Wednesday, March 08, 2006

My Silent Retreat Experience

Two readers have asked for more details regarding my recent silent retreat.

Well, it was silent from 7PM Friday until lunchtime Sunday. The only time I broke silence was to participate in my two Spiritual Direction sessions. Otherwise, I listened.

I listened to the Lord speak to me through scripture.

I listened to the Lord speak to me through liturgy.

I listened to the Lord speak to me through the sacrament of reconciliation.

I listened to the Lord speak to me through my own heart.

How can I describe how it felt to be present with God in the heart of silence?

Well, my first experience of God's presence was his peaceful and soothing presence as a voice within my own heart when I was young. Tumultuous times consumed my family. My parents, God bless them, fell prey to struggles they had endured their whole life. Anger and volumn ruled many of our nights. During one of those nights, when I nearly despaired that we'd enjoy any peace ever again, I experienced the strangest consolation. A presence, who I had not of as God up to that point, reassured me that somehow, we would all experience the peace for which I hoped. Everything would be all right, this voice within my own gut seemed to say. And I felt a rush of serenity and peace in that moment.

Well, we all made it through those rought times. My parents live more happily now than they have in many years. The Blushing Bride, Fine young Fool and I share a "mother-daughter"home with them. Makes for great baby-sitting, btw. But, I digress.

I encountered my Lord anew that weekend. He was the one that had reassured me all those years before. I now understand how C.S. Lewis described how we'd react when we finally come face-to-face with the Savior: It was you, all along!

As for where I experienced this epiphany? Well, here's a photographic montage of the grounds for your enjoyment!

Here's the place!

Here's the event. It's the silent directed retreat dated in February, on the top left corner of the pdf document.