Our Twinnies were very affected by their Kairos experience and that got me thinking about, yet again, motherhood and spirituality. For many Kairos is a retreat experience mostly for High school students. But Kairos in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches is the chant, before the Divine Liturgy begins, the Deacon exclaims to the Priest, “Kairos tou poiesai to Kyrio” (“It is time [kairos] for the Lord to act”); indicating that the time of the Liturgy is an intersection with Eternity.
That phrase “It is time [kairos] for the Lord to act” is what the Kairos retreat experience is all about…accepting the Lord’s action into your life. Kairos is a very powerful retreat experience that brings High school students closer to God and deeper in their faith. It is a secret retreat meaning that everything done, said, or witnessed in the retreat is secret – extremely private – so that the retreats can be comfortable to reveal deeply held misconceptions about themselves and their family life, their relationship with God and others. Like all good Jesuit retreats it is structured to explore your life/faith, because as Jesuits, and I believe, both are intertwined, and the first day looks at your whole experience good, bad and different. The second day examines your life as a sinner, one who hurts and one who has hurt others, the third looks at how God has intervened in your life, and on the fourth you see yourself as God truly sees you: Beloved. It is this fourth day that has the greatest impact on the students; it is the day when they make commitments to live out their faith and all they have learned at the retreat, they pledge to go out and let God act in their lives. Live the Fourth! is the expression used to encourage participants of Kairos to live out the promises they made on the fourth and final day of the retreat.