(Led by Jeff Pratt)
Spring: May 17 – 19
Location: New Haven and Enders Island, CT.
Fall: Oct. 25 – 27
Location: New Haven and Enders Island, CT.
Why attend a Guided Silence and Solitude Prayer Retreat?
“This is what the Lord says—
‘Stand at the Crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls’.” Jer. 6:16
Here in the western world we often live with cluttered and distracted minds and hearts that have forgotten how to “be still and know that He is God”. Inside ourselves we’re running all the time, forever ambushed by the tyranny of the urgent, by our busy-ness and schedules. We are seldom awakened to the fact that every moment and every minute can be lived in the presence of God, alive and aware of His love.
Robert Benson tells the story of a four year-old girl who was overheard whispering into her newborn baby brother’s ear, “Baby”, she said, “tell me what God sounds like—I am starting to forget”.
Because we believe that hearing God’s voice clearly and pressing close to His heart is facilitated by silence and solitude, we lead what we have come to call, “Thin Place Meditative Retreats”, where we practice together the spiritual disciplines of Silence and Solitude coupled with Prayer and Biblical meditation. A “Thin Place” is a place where the veil between this world and the eternal world is thin. It is a place where connection to the supernatural world seems effortless, and ephemeral signs of it’s existence are almost palpable. Through practicing the spiritual disciplines of Jesus, we create between us and God a “thin place” where our awareness of Him becomes purified. In this purified state of heart we are able to experience our own personal homecoming to God. ”Live in Me, make your home in Me as I do in you.” (John 15:4)
“Until we hear Jesus in the stillness of our own hearts, we will never be able to hear Him say, “I thirst” in the heart of the poor.”
- Mother Teresa
A Thin Place Meditative Retreat includes teachings, personal ministry, worship, a guided silent retreat and great times of fun as well. The purpose of this retreat is to draw us into a deeper intimacy with Jesus, while coming to know who He has destined and dreamed us to be.
Our summer retreat involves two phases. Phase 1 of our retreat concentrates more on the intimacy factor of our relationship with God, and Phase 11 focuses on His Missional purposes for our lives. (Both involve designated times of focused prayer in silence and solitude. However, the guided silent retreat itself is in Phase 1). Phase 1 can be attended on it’s own, without Phase II, if you have time limitations. However, Phase II cannot be attended without first attending a Phase 1.
If you are interested in attending one of these retreats then contact Olivia Apple at email@example.com.
Recommendations. . .
“Going to this last retreat was like waking up from a nap, a nap that was much too long, and that I didn’t even know I was taking.” Michael Cotton – Columbia University student/Writer
“We invited Jeff Pratt to lead our annual World Relief HQ Staff retreat on February 25th. It was an incredibly refreshing time as he led us through a day’s journey of encountering Christ and as a result learning/knowing our missional purpose. While the time was short (a day), Jeff engaged us through several mediums – silence, video, music, visuals, stories, writings/meditations from Scripture and Christians, and fellowship in small groups. While we were encouraged to identify the false indentures that hinder us from God and people, setting them aside, we were encouraged to listen to the voice of Jesus calling us by our true names and to our true identity. Jeff is a master story-teller and drew us in with gentle words that are likely spoken because he hears the voice of his Beloved, Jesus.” Sammy Mah – President/CEO, World Relief
“I attended a Silent Retreat in May 2009. What an amazing, intimate, beautiful and incredible experience! What God did in my life during the retreat was absolutely amazing and I am forever grateful for having the opportunity to attend. It is evident to me, that God has placed an incredible call on the lives of those at Axiom!” Sandy Begerstrom
“Hey Axiom, just wanted to let you know what a huge influence your “thin places” meditative retreat has been for my wife and I. We consider our experience at your silent retreat a time which God spoke to our hearts about who He has created us to be in life and in which the seed of our specific mission was planted.” Tobey Aubert – Church Planter/ Lead Pastor
“My life is pretty crazy. I have 6 kids, ranging from 15 to 3. I am in senior leadership at a Youth With A Mission campus in Ensenada, Mexico. As I have said my life is pretty crazy. Last year I attended a Silent Retreat up with Axiom in Connecticut. For me it was like learning how to breath again. You know when you’re in a swimming pool and you stay under the water a bit too long. When you come up, first you gasp, then you slow down and you are so relaxed and thankful to be alive. The retreat was like taking a refreshing breath after being under the water in the craziness of life for a long time. It also gave me thirst, a longing to regularly find that silent place in our fast moving world.” Tym Kemp – YWAM Training Director, Ensenada, Mexico
The Living Stones Friary – Southsea, England
For retreats with Friar Micha Jazz in Great Britain please check out an expression of Axiom Monastic Community called The Contemplative Network.
Axiom Pilgrimage Tours
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.” – Psalms 84:5
What is an Axiom Pilgrimage Tour?
The purpose of our Axiom Pilgrimage Tours is to travel to a meaningful place in the world where we can contemplate the wonders of Jesus, and those who have followed hard after Him over the centuries, allowing their wisdom to influence our daily lives. While enjoying history, food, and culture we briefly study the life of a God-Chaser who has influenced the world, pointing us to Jesus. Assisi, Italy has been our first international destination. The theme of our pilgrimage was “Contemplation and Simplicity.” With that theme we first reflected on the lives of Jesus and St. Francis, leading us to examine our own personal lives. We had wonderful moments of personal prayer, discussion times, and met many new friends, fellow pilgrims, both monks and tourists on similar spiritual journeys. There’s nothing quite like discussing various world-views around warm plates of pasta! All we met shared a similar thirst for a life free of anxiety, and stress, and the trappings of self; a life of true peace. Our Axiom version of “Eat,Pray,Love”.
July 12 – 16
“St. Francis found his Beloved everywhere, making of all things a ladder in which he would climb up and embrace Him who is utterly desirable.” Bonaventure
Thoughts from our Assisi Pilgrimage Journey…
“Our whole business in this life is to restore to health the eyes of our hearts, whereby God may be seen.” Augustine
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Jesus
A favorite time of our pilgrimage was when we climbed the slopes of Mt. Subasio, above Assisi, where we could look down upon the quilted countryside of Umbria, peppered with cypress trees and ancient bell towers. It was there that we individually examined the state of our cluttered minds and distracted hearts. It was there we were challenged to practice the discipline of detachment . . . of letting go. (What is attachment? A emotional state of clinging caused by the belief that without some particular thing, identity, or person we cannot be fulfilled. We can also unconsciously cling to things like security, respectability, hurts and regrets.)
St. Francis encountered a similar journey of the heart on the same mountainside over 500 years ago. His encounter with Christ caused him to turn worldly values upside down. Where others saw security, he saw only captivity; what for others represented success was for him a source of strife, an “obstacle to the love of God and others.” Moreover, for Francis, letting go did not end with wealth or poverty. He had to let go of his reputation and status in society, his anger, his pride, and his ambitions – everything, in short, that hindered his ability to love. In the end he was not left barren, but left simple. Rather the space in his heart previously occupied by all these things was now filled with a joy greater than anything the world could provide. His gratefulness exceeded his power of description. Addressing our God he wrote: “You are love. You are charity. You are beauty. You are security. You are inner peace and true simplicity. You are our joy and hope . . .our Great Wonderful God!”
When we descended the slopes of Mt. Subasio we were exclaiming the same words. Some of us descended forever changed with a new awareness of the worth of Jesus and a challenge to bring our lives into alignment with His values. Others returned in a new state of inner poverty, understanding what is meant by “being poor in spirit,” to live with an ache that is only meant to be filled by God, or to be left empty till He chooses to come.
What is the state of your heart?
If you are interested in this Pilgrimage then contact: Jeff Pratt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“My Axiom Pilgrimage Tour to Assisi, Italy was both a life-changing and culturally invigorating experience. To be away from everything familiar for a weekend, and to be in such a beautiful part of the world that has such a rich spiritual heritage, helped me find God anew. I’m now in the process of finding “The Simple” life – thank you for putting so much of your heart into our time together.” Birte Rolhieser , Germany
“I’m now determining to not be a product of our crazy busy world, but to slow down and “Consider the lilies of the field. . . “Consider the wonders of Jesus. . .” How he loved and how He lived. I now see it is within my grasp.” Rick and Jan Smith, Billings, MT
“My retreat in Assisi helped me realize which attachments in my life were healthy and which needed to be surrendered to create a greater place for Jesus. Now I feel empty of needless clutter, more simple, and extremely alive.” Mark Thompson, England
“The Call of the Wild One”
Dates To Be Announced
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” Ps. 52:7
If you chose to join us on a Swiss Alps pilgrimage, we would lead you on a five day exploration of the wonders and wildness of our God amongst the beauty of His creation. This trek will challenge both body and spirit as we hike, climb, and potentially mountain bike, while exploring the ancient practices of Jesus, (Silence, Solitude, and Prayer) and getting to know one another as those yearning to follow hard after our God. (Possible other extreme sports will be included.)
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.” Matt. 5:6
If you are interested in this pilgrimage, contact Jeff Pratt at email@example.com.
Celtic Contemplative Pilgrimage in Northern Ireland
Date: July 6 – 9
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgCome join us near Rostrever, Northern Ireland, at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, on the shores of Carlingford Lough, where C.S. Lewis was inspired to write the Chronicles of Narnia, and where we will begin our pilgrimage at the YWAM Au Cuan Retreat Center and a Benedictine Monastery. The Celtic Tradition perceives God’s presence in and through creation, the mundane and domestic details of life. The most common chore is seen as an occasion to experience the Spirit. We will explore together how this tradition can enrich our current journey’s with God through learning sessions, the contemplative practices and exploring the wonder of creation around us.