The Car Wash and Retreats

Published on 20 Jun 2017

by Anne Morris DHS

On a recent visit to a car wash, I took note of a series of instructions and thought they wouldn't go amiss as a description of being on retreat.

Being in a car wash is like going on a mini retreat. For a short time at least, you are secure from all intrusions from the outside world. The radio is turned off and the mobile phone blocked. This particular car wash was called 'Blow & Glow', not a bad description for the end result desired in any retreat. As I lined the car up, two notices took my attention -'works extreme' followed by 'intensive way'. It then introduced me to wash 1, 2, 3, & 4, which was reminiscent of the four weeks of the Exercises!

Whether you are engaged in the four weeks of the Ignatian Exercises, or an IGR (Individually Guided Retreat) 'blow & glow', the car wash might offer some sound advice to gain maximum benefit. The last instruction was to turn off the engine and resist the impulse to steer or brake. In effect, all one had to do was to give over all control and allow the process to take you through, arriving polished and shining at the other end.

Scripture readings that might underpin this experience? Many! Anything that encourages us to let go and let God do the work. Try for example

Psalm 36 v 5. 'Commit your life to the Lord; trust him and he will act.'

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