Tonight we begin our annual community retreat. Once a year we pause from our ministries, meetings, routines, and our daily concerns to spend silent time with the One who is our loving Creator and the source of all that we are and will be.
Botanically speaking, monastics are more akin to perennials than annuals. We’re planted here for the long-haul, and keep blooming year after year, and hopefully throughout the year, in all weather and seasons. We also have cycles of growth, and times of hibernation, of fertilization, of pruning, of renewal. In other words, sometimes we need a retreat to draw close to our roots, and our annual community retreat provides such an opportunity.
This week, the house will be quiet. Meals will be in silence. Work will cease, except that which is necessary to keep life and liturgy flowing. Even this keyboard will rest as the keyboardist turns to other places in the house and in her heart. The outdoor areas that typically hold retreatants will host Sisters – reading, walking, reflecting, praying, and simply being alone with God. A series of conferences will stimulate our reflection. The liturgy will take on the resonance of the deep silence which surrounds it. We will rest in the presence of our loving God.
On Friday, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, we will emerge from retreat refreshed, renewed, and ready to share its fruits with one another and those with whom we minister. Please keep us in prayer this week, as we will you.
Ora pro nobis.