I heartily recommend periodic retreats—as long as we don’t idealize these escapes and delude ourselves into believing that praying would better or easier if we bailed on life and started over again somewhere else, someplace more sacred. There are, of course, a few of us who must start over completely—so twisted have our lives become, so entangled with dysfunction. Some of us may have to escape permanently from what has become of our lives up to this point. But one day we who’ve ducked out for a while will have to return to the ordinary dailyness of the new life that’s emerging within us.