Of school and silence and spontaneity

September 5, 2008 | prayer

When the kids come bounding off the school bus in a hour or so, I will be packed and ready to head to the Adirondack Mountains for a silent weekend retreat. I’ve never done a silent retreat, and I have to admit that I am more than a little intimidated. No talking, no casual eye contact, no reading and no writing. They should have just said, “No breathing.” But this is something I’ve been wanting to do for almost a year, a prayer challenge I feel I’m ready to take. This particular retreat combines so many of my favorite things: Thomas Merton, Franciscan spirituality, a gorgeous setting on a lake in upstate New York, and a chance to really, truly try my hand at serious contemplation. Dennis was the one who spotted the announcement in our parish bulletin and encouraged me to go, so I have him to thank for whatever is ahead.

Now, some of you out there who know me well and maybe even those who have met me only once, may already be taking wagers on whether I can be quiet for an entire weekend. I don’t think it will be easy by any stretch, but I do think I can survive maybe even thrive in the silence. I’ll be back with a post on Monday to tell you about it, unless I get voted off the mountain and end up back here tomorrow. Kidding. No way I’m letting that happen.

My blog will be quiet this weekend as well, so I thought this would be the perfect time to link you to my two most recent Life Lines columns posted on my website. For some talk of first days and fear, click HERE, and for my column on the importance of family click HERE. See, plenty to keep you busy while I’m away. Please send prayers and positive spiritual energy my way this weekend. Blessings!

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