Wednesday, April 11, 2012
A Review: First Things First
First Things First: A Personal Retreat Journal is Colleen Spiro's latest e-book. Colleen's writing, whether it be on her blog, Thoughts on Grace or in her books, is always filled with insight as well as practical advice for our spiritual lives. This retreat journal is no different.
Colleen chronicles her thoughts and activities from her most recent silent retreat. She shares both the joys and the difficulties that can arise before, during and even after a retreat.
Reading Colleen's retreat journal was like being along with on this retreat. As someone who has made several silent retreats over the last several years, I could relate to much of what Colleen experienced during her days away with God. The beautiful moments of feeling God's presence, the difficult moments of distractions that sometimes come, or even a little dryness in prayer sometimes, and the peace that comes in just being with God and allowing Him to be God.
Everyone needs time alone with God in silence. This book will be an aid to the first time retreatant or for those like myself who have been on several retreats. While getting away is nice and maybe even ideal, not everyone can, but it is possible to create a mini-silent retreat in your own home. As Colleen says in her introduction, if getting away is not possible, we then need to "be creative: in scheduling time with God. Colleen's book will be a wonderful resource for doing that as well.
In addition to being a wonderful retreat guide, the journal makes for good spiritual reading. We are all at different places in our spiritual lives; sometimes it is helpful to see where others are, and to see what some of their practices are. Colleen's journal lets us into a little intimate piece of her spiritual life.
You can sample some of Colleen's writing by visiting her at Thoughts on Grace. You will find a link to First Things First there as well.
Thank you, Colleen for reminding us of the importance of quiet time with our God, and for sharing your retreat experience with all of us.
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.