Retreats: Essential or Indulgent?

Just as we would prioritize a vacation with our family or our husband or our wife, we ought to also prioritize a getaway with God. In today’s episode, Fr. Josh Johnson encourages us to get away, break our routines, and listen to the voice of God. He unfolds how important retreats are for him in his walk with God, and how life-changing different types of retreats can be for us, no matter what state of life we find ourselves in. 

Snippet from the Show
If God is important to us, then God deserves to be on our calendar.


Glory Story (1:40)

Question (3:37)

Are retreats essential or are they indulgent? Are they only for priests and those in the religious life, or should lay people participate in them as well?

Saint Story: St. Olga (14:40)

Olga was born in Russia in 890 AD, where she would eventually go on to become Princess Olga when she met and married her husband, Prince Igor of Kyivan. In 945 Prince Igor was murdered, and out of revenge for her husband’s death, Princess Olga murdered not only Prince Igor’s murderers but hundreds of his murderers’ followers. 

In 957 AD, just twelve years later, Princess Olga traveled to Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, to visit Emperor Constantine VII. Constantine had encountered the love of Christ while on retreat, and it was under his mentorship that Olga became Christian. A Patriarch that assisted them on the journey said to Olga, “Blessed art thou among the women of Russia, for thou hast loved the light, and quit the darkness.” 

When she became a Catholic, she tried to convert her grandson, who is now St. Vladimir the Great. She wasn’t successful in her attempts at first, but over time, he eventually came into the Church, and he dedicated the country to Jesus Christ. When Vladimir became king, he welcomed bishops and priests and missionaries who would eventually go on to convert the entire land to Christianity.  

And that is how Russia became known as a Christian nation, is because of Saint Olga. 

Saint Olga died in 969. 


Meet Fr. Josh Johnson

While Fr. Josh was raised Catholic, he didn’t like the Church growing up. Then, one day in adoration, he fell in love with Jesus and received the call to become a priest.

Now, Fr. Josh is the Vocations Director of the Diocese of Baton Rouge in Louisiana. He is a presenter in four of Ascension’s programs: Altaration, YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body, The 99, and Connected: Catholic Social Teaching for This Generation, as well as the author of Broken and Blessed: An Invitation to My Generation, Pocket Guide to Adoration, and co-author of Pocket Guide to Reconciliation.

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