July 24, 2009

Retreat Notes: Arrival

[Hi friends. I'm back from retreat, and thanks to your prayers it was a good one. I have reflections and pictures to post over the next few days.]

I arrive. I'm not on the little list in the guestmaster's hand, but I'm in the big book. St. Agnes is to be my home, one of the rooms on the more or less western exposure, with a little yard attached. It's a trade-off; either you get the eastern exposure or a yard.

I go to the chapel and pray recite None. I ask the Lord for a good retreat. Back to St. Agnes and unpack. Find a spot for the coffee pot.

Tired but not sleepy. It's also part of retreat to get back in physical balance.

What now? Back to the chapel to push right into prayer mode? Make coffee? Try to sleep a little bit? Just hide out? This too is retreat.

The shocking first couple of hours crawl by--"how long until Vespers?" cries out the question inside...but it's not quite yet the love of God and desire for prayer; it's just the effect of the sudden fasting from noise and the lust to be distracted from the Truth that is only spoken in silence.

9 comments:

NC Sue said...

As someone whose vocation is married life as opposed to a religious order, it's of no small comfort to know that religious also struggle with listening to the quiet. I look forward to your next posts to learn about your listening.

Adoro said...

Welcome back Father! I look forward to reading more of your posts....

LM said...

It is so nice to have you back. I, too, feel like NC Sue.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Thanks for sharing. We should all be ready at all times to listen, but, in addition to the distraction of the world, there is also a little unease (I would not call it fear because I trust God implicitly and deeply) that just maybe I am going to "hear" something that I am not ready to do because of lack of skill, confidence, time, or internal desire. As with so many others, God asks me to do things that I just plain don't want to. I do them, but there are times I close my ears in advance just in case... Of course, closed ears don't work; God knows how to get past that! ;) I do hope that overall you enjoyed your retreat.

pennyante said...

Welcome home, Fr. Charles! We missed you but we know you needed this space of time. We look forward to your posts.

GrandmaK said...

Quiet Is usually my biggest distraction too...I'm not very good at quiet. Good to have you back! Cathy
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Julia said...

I'm glad your retreat went well, Father. I look forward to your posts.

I'm making my first ever retreat next month, a silent one. The thought of so much silence, room for God and prayer - it's both exciting and intimidating.

Adoro said...

Father, hurry up and write about how you handled all the quiet. I'm visiting the Cistercians beginning Thursday afternoon and while I look forward to it and LOVE silence, well...I still expect this retreat to be a bit of a struggle....

Qualis Rex said...

To echo the good posters who came before me, welcome back!