Waiting for the Spirit Online Retreat Day One

Waiting for the Spirit: Ascension to Pentecost Retreat - text next to image of disciples at Pentecost

Welcome to Waiting for the Spirit! This online retreat will lead us from Ascension to Pentecost. Feel free to post your reflections in the comments area below each day’s content as we encourage one another in prayer.

The Grace I Seek

I pray for the grace to recognize the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life.

Come, Holy Spirit Prayer


Read today’s Scripture readings: May 22, 2020, Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter.

Becky Eldredge reflects on today’s Gospel, John 16:20–23. Eldredge is a spiritual director and author of The Inner Chapel and Busy Lives & Restless Souls.

For Further Reflection

Vinita Wright considers what it means to mourn in a time of pandemic, inspired by John 16:20–23.

Take some time to ponder the message that God shares with you today through the Scripture readings and reflections. When you are ready, proceed to the closing prayer.

Closing Prayer

A New Psalm of Emptiness and Hope

by Vinita Wright

I have languished for days, even weeks,
and just now understand how hungry I am,
how desire burns, how I long for sustenance—
food and drink for my soul, my deepest self.
I languish and weep and mourn my losses.
I am empty, God, and tired and spent.

You create feasts from a few pieces of bread.
You make of our tears fuel for compassion.
You use our mistakes and shortfalls to build new ideas and better plans.

Fill my life, God of abundance!
I need energy! I need love! I need passion for what gives life.
I need and desire and hunger and thirst.
I wait here, at the center of my great need.

I wait for the silence to fill with joy.
I wait for the moment to bloom with promise.
I wait to enter your possibility.



  1. God is great.
    He is always near by and answers our prayers.He is almighty and powerful .We can trust in him all the time.We must always give him praise and Glory.Christ is risen. Alleluia.

  2. Get a lot of spiritual ems from various groups- after deciding to opt out of one and delete the emails this one came up quite unexpectedly in my inbox – such perfect timing.
    After listening to Becky and Vinta, spoke to me right where I am at. I do thank and praise the Lord for his provision in my time of need at this time, The bit about mourning explained to me what I have been feeling, times of mourning, weeping, feeling heavy when I really don’t have the troubles so many are going through at this very difficult time all around the world. I now understand that the pain I am feeling is for the those in great need and a call to intercessory prayer.
    The prayer to the Holy Spirit is a favourite one of mine also.
    Thanks you 😊

  3. Great wisdom today. The final prayer is sticking with me:
    “I wait…” to hold my grandson. I wait to see my dad and my sisters. I wait to see my friends and receive the Eucharist. I wait for my time to teach again. God of mercy, I know you are with me in my waiting. Give me compassion, patience, and hope. Amen.

  4. Because of technical limitations I could only avail of the New Psalm. I am so grateful for this and will follow the coming days prayers. Thank you.

  5. Good day! The assurance of God mentioned in the Gospel consoled me, that at the right time, all of these will pass; sadness-will be turned into joy. The Gospel Reading seems to be speaking directly to me, as if knowing my context at the moment. It allowed me to pause and reflect and pray. Thank you for the shared reflection. It helped me to gather my worries and frustrations these days. Indeed, naming my grief, loss, and inconveniences allowed me to see within myself the things that made me sad/upset since the past days and months. These will be the things, I will be bringing with me in my prayer periods.

  6. Thankyou for the opportunity to share in this retreat. It brings with it a new sense of connection for me as we continue our Journey through this Pandemic, in isolation from those we love, Minister to, and Worship with. This New Psalm from Vinita is so beautifully and deeply saying exactly what I am feeling in my Soul. Thankyou from Gippsland Australia.

  7. Your reflections are so helpful as i listen in for more ways to help a community of people who are “fearing, angering, and depressing” and invite them to experience all these as a calling for growth and healing. Thanks and Love from the Philippines.

  8. Tks for short and sweet retreat. It touches me to be more aware of God ‘s presence in my life in good n bad times.

  9. Thank both of you for a wonderful opening to this retreat. I am longing for more and anxiously await the next 8 days.

  10. Praise the Lord and thank Him for He is good to us in every possible way! That is the best way to pray, giving thanks to our Lord.

  11. than you for this waiting for the spirit retreat. it has inspired me to spiritually prepare my self for my next ministry to the college students. 🙂

  12. Thank you for this online retreat Thank you Becky and Vinita for your Spirit-filled-life-giving sharing/reflection…The Trinity lives so we the Church will live…Together with the Lord God will redeem us from & through this pandemic…Alleluia Amen

  13. Oh, Our Lady of Memory, let me share with the pureness and beauty of your memory so I may remain grateful to the Lord for all the marvels He has done to me and my family. During this pandemic when it feels like everyone is distant, God’s nearness is felt. His prsence sustains all seasons.

    Truly, there is nothing that separates us from His love. Come Holy Spirit, come.

    Thank you very much (maraming salamat) for this opportune journey to Pentecost. May the Lord bless more and more the organizers and everyone involved in this holy undertaking.

  14. Thank you Becky and Vinita for your reflections. The reminder to be honest and real with our Heavenly Father (trust and surrender) and experience joy through thanksgiving for all that He does and is doing in our lives, was much needed. Also, Vinita you put it all into perspective when you said that we focus on what is “hurting the Father.” When we focus on those things and open ourselves up to His voice, He will show us what He is calling us to do through the Holy Spirit.

  15. I went to thank you all for these wonderful retreat of love of God ,thankful for his presence that we all need now.I felt his presence when I almost died and gave me a second chance of life.Now I am always scared and the sense of fear that anytime I will have to go.I mourn for loosing the freedom to mingle in the church and pray.thanks that I was able to think of what had happened and what the future entails It is not easy to be alone at home that makes you depressed but the prayers and the novena and attending the mass helps and now the retreat.Thanks handler us all be Safe.God Bless us All

  16. The psalm speaks to what my heart is feeling. Thank you for articulating it and validating the mourning so many are feeling.

  17. Thank you for the timely reflections. Vinita,thank you for the prayer. I will add it to the other prayers that I have received since the pandemic started.

  18. Thank you so much for adding clarity to what authentic mourning beyond personal sickness and death includes. That my compassion speaks also of the human family and situations of injustice is somehow hopeful, refreshing and freeing and helps to keep me alert to that response!

  19. I would also love a transcript of the videos! Living in a very rural area does not allow me to watch them. Thank you.

  20. Becky: Loved your reflection. What really moved me was not only when you shared your family story, but the idea of “naming the real,” and not fast-forwarding through emotions during this time. As you said, that effort may be the most fertile ground we are standing on these days.

    Vinita: “Choose carefully what (we) mourn over.” A wonderful reminder to remain mindful of all desires and emotions, and know that finding God in these difficult times may require some spiritual work on my part.

  21. Thank you for leading us into reflection. Truly, God is always with us especially during this extraordinary time. That alone brings comfort and joy.

  22. Thank you Becky for your sharing. It brought a tear to my eyes as I also had an experience like that with my father after surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. My mother and I were full of worry about his poor prognosis after the surgery. We were looking at him and praying when he suddenly moved his head, opened his eyes ,and smiled with a twinkle in his eyes. He died 2 weeks later but I have kept that memory ever since. He did not say anything but the message was clear, “It’s ok.” Thank you God for your presence in our lives. Amen.

  23. Mister Eckhart said…If you say no other prayer than Thank You, it is enough. Becky’s Grandfather prayed a beautiful prayer…and desired Becky and all the family to join him in this! Thanking God for all the mess, for all the glories He brings from our grief, our hard times, our losses. A little while and we will see Him! Thank you, Beloved! Blessing Becky and vinita

  24. Thank you both, especially Becky. It lifts my heart to see your smiling face and realize how God has lead you these past years,,,so far from Athens. I am grateful to be reminded to be real with God.

  25. Thank you Becky and Vinita from my home in the UK. This retreat is exactly what we all need during
    this time of uncertainty and loss.

  26. For those of us in healthcare, this gives special meaning as we touch the lives of patients and some families. The analogy of visualizing what hurts the Father is especially meaningful as we sadly observe the ways that the elderly are treated (or not) and the shivering statements that condemn them as “lost cases or expendable people”. Praying that the Holy Spirit will touch our leaders, teachers, practitioners and all faithful to courageously and thoughtfully stand up and speak up for what grieves God during the pandemic. Thank you sincerely for this perspective.

  27. I look forward to following you through this retreat. I would have so loved to have heard Vinita read her powerful prayer (psalm), she has such a magnificent voice. Thank you very much Becky and Vinita.

  28. As I look deep into my heart I find I grieve for the hugs of my grandchildren that I watched each week since they were born 8 years ago. I have been going through each day and enjoying God’s gifts before me in my isolation. But I now realize what I have been covering up inside and that is my feeling of loss of those little ones in my arms and on my lap. I long for that touch, that touch that was always God to me. Fill me Holy Spirit with that loving touch as I sit in isolation.

  29. Pentecost has long been a favorite for me – a time of renewal and hope! Recently I lost my husband of 41 years to complications from Alzheimer’s. So in this time of Pandemic, I have been grieving my personal loss as well as sharing in the grieving of us all. I live in hope and yearning to receive My Lord again in the Holy Eucharist. Come Holy Spirit, Come!

  30. I am thankful for the words of reflection this morning, in particular Becky’s words about her grandfather and his desire to thank God, even in a very difficult time. They really brought me to a deep place of prayer. Thank you.

  31. The speech in the videos is difficult to understand for Non-Americans. It would be extremely helpful to have a transcript.

      • I read English. Which closed caption do you mean? I only noticed the spoken part of which I opted out after a short while. Anyway, I prefer not to be served ready answers but to get an impulse instead to contemplate by myself.

  32. Thank you so much, very inspiring. It’s true, God always be with me. So there is no reasen to be afraid.


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