As you begin your retreat, pause for a few moments and allow yourself to grow still. Let go of any distracting thoughts. Take several slow, deep breaths. Become aware of the great love God has for you.
1 Samuel 3:7-10
At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD, because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet. The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, "Here I am. You called me." Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth. So he said to Samuel, "Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, ?Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'" When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, "Samuel, Samuel!" And Samuel answered, "Speak, for your servant is listening."
Prayer is always God's initiative. It is our response to God's loving presence in our lives, which shows itself in so many different ways. Sometimes we catch only the faintest glimmer of that presence. Perhaps at first we don't even recognize that it is God. But when we strive to be open and listen carefully, we can, just like Samuel, enter into an authentic dialog with God. We call this dialog prayer. It involves talking and listening. It is spontaneous and is fed by a mutual desire to engage one another at deeper levels. A disposition of openness to the sacred and a listening spirit are the first steps toward entering into a truly prayerful dialog with God.
How much time do I spend listening in prayer?
Who has been like Eli for me in my spiritual life?