A hermitage retreat has none of that. When I went to this place the first time, I asked one of the Franciscans who would be my spiritual director and she responded “The Holy Spirit.” I asked her what books she would recommend I read during my retreat and she said “none of them.” I asked her if I should journal and she said, “nope.” This was unlike any other retreat I had ever been on. I was welcome to celebrate Mass with the community each day and have supper with them, but the rest of the time was to be spent in silence and contemplation.
The thing about silence is that it allows you to hear God speaking to you in a very powerful way. We can hear God speak to us at Mass, through prayer, and at retreats, but there is nothing quite like silence to really get at the root of our spiritual well-being. I found that those days spent in silence were some of the most profound in my life. I made great progress in my spiritual development on that first retreat and now I return there hoping for a similar experience. Now as for you, can you find time each day to spend in silence with God? Can you hear him speaking to you in your heart of hearts?