to God and to prepare for the battles life will most certainly throw at us. It’s a chance for us to turn down the noise created by society and to focus more on what God is telling us. It is such an important moment in life that Jesus himself went on a retreat. If it was something even Jesus felt was important to do, shouldn’t we all?
(Erik Smith, Theology Teacher, Dowling Catholic High School)