Note: If you are interested in hosting or facilitating a retreat, course, or day-seminar at your church or fellowship group please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
“Living the Gospels”
an introduction to the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises
In the Spiritual Exercises, five sessions are given in which a progressive appreciation of our relationship and commitment to God’s purposes is encouraged. The first session is devoted to an appreciation of God’s love for us. The second session is a contemplation of sin and disorder in ourselves and in the world. In the third session we are taken up with the life of Christ—his birth and public ministry up to Palm Sunday. The fourth session deepens our relationship to the Lord’s Passion and the fifth deals with the relationship of our own lives to the Resurrection and present life of Jesus in the world around us.
“Following Your God-Given Desires”
an introduction to Ignatian Spiritual Discernment
“Discerning Christ’s Voice”
In his Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius of Loyola offers practical wisdom for discerning the movements of God’s spirit in our lives. It is a pragmatic and Christ-centered approach that fosters a genuine desire to follow God’s will as the natural response to Christ’s love for us. This seminar will provide a working understanding of some basic “rules of discernment” that are essential for every Christian who wishes to live an authentic Spirit-led life.
“Rightly Related to All Things”
“In Christ, all things hold together” Col. 1:17
There’s only so much of you to go around. Where do we draw the line on the many demands for relationship we face in life and ministry? How much weight should we put on our own desires, hopes and needs? By what measure does the Lord define right relationship in our lives?
Rightly Related to All Thingsconsiders spiritual principles by which we are to discern the right relationship God is calling us to in the various facets of our lives. This day retreat will include teaching, discussion and opportunities for prayer in the belief that the more we center of our lives in God, the more we will find our proper relationship to all other things.
.“Invitation to Prayer:” an introduction to Contemplative Prayer
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. Psalm 27:8
Most Christians feel some attraction to the Contemplative life. But we all resist it as well. This retreat will provide an opportunity to savour the invitation that God extends to each person to quiet their hearts in order to better know the Lord.
Through discussions, instruction and the encouragement of silence and solitude we will have many opportunities to respond to God’s call to “be still, and know that I am the Lord.”
“Belonging to Life”
“I am my Beloved’s and He is mine.” Song of Songs 6:3
Every person longs for the deep assurance of belonging. We were meant to have a profound sense of inter-connectedness with life but our experience of belonging often gets distorted by our fears or misperceptions. This retreat looks at the spirituality of self-acceptance and hospitality and how to foster a greater sense of belonging to God, to ourselves, and to others.
“Living in the Flame of Love”: an Introduction to St. John of the Cross
A weekend or three-seminar introduction to the teachings of St. John of the Cross, looking at the spiritual theology he develops through his classic books, Ascent to Mount Carmel, The Dark Night of the Soul, and The Living Flame of Love.
“The Practice of Prayer”
“He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit..”John 20:22
A 3-evening introduction and practice of contemplative prayer. Each evening will include instruction, as well as two 20-minute blocks of silent prayer, followed by discussions on the varied experiences that such prayer introduces us to as we explore a more receptive posture in our relationship with God.
“Meeting Jesus In Scripture and Prayer”
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Heb. 4:12
A day retreat that introduces two classical approaches to discerning the presence of God through reading Scripture. Lectio Divina, is the practice of “reading with the heart” and being attentive to the movement of the Holy Spirit in relationship to the word of God. The Ignatian practice of Contemplation Using the Imagination introduces us to the creative ways that the Scriptures forms relationship to all aspects of our lives.
“The Joy of Full Surrender”
-Jean-Pierre de Caussade
Based on the writings of Jean Pierre de Caussade S.J. (1675-1751) this retreat highlights the theology of surrendering to God and the joy and freedom that come from simply abandoning ourselves to His will.
Cultivating good ground for spiritual health
“The stressful and overloaded conditions of our world keep most of us in such a high state of torque that we seldom experience true rest. It’s no wonder that many people feel they are losing their souls in the process of trying to keep up with life.”
This retreat offers practical ways to counter the soul-depleting relationship we often form with life. It helps identify the tell-tale signs of our “branch withering” and encourages the ancient discipline of recollection (attentiveness) as a way of remaining “yoked” with Christ.
“He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:3
“Living Attentively with God”
In order to follow Jesus in our lives we need to grow in our attentiveness to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our day. This one-day seminar looks at the spiritual theology that invites us to live more attentively with God, as well as its relationship to prayer and practice in our lives.
“The Heart’s Journey:” our spiritual direction, from beginning to end
Scripture tells us that the reason we have been given life is “so that we would seek God and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:23). From birth to death the Lord invites and encourages us to seek and find Him in this life. How we respond to this invitation represents the “Heart’s Journey” of return to our Creator. This day or weekend retreat looks at the call, the conversion and destination of this journey we find ourselves on as Christians in the hope that a clearer vision of our spiritual direction will motivate our hearts to respond more fully to it.
There has been much written about the theology of suffering and “why bad things happen to good people.” But when it comes to the actual experience of suffering we are often challenged as to how to walk with and through the confusion of pain. It is for such times that we need a “spirituality of suffering”—a faith posture that will not only help us understand our pain, but will also help us bear it.
This day or weekend seminar examines the effects that pain and suffering have on our faith, as well as the uncharted terrain we must negotiate for ourselves, or as we accompany those who suffer around us.
“Art2Heart:”exploring spiritual freedom and discernment through art-making
The pursuit of meaning and beauty through art, and the mirror that our own creations present to us, offer profound insights into our relationship with ourselves, with others and with the deepest yearnings of our spiritual life.
This day or weekend retreat is an opportunity to explore, through the vocabulary of spiritual direction, how creativity can help us exercise spiritual freedom and discernment in life. No previous artistic experience is necessary although artists will find this retreat especially meaningful.
These retreats and seminars are all available through Imago Dei (www.imagodeicommunity.ca) and can be adapted for week-long, weekend or one-day formats. They are also available as courses for seminaries or colleges.
For more information contact Rob Des Cotes at: email@example.com or (604) 313-9780