What is Pray Without Ceasing? The Bless Your Heart series of Do It Yourself retreats is designed especially for the busy Catholic homeschooling mom who longs for moments of prayer and reflection. Here’s how it works!
1. Choose your retreat format and schedule time for your retreat:
Hermitage Retreat: Find a way to get away by yourself for one day or half a day to work through the retreat portions. Maybe your church is open for private prayer, or you can isolate yourself in your guest room or office or that of a friend/relative!
Cloistered Retreat: Find a group of friends to gather together for one day or half a day to work through the retreat portions together. Ideally, these are friends local to you, but you can even do this remotely and schedule phone calls to check in throughout the day!
Active Retreat: Work through one portion of the retreat per day amidst the duties of your vocation; it’s even fine to skip days, as needed. You can choose to review the material in the morning, during naptime, after your littles go to bed, or any time that works for you!
2. Work through the 6 retreat portions on the subsequent pages. Ideally, they should be done in order, but feel free to skip around to make the retreat work for you!
Each retreat portion is named for one “hour” of the Liturgy of the Hours: Morning Prayer (Lauds) · Mid-Morning Prayer (Terce) · Midday Prayer (Sext) · Afternoon Prayer (None) · Evening Prayer (Vespers) · Night Prayer (Compline). You do not need to do each one at any set time of day unless you choose to do so.
The Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office or the Work of God (Opus Dei), is the daily prayer of the Church, marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer. Thus, each “hour” of this retreat is meant to be a prayer. If you would like to also add the Liturgy of the Hour prayers to each “hour” of your retreat, here is where to find those online each day: https://universalis.com/
When you begin the retreat (and re-start each “hour”), consider surrounding yourself with comfort and beauty. Light a candle; pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea; find some flowers; bring some chocolate; sit with a crucifix or cards/statues of your favorite saints; wear something lovely; etc…