By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB
Our annual Benedictine silent retreat began last night and will last for a week. This is an amazing time of quiet, reflection and prayer for the whole community, together. Truly, I look forward to it all year long!
The title of the retreat this year is Living Our Benedictine Heritage. It’s the perfect topic for me as I prepare to make my final vows. (And it’s the perfect topic for anyone interested in monastic religious life!)
Our director, Sr. Antoinette Purcell, OSB, began our retreat last night by reminding us to keep our whole beings open to the Spirit of God … to intentionally focus our minds, hearts and senses on what God has to share with us.
She suggested we try to write a dialogue with our minds, hearts and/or senses. The reason? To help put us in touch with those things that we have been trying to avoid, ignore or push away.
We ended last night’s conference with a prayer that included this line: “Allow yourself to fall into the loving hands of God.”
What an incredible image! It is helping me put aside all thoughts of school and the liturgy office (where I work at the monastery), while I put myself into God’s hands for this retreat.
Lord, lead me. Speak to me through my whole being. Guide me as I reflect on and pray about our Benedictine life. Help me embrace with even more passion our vision and purpose as Catholic monastics today.
To our readers: I hope you will join me here this week! Take some time to make your own retreat, if only for a few minutes a day. And please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or comments. I look forward to sharing!