Are all retreats in silence?
Will I be able to talk to anyone while I am on retreat? Is there silence at mealtimes?
The silence that we observe well on retreat is to enable us better to notice what is going on in our lives. Arriving in Manresa is the beginning of taking some time apart; the change in your schedule, in how you arrange your time and organise your attention helps you to see what is important. Your times of prayer and reflection and your conversations with a spiritual director enhance the experience of silence.
Meals are typically taken in silence, the ordinary sounds of the dining room being somewhat lessened by quiet music playing in the background at lunch and during evening meals. It is sometimes possible – particularly during shorter retreats – to offer the option of silent or speaking mealtimes.