I’ve had the opportunity to spend some extended time with Jane Rubietta’s book, Resting Place: A Personal guide to Spiritual Retreats. I’m not entirely sure what I was looking for, but what I got was not entirely what I expected. I realize that sounds potentially misleading, so let me add that I really enjoyed the book and admire all that it has to offer.
As I said, I was not sure what to expect when I began reading the book. I think I may have considered more of a “how to” conduct a spiritual retreat as the title somewhat implies. I think; what I discovered was much more than a “how to” guide, although the “guide” is there too. I consider this a positive thing.
There are twelve chapters in the book, each centered upon a theme for focus and reflection. The author suggests that they can be used according to the needs of the retreatant.
“It is not necessary to read the chapters in order, but rather allow the Holy Spirit to highlight which subjects are important at this time to restore a resting heart” (pg. 11)
I found the subject theme and writing style of Jane Rubietta soothing and inviting. As I would begin a chapter, I was almost immediately drawn into a state of reflection and examination. I started to ask questions of myself and consider the health of my soul. This, I think, is part of the purpose of the retreat. There needs to be a time of reflection, examination, and diagnosis to identify the soul needs and each chapter helps to set a stage for this to take place. Completing each chapter, there is a section of “helps” to encourage and facilitate further reflection and soul rejuvenation. Rubietta has included quotes to contemplate, Scripture lessons to meditate upon, and some spiritual discipline exercises to assist in maximizing the retreat time.
I found the Resting Place was much more than a guide, I found it to be a friend. I think it will serve well in the role of a personal retreat devotional for individuals, but it will also serve equally well as a guide for group retreats. As a spiritual director, I can appreciate the format the author follows for this particular book and find it very well thought out… one might even call it “inspired.”
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Intervarsity Press to read and post a review on my site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”