Margaret Silf leads lenten retreat for Sacred Space

February 9, 2021 in Featured News, News

Well-known Ignatian spirituality author Margaret Silf (see photo) has written this year’s Sacred Space lenten retreat offered in conjunction with Pray-As-You Go, the online podcast prayer site of the British Province. Her chosen theme is ‘Growing back better’.

It will start on Ash Wednesday, 17 February 2021. There will be nine sessions in total, including an introduction and a conclusion for Monday 12th April. Jesuit schools are also joining in. They are offering the retreat to their online communities.

Read more about ‘Growing back better’ from Fiona Owens, Editor of Sacred Space.

Growing back better

Silver linings during the cloud of a global pandemic can be hard to find; however, Sacred Space online prayer website has been blessed to find one! It has come in the form of Margaret Silf, the writer of an extensive range of books on Ignatian spirituality, including the highly-acclaimed Landmarks: An Ignatian journeyTaste and see: Adventuring into prayer, and Compass Point: Meeting God every day at every turn.

As a much-sought-after retreat director, Margaret spends a lot of her time travelling around the world. This year, however, the Covid-19 restrictions made this impossible, so Margaret found she had a little more time available, enough to write our annual Sacred Space Lenten Retreat. The retreat is entitled ‘Growing back better’ and is a joint collaboration between Sacred Space and Pray-As-You-Go.

Margaret is passionate about Ignatian Spirituality, especially about making it accessible to the ordinary person in their everyday life. That, then, is the focus we felt drawn to for our retreat this year. 

In conversation with me, Margaret said: “We have all come through a year like no other in living memory, and now we have arrived in a new year, carrying all the hopes and dreams of a new beginning, but also the many fears and troubles of the year just passed. The season of Lent gives us a heaven-sent opportunity to reflect prayerfully on our recent experience and the difficulties and the possibilities it has set before us.”  

‘Growing back better’ will start on Ash Wednesday, 17 February, and will have nine sessions in total, including an Introduction and Conclusion on Monday 12 April. 

Each session is available in both audio and text, and one session is released each week. For each session there will be a Stillness exercise, Scripture reading, Reflection and Talk to God section, offering questions to take us deeper and to help us recognise where God is in the everyday.

Session titles include: ‘Where is my life centred?, ‘Living in balance’, ‘Sailing into deeper water,’ ‘New life emerging out of death,’ ‘Journeying through the darkness,’ ‘A new day dawns” and  ‘What is love asking?’ 

Margaret introduces the retreat by sharing how “2020 challenged us, individually and collectively, in ways no-one could have imagined. It has confronted us with the question of whether we want to go back to how things were, or to ‘grow back better’. It has challenged us to reflect on what kind of people we truly desire to become and what kind of world we hope to pass on to future generations”.

Here in Sacred Space, we want to offer this ‘silver lining’ to as many as possible. We are glad to say that some of our Jesuit schools, including Belvedere College SJ and Gonzaga College SJ, are joining us by offering the online retreat to their school communities. We hope you can join us too! ‘Growing back better’ will be available from Ash Wednesday, 17 February, on our website, as well as at

Fiona Owens


Sacred Space Online Prayer