20-MINUTE RETREAT: BOOK REVIEW

The 20-Minute Retreat: 18 Sessions with the Saints to Nourish Your Faith, by David Perrin

Wouldn’t it be great to go on a week-long retreat one of these days? Imagine the peace and quiet, and the time to yourself for prayer, reading and resting. No email, no social media, no deadlines… Perhaps there would be meditative walks, and daily talks by a retreat director. But wait a minute – how many of us have the time or resources to go away for a week to delve into our spiritual lives? With work and family responsibilities, it can be a challenge to make time to recharge our spiritual batteries through a retreat experience.

The good news is that we can carve out moments to listen to God speaking to us through our lives in shorter stretches of time. Even 20 to 30 minutes on a regular basis can help us get into the habit!

The 20-Minute Retreat by David Perrin contains 18 thoughtful, faith-filled meditations (plus 3 more online) for people who are seeking space for prayer and reflection at their own pace. In the book, Perrin – a Canadian university professor and retreat facilitator – explores key themes in our lives, including

  • leadership
  • sin
  • justice
  • care of the body
  • prayer
  • blessing
  • the cross
  • finding God in daily life

Each theme is matched with a wonderful companion saint who can guide us on our way. You can join Hildegard of Bingen, the apostle Peter, Thérèse of Lisieux, Francis of Assisi, Oscar Romero, Kateri Tekakwitha and others as you shine a light on areas of your life that you’d like to develop or heal.

The approach is not one size fits all, thankfully – because we all have different styles, needs and schedules. Instead, Perrin offers various options for working through the book, including 1-week, 2-week or 4-week versions, or finding a trusted friend to do the retreat with and check in with periodically. There is no rigid schedule to follow: readers are invited to choose a rhythm that works for them so they’re more likely to stick with it.

Finding 20 minutes to withdraw from the hustle bustle is sure to bring many insights as well as refreshment of the spirit as we deepen our relationship with God in prayer and reflection.

Anne Louise Mahoney, Managing Editor, Novalis

You can find and purchase the 20-Minute Retreat: 18 Sessions with the Saints to Nourish Your Faith here.

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