Theme and Goal of the Retreat
This Life Teen Retreat resource entitled, Full Filled, is inspired by and based on the book, Blessed are the Bored in Spirit: A Young Catholic’s Search for Meaning by Mark Hart. While it’s not necessary to read the entire book before attempting this retreat, we do encourage the Core team to read it, or to at least read the specific chapters listed at the beginning of each session to get a feel for the approach to certain topics.
At its most fundamental level, Blessed are the Bored in Spirit seeks to help Catholics (young and old) “connect the dots” of the faith between tradition and life. Each chapter employs different stories or examples not from the author’s life, but from the average cradle Catholic’s journey through ritual and catechesis. Our hope is that Core Members and Youth Ministers will take to heart the “heart” of the book, and its approach when communicating a timeless faith in a timely way.
The hope behind the book and the retreat is that all Catholics, especially our young people, will see that until they empty themselves of everything earthly: pride, hurt, sin, self, control, ego, fear, image, anger, ambivalence, lust, greed and the need for attention, that they will not be able to experience what is Heavenly, that divinely inspired change of perspective, approach and self-offering that God desires for us.
This retreat, Full Filled, further empowers teens to make tough decisions and to ask difficult questions in the midst of their faith walks to Christ. The sessions were created to help the teens embrace reverence for the faith by unveiling the relevance in what we do at Mass, the Sacraments and in everyday Catholic life. Through pointed and simple talks, activities and analogies (with empty and full jars) they will encounter Church teachings with realistic explanations of what that means in their lives between Monday-Saturday.
In addition, the retreat is created in a way that will help them more lovingly receive hard truths of the faith with a renewed sense of joy and humility. It is set up a little bit differently than you might be elements presented in the book. The subject matter works well as a conversation starter with teens and young adults in almost any stage of their faith journey. Use it as a springboard to deep, and sometimes even uncomfortable, conversations about the modern world and the Catholic faith. The theme of the retreat, one of “emptying” yourself, will allow God to “shake free all created things” so that all that remains is what is “uncreated” – God (Heb. 12:27-28).
Full Filled is designed to help strip away the worldly, prideful parts of our lives and teach us how to truly empty ourselves of all that is not of God. Only after we are emptied can God fill us. Only after we are empty will we more perfectly, more authentically, more humbly encounter Christ in the Word and the Sacraments. Full Filled should help you, your Core, and your teenagers get back to the basics of the faith by first emptying yourselves and, next, being fully filled by God so that Christ can overflow in your lives and then spill His love onto all those you encounter after the retreat.