A Retreat for Lay People


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By Ronald Knox

The laity—in the words of Lumen gentium—live in “the ordinary circumstances of family and social life, from which the very web of existence is woven.” Where in that web is there room for anything resembling a retreat? Is a retreat for lay people practical, let alone possible? In these two dozen conferences, Monsignor Ronald Knox answers these questions resoundingly in the affirmative, addressing the foundations of the Christian life, the sacraments, and the virtues; the life and death of our Blessed Lord; and the practical needs and problems of the everyday, and their amelioration in the believer’s relationship with God. For the laity are not intended for some mean state of mediocrity, of “just about good enough,” in the spiritual life. On the contrary, they are meant to strive for perfection—to be perfect as their heavenly Father is perfect, gladly taking up their crosses and running down the way of love after their Lord Jesus Christ.

Try to hold yourself steadily and humbly in the presence of God, telling him it’s his will you should be making this effort, and there must be something he means his Holy Spirit to do in you; you are content to lie fallow, and let the seed strike; you have no idea what it is, and very likely you never will. (Ronald Knox)

On par with Knox’s retreats for priests and his “In Slow Motion” volumes, the Holy Spirit-enlivened preaching of A Retreat for Lay People is certain to illuminate the heart’s darkness and stir the soul’s dullness with the fiery breath of hope.


Ronald Knox (1888–1957) was an English Catholic priest, theologian, and author, and one of the most prominent twentieth-century converts from Anglicanism to Catholicism. Best known for his contemporary English translation of the Scriptures (the “Knox Bible”), he wrote numerous works of apologetics and collections of ser­mons, retreat conferences, and lectures, as well as six detective novels. 

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Paperback: 280pp.

ISBN: 978-1685953157