We invite you to try this Lent retreat!

February 8, 2023

What are you doing for Lent?

Blog by Clare Bick, Tutor at the London Jesuit Centre

Around this time last year, the London Jesuit Centre welcomed 50 retreatants for a retreat that spanned 5-weeks of Lent and offered both an online and optional in-person element. It was a great experience for team and retreatants alike! We are looking forward to offering a similar journey again which will begin on Sunday 26th February 2023 at the London Jesuit Centre. We are delighted to be working in partnership this year with Jesuit Young Adult Ministries.

What is it all about? Doing something for Lent is certainly part of it. Lent is the period of 40-days that comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Beginning with Ash Wednesday, Lent is a time of preparation before the great paschal events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday and is associated with prayer, with fasting of some kind, and with giving to others. Perhaps Lent has mostly been for us a time of giving up something, and certainly it’s a welcome chance to simplify our lives and let go of things that clutter us, but Lent might also be a time of taking something on…

Making a Lent retreat is an invitation to follow Jesus into the desert and make space for what is most important, the love of God who sustains every one of us and the call of Jesus to follow him.

This is a Lent retreat in daily life allowing us to take time for prayer and reflection in the middle of our everyday reality, to make space for 15-20 minutes of prayer each day and to grow in the practice of personal prayer over the 5-weeks of the retreat. Part of the way that God will come to us and guide us through these weeks will be through the events of our daily lives as we look at them in a new light and process them in our prayer and times of reflection. For each one of us, the invitation will be different -perhaps this Lent you are being invited to come home to God, perhaps to turn aside from life’s busyness and encounter God just as Moses turned aside and behold the burning bush. Or it might be simply an invitation to be still and rest.

This is also an Ignatian retreat in daily life. Each week you will meet for 30-40 minutes with a spiritual guide who is trained in Ignatian spirituality. These weekly meetings will take place either online on Zoom or in-person at the London Jesuit Centre on Mondays (daytime or evening). This will enable retreatants to join from other parts of the UK and indeed the world, while also allowing those who are local to benefit from meeting in-person if preferred. Our experienced guides will offer suggestions for prayer that are individually chosen and will listen to how the Holy Spirit is at work in the life of each retreatant. Further Ignatian input and prayer will be facilitated every Wednesday evening through weekly workshops on different types of Ignatian prayer and aspects of spirituality such as our image of God and discernment.

For each retreatant, we hope there will be an individual journey but also a sense of being among other pilgrims. We will start this journey together on Sunday 26th February at 4pm online in a time of welcome, orientation and prayer, and end it on Saturday 1st April at 3pm in a time of reflections, sharing and thanksgiving.

When we asked people from a previous retreat if they would recommend the experience to other people this is what they wrote:

“It's a wonderful opportunity to meet people from all over the world.”

“It's very broad and inclusive no matter what Christian tradition you're from.”

“It can provide resolution to personal issues like no other practice.”

If you would like to try the retreat for yourself, please visit our booking page here.

Do book early to avoid disappointment!

Photo by Annika Gordon on Unsplash

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