I never made a silent retreat until I entered religious life. Although come to think of it, my mother was a contemplative at heart and I spent many an hour sitting with her on the screened in porch on a summer evening, or watching the ocean during summer vacations.
Making an annual retreat is one of the committments/invitations of religious life that have really become essential to my being. When the time roles around on the calendar, by body and spirit knows!
Our CSJP Constitutions put it this way:
We nurture our life of prayer
by reflective reading, particularly Scripture,
by periods of solitude and silence,
and by an annual retreat.
22 simple words. 7 days out of 365. But so very important.
Silence nurtures our spirit and helps us to quiet our own minds enough to really listen and be aware of God's presence which is always around us, within us, and among us.