Thank You For Participating!
This booklet is your retreat booklet.
Helping another accomplish for the common good that which they value the most is extreme value. It takes about 4 hours of preparation and 3 hours of small group discussion to complete the process.
Your friend has asked you to attend a Work Meets Faith small group discussion. The time to take this retreat is about 7 hours total (4 hours of preparation and 3 hours of discussion), which is short for a retreat. This free retreat booklet does the heavy lifting for preparation for our discussion group through reading (2 hours) and videos (2 hours).
The reading is broken up into two parts; the Main Section of the retreat booklet, and its Appendix. You don’t need to read the Appendix, which is a reference source for future use.
When a “Video Resource” comes up on a page, click the link and view each of 10 videos. You don’t need to view the videos marked “Optional” which are for inspirational future use.
Your friend believes you will benefit
If you asked your friend “Would you be willing to spend 7 hours total time for me?” Well, your friend has already spent this much time for you by taking this retreat.
Your friend is your advocate. Your friend trusts you by gently, patiently, kindly, acknowledging in humility, your dignity, giving you the freedom to follow your own faith path, regardless of faith path. The reason your friend invited you to take this retreat is faith in wanting to do that which you value the most.
Our common job is to leave behind ways that hurt and harm others and to move us closer to more loving ways for all around us. That is emotional intelligence.
(Loquate Research acts as a plug-in between Academic Research on Emotional Intelligence, focusing on primary values that create a sense of community. Loquate employs Academic Research from the field of Emotional Intelligence on best practices for Work Meets Faith small groups. Best practices empower participants with greater happiness and sense of community, so as to operate longer and better in a world that can all too often be harsh.)
(Best practices consist in increasing: self awareness, self management, empathy, and community building thru skilled relationships. Emotional Intelligence Training permits self management by the group members for best practice outcomes.)
What is the retreat purpose?
We all have a job to do, that no one else can do. When our job contains that which we value the most, we get more meaning out of work and do a better job. This retreat lets us explore the spiritual roots of that which we value the most.
Jeff sent an email to his brother Jim who was on his deathbed. Jim loved email because he could pick and choose what to respond to, and leave off what he did not want to respond to. In this way Jim could keep his agenda flowing in the direction he wanted.
Jeff wanted to be an advocate for his brother. Jeff did not press a response on troubling areas. Both brothers were totally honest and spoke with integrity to each other. In their email correspondence chain lasting 6 months, they found amazing areas of mutual interest that provided extreme value to others. The brothers were fond of their email correspondence. They found common ground.
The email sent from Jeff to Jim on Jim’s deathbed said this: “Jim, just ask for God’s mercy. The abundance of this life continues on into the next life for those who trust in a merciful God.”
Jim replied “If you want a relationship with me, it has to be with my God, not yours.”
Jeff replied in his last email to Jim “Okay.”
Those last two emails are a metaphor for interfaith dialogue. One can drive the dialogue only towards their own agenda. The other can still be an advocate for the one doing the driving. Both can be totally honest and speak with integrity to each other. Both can find amazing areas of mutual interest that provide extreme value for others. Both can find common ground.
What is the retreat process?
This retreat process is all about changing yourself, and not about changing anyone else. The process is first and foremost an attitude that is acquired as the result of listening to various points of view and helping each other accomplish that which they value the most. The process permits God centered sense of community without getting into details of differences of belief. God may be interchangeably defined as that which you value the most leaving participation open to all. Stories of shared experience are key. Stories tell us we are not alone, even stories from another faith. These stories help you to accomplish in faith that which you value the most.
What is the retreat goal?
The goal on this retreat is for you to get closer to that which you value the most. For some that means getting closer to your principles, like integrity, honesty, and doing that which is truly in the best interests of others. For many, that means God. For everyone this retreat allows us to get closer to the spiritual roots of that which we value the most. Helping another attain a goal of that which they value the most fulfills intrinsic psychological needs.
Why a Catholic retreat of all inclusive love?
The spiritual roots of that which we value the most usually come from some kind of religious tradition. There is some Biblical material in the retreat and a Catholic retreat may relate to spiritual roots of many in the US population as discussed in the chart below. (For official recommendation, please see Appendix F. A priest of the Catholic faith must review content of all printed materials. Other faiths may publish a similar retreat.)
2014 – US religious affiliation
Old Testament.. 2.8%
Non affiliated…. 15.8%
Sub Total……. 92.3%
Sub Total……. 7.1%
Don’t know………………. 0.6%
If I am not Catholic can I take this retreat?
All people of all diverse backgrounds who wish to explore the spiritual roots of that which they value the most are invited to take this retreat. For example, an atheist can take this retreat, benefit from it, and still remain an atheist. See Appendix H – “How can an atheist benefit from this retreat?” The benefit of this retreat is growth in other-relatedness. Don’t necessarily expect conformity to your beliefs. Rather think paradoxically. Ask yourself, “Why do I struggle with difficult beliefs of the Catholic faith, and also struggle with the difficult beliefs of my own faith?” Move through any unusual sections you find from this retreat, but learn from it to grow in your own faith areas.
Can we increase work engagement?
Instead of thinking how we are different, let’s take a moment and think about how we are the same. If that which you value the most is intentionally put to use at work, that experience is highly likely to lead to happiness for you and an increased sense of community for each work group of which you are a part. If your good experience was consistent with the mission statement of your workplace, can you imagine the global change that could occur? Engagement would be high. Studies show that high engagement leads to greater profitability. (See Gallup studies 2013 and 2011 state of the Global Market Place: 147% higher earnings per share @ 9.3 engaged for every 1 not engaged vs 2% lower earnings per share @ 2.6 engaged for every 1 not engaged.) Greater profitability and engagement leads to workplace enhancement.
Many of the work groups to which you belong may be diverse. This shared retreat experience is meant to be a diverse experience, an instrument to bring peace on earth in cultures of diversity. Peace can only come from living and working together in spite of our differences. The peaceful purpose of the retreat is gaining experience at helping each other to accomplish that which they value the most.
Why experience and not advice?
Many participants may be more open to shared experience, than to advice. The world is just different than how we think it is. Theoretical advice can never measure up to an interesting relevant story of practical experience. A story of accomplishing that which one values the most, may be considered a best practice for emotional intelligence. The dignity of man is that each person has sufficient knowledge to come to that which each person values the most. Hearing best practices of several others pursuing what they value the most may permit greater options. A story never goes against the dignity of another to decide what may be applicable and what not.
The Smart® Retreat is about understanding 9 common cultural challenges, 9 spiritual breakthroughs, and 9 steps “Where Work Meets Faith.”
The Smart Retreat addresses 9 work related most common cultural challenges and the corresponding 9 most common spiritual breakthroughs. The term “work” as used throughout this Smart Retreat is as broadly defined as possible from an adult student 18 and over whose work is being a student, to an employed adult
whose work is their job, to a homemaker, to a volunteer whose work is volunteering, to a retired person whose work may include fun work without pay. What all have in common is facing the challenges posed by our culture in finding greater meaning in our work. These defined challenges and spiritual breakthroughs are amazingly similar for all who work in the broadest sense of the word.
The retreat material draws on the Biblical experience of others.
No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.
Micah 2:13 usccb:
The one who makes a breach goes up before them; they make a breach and pass through the gate;
Their king shall go through before them, the LORD at their head.
According to the National Directory of Catechesis, Chapter 4:
“Human experience serves in the examination and acceptance of the truths which are contained in the deposit of revelation.”
“God’s own methodology engages persons and communities in light of their circumstances and their capacity to accept and interpret Revelation.”