Go beyond the virtual screen and discover the difference: Why a Live-In Retreat at Divine is the Ultimate Healing Experience!
Yes, God can heal us remotely, but it is like being naively satisfied over the little glitter, not realizing the exhilarating joy in experiencing the gold. Beyond a doubt, a live-in retreat is a very thorough and enriching experience of Jesus, with His healing and empowerment, exactly like His answer, to the question His to be apostles asked, “Where are you staying?”…
“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him…
The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah”. And he brought him to Jesus. John 1: 38-39 & 41-42
Visiting His sanctuary for a live-in with Him, is like when the apostles started living with Him and could not resist latching on to Him as their closest family member (which is what a retreatant will experience). This “gold experience” could never be known by the crowds then (and today’s virtual participants) who only received the glitter (of healings) from Him along the way.
What is it like to make a retreat at Divine Retreat Center?
Similar to the feeling the apostles had experiencing a glimpse of heaven, seeing the Father’s glory at Tabor. The transfiguration would involve their steep ascend up Mount Tabor; for us it would be a spiritual climb, and with Jesus at our side, we will be motivated in racing up the mount.
With Divine’s retreat format, we are immersed into a lively devotion for the days of the retreat; by the end of the second segment, one starts feeling it enjoyable, humourous and effortless. The extraordinary presence of the Holy Spirit makes the path so light, that each step feels like a victory, with our heart experiencing every new breath as purer and fresher up the mountain! Coupled with this, the 24 hour intercessory groups will be praying to help you, until you reach the peak and experience the cloud of the Father’s glory, come over you.
Every person who earnestly attends Divine’s retreat, never comes away disappointed, rather it empowers you to live like the apostles, after they saw the glory of God!
What are the stages one goes through at the retreat?
There are six segments in the breaking of the Word, in the retreat format, applied through all centers worldwide, for regular retreats. The duration of a regular retreat varies between three to six days, depending on the center and in some places, it begins on a Sunday. The Spirit has ordained these six segments, in order for a retreatant to gain the fullest experience.
After registration on the first day and settling in, past retreatants usually come forward at the introduction to give their heartwarming testimonies. You will always find past retreatants returning, thirsting for more spiritual experience. New retreatants are often dazzled by the amazing testimonies and by the live and anointed music during the praise and worship.
1. Surrender, the first segment
Retreatants are then led into the experience of the first part of their journey, which is a complete marriage of surrender to the Lord. As He is respectful, He cannot intervene if we do not surrender; you need to give Him permission to exercise His divine miracles, where your own intervention failed
Also, inviting Him into our lives renews our commitment to our Spouse, which He needs, in order that we experience Him taking us to Himself, as our Lord and King. We are urged to surrender every incident of our life, especially those painfully bottled up septic wounds and areas dangerous to us, such as alcoholism, smoking and other vices. Opening up to the doctor of our soul, permits Him to enter into our life and problems and solve our difficulties!
Several retreatants voluntarily write out on paper, certain weaknesses, which they choose to surrender. These are put into a huge basket offered to Him, making this act of faith in Him an almost tangible feel. Thereafter everyone is led in joyful song and praise, as a way of inviting our Bridegroom, to take us on to the next step.
2. Purification through reconciliation, the second segment
While surrender, which is the action of our heart, is the first part of our journey to His loving embrace and providence, in the next segment, God expects us to ratify this via sacrament. This is the action of our soul, for God begins His remedying from our soul. Purification, through examination and Confession, activates the start of God’s healing.
After this many of the retreatants feel a great surge of energy and joy, because the first part of healing has already begun. There is such an excitement to move forward into the third and fourth segment.
3. Physical Healing, the third segment
The third segment is physical healing. Testimonies, talks and finally healing adoration, completes the third part of the segment. The priest calls out scores of people’s names or blanket healing for several who are instantly healed of mutual sickness, while some are progressively healed. Many who have come to pray for a sick person back home, hear their names called out that their healing prayers are answered. There is a tremendous sense of rejoicing and liberation.
4. Inner-healing, the fourth segment
The fourth segment also has to do with inner-healing. For not everyone who comes for the retreat, has need of a physical healing. In fact, most people are going through emotional turmoil. Some are struggling in their broken marriage while others are deeply wounded. Some also have emotional blocks that come in the way of living a normal life at home or in the workplace. The greatest healing that happens during inner healing, is of past memories that are painful and filled with trauma. All of these are under the segment of inner healing, which is conducted for the retreatants.
Many explanations are given on the miraculous power of inner healing and how it completely renews the human character, taking away fear and giving it power over all areas of trauma and weaknesses, setbacks and wounds. This live experience outweighs all others.
The anointed music is dynamic, especially during the inner healing adoration, filling the atmosphere with an almost electric charge. You can hear many people silently mourn and simultaneously rejoice with tears, as they feel their Spouse take to Himself all the lifelong wounds they endured, resulting in phobias they were burdened with, since the years. During inner healing, all lights are turned off except the candle lights and the light at the Blessed Sacrament drawing on hearts to their living spouse in the Eucharist. The soft dim atmosphere brings a sense of calm and privacy for many who experience release of these burdens.
Many people cry, reporting Jesus walking amongst them touching them and healing their hearts.
5. Anointing of the Holy Spirit and a day of fasting, the fifth segment
Why is this segment included?
Now that Jesus has cleansed us in the bath of His own blood, healed our flesh, smoothened and filled out our punctured heart, what about our shield of defense?
“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first… (Matthew 12:43-45)
Though the above passage is about possession, the Lord knows that the same principle applies in a similar way, as satan desires to come back even stronger to tempt someone (as Jesus too was tempted in the desert). Thereafter, in annoyance, satan is even more interested to get us attacked or entice us to ruin ourselves with sin. So just as the day of Pentecost, where the disciples became whole new powerful people who could stand up to the attacks of the evil one, Jesus wants to ensure we are empowered by His spirit to continue in the right direction after the retreat. To be a shield; strong and powerful against evil attacks.
In this enriching time, retreatants feel a surge of ecstasy as many get filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Several who sincerely participate will suddenly find themselves praying in tongues, some receive the charism of singing in tongues, seeing visions, interceding, powerful healing, preaching and interpretation.
Many will receive a tangible experience of the Holy Spirit such as divine fragrance or an unexplainable breeze over them or a current passing through them.
For many, their faith is deeply enriched and almost all receive a slice of heaven, the glory of the Father on Mount Tabor.
6. Testimonies and thanksgiving, the final segment
Healing and blessings do not end here, for in the final segment of the retreat, which is all about testimonies and thanksgiving, more blessings are outpoured by hearing faith building testimonies and testifying your healings. A very joyful time of celebration, as everybody is so light hearted, renewed, strengthened and healed. Miracles and blessings continue as they return to their family and working lives.
A lot of people who “choose to carry in their hearts” the apostle experience of living with Jesus will bear a more fruitful life thereafter, becoming teachers or leaders in new Christian groups.
It is also recommended to revisit the retreat center once in a year for a growth retreat.
2000 years back, only three privileged apostles, Peter, James and John experienced the glory of God on Mount Tabor. Today, Jesus extends this privilege to all of us, throughout several Divine Retreat Centers worldwide, to get a small understanding of the glories that await us in our eternal reward.
On the last day, people not only leave Divine with great experiences but God often leads us to find new and lifelong friends in other retreatants, where the journey together in the Lord, takes on a beautiful life of its own, rich in wholesome experiences.
If you have never experienced a live-in retreat at Divine (or it has been long), take the plunge, “taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:8.