The Caverns of Our Hearts: An Advent Retreat Guide on St. John of the Cross

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What do we really want? We live in a world of competing desires. Every day we’re bombarded by promises to make us truly happy. If you just buy this product, or read this book, or try out this dating app, or start this diet program, or exercise more, then you will be happy. If your relationship with your spouse or with your children or with your friends were better, then your heart would finally be full.

In and of themselves, these are not bad things. But will they fill our hearts? Is there a still deeper desire that nothing in this life can ever really fill?

God, the great lover of our souls, wants to fill these caverns. In his writings, St. John of the Cross describes this process with unparalleled beauty and seeks to encourage his fellow travelers to cooperate with the Lord’s work as he seeks to bring them to union with himself.

In today’s retreat, we’ll explore that teaching in the following stages.

  • In the first meditation, we’ll reflect on the foundation of St. John of the Cross’s writing: God alone.
  • In the second meditation, we’ll probe the importance of giving back even our deepest and holiest desires to the Lord.
  • Finally, in the conference, we’ll tie these two meditations together as we ponder how we can continually give God permission.

Now let’s turn to the Holy Spirit, asking him to fill the caverns of our hearts with the fire of divine love as we begin this retreat.

The Personal Questionnaire/Group discussion questions and the full text are available in the Companion Guide Book.  The Small Group Companion Guide has the questions and quotations. Either download the PDF Companion Guide Book or purchase it. The Companion Guide Book is available for purchase as a paperback at Amazon.

Note that this Retreat Guide includes only audio and print versions.

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  1. It is HS at this reflexion,, so helpful . Profound as to get us into the cavern of our hearts and work with God..

    Food for the Soul., Beautifully and enlighten,

    So thankful

  2. How do I sign up for this retreat?

    RCSpirituality Reply:

    Retreat Guides are self-guided; you are immediately given access to the retreat materials, you do not need to sign up for it. Under the Retreat Guide’s title is a text bar labeled: Not sure how to use this retreat guide?
    The short video explains how they are intended to be used.

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    Click on your choice of Retreat Guide, then scroll down to the box displaying “Video Audio Print” to find the available materials (some do not have audio or video).

    You can complete Retreat Guides on your own or with one or more companions. We pray you find them beneficial!

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