Into the Wilderness: Journaling through the Lenten Desert Virtual Lenten Retreat

“The Spirit immediately drove Jesus out into the wilderness.  He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan.  He was with the wild beasts, and angels waited on him.”  

These three brief lines from the Gospel of Mark offer us a provocative invitation into the holy season of Lent.

  • What would it be like to follow in Jesus’s footsteps as he journeys through desolate places, encountering Spirit, Satan, Beasts, and Angels?
  • How might we prayerfully navigate the rocky landscapes of our own lives?
  • When we encounter the sacred, the profane, the wild, and the luminous, how will we respond?

In this ninety-minute journaling retreat, we will write our way through the challenges, dangers, and beauties of the Lenten wilderness. We will contend with the Spirit who “drives” us into places that might feel like dead ends. We’ll face the shadows and beasts we tend to fear.  And we will look for the angels who appear at unlikely moments to sustain us as we make our journey.  Using a variety of writing prompts, we will head into the desert as Jesus did, seeking the wisdom, strength, renewal, and hope that only wild places can provide.

This retreat is open to anyone who journals (or aspires to journal!) as a spiritual practice.  Beginners are most welcome!  All you need is your favorite pen and notebook, a quiet place to work, and the courage to join a community of fellow writers as we wander together into the strange and life-changing wilderness of Lent.

Meet the Presenter

Debie Thomas is the author of Into the Mess and Other Jesus Stories (Cascade Books, 2022), and a columnist and contributing editor for The Christian Century. Her published work includes spiritual memoir, book reviews, and reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary. She also serves as the Minister of Lifelong Formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, California. Debie holds a Masters in English Literature from Brown University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The Ohio State University.

Cancellation Policy

Well of Mercy is a ministry of hospitality and healing sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Begins: February 23, 2023 @ 11AM
Ends: February 23, 2023 @ 12:30PM

Maximum Attendees: 30

Cost: $25

All content found on Well of Mercy website is intended as suggestions for independent spiritual exploration and is not meant to be prescriptive. Before beginning a practice, or engaging in an activity that may affect mental and/or physical health, please discuss any concerns with an appropriate medical or mental health provider.