Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Last Weekend's Retreat

I noted that my wife and I just completed our first retreat at Prince of Peace Abbey. I don’t think I can do much justice in describing just how marvelous an experience this was for us. I can say it was one of the most restful and restorative experiences, both physically and spiritually, that I’ve had in a very long time. I felt, at the end of the retreat, that I was leaving home; it was very difficult to pull myself away from the place.

The first thing you notice at any monastery is the silence that pervades enclosure. I think, if there was any one key to the weekend, it was just being able to bask in that silence. It is so hard to find anywhere outside a monastic enclosure these days, and people even seem to go out of their way to avoid it. I think they don't know what they're missing.

I can also add, even the food was good, and all the monks we met were very friendly and helpful.

Beyond that, all I can say is, if you've never done a retreat at an Abbey, you really ought to give it a try, real soon.

A final note, we were able to meet an Oblate couple who worked in the bookstore/gift shop at the Abbey. I doubt they will ever read this, but I have to take a moment to thank them for their great help and efforts to display true Benedictine hospitality. If they are any indication, this must be a good group of Oblates.

2 comments:

David said...

Dear Ron,

So glad to see that you made the pilgrimage to the Abbey.

When I made my first trip to St. Bernard's Abbey I had a similar feeling of being home. It's a reoccuring feeling every time I go there on retreat.

Monasteries are indeed very special, very important places.

God's blessings on your journey!

Ron said...

David,

I appreciate your comment, it was helpful. I am planning another retreat in November to attend an Oblate meeting. The first retreat was such a great experience that I've been preparing myself for a let down, thinking such a thing may not happen again and I should be grateful just for that. You give me reason to think that may not be the case.

Blessings, keep up the good work on your blog.

Ron