It has been so long - too long since I have blogged
Some of that is because i have been so busy during this season of Lent. I really, really, really enjoy morning prayers in the sanctuary but it means I do not write in my journal and often do not then find my way to the computer to write at all on this blog.
But today I do and the question is what to share. Because there has been so much.
We had a women's retreat on Saturday which turned out to be very meaningful to me as i continue to marvel at how God works. Kay and I co led and the theme was "Taking the next step" and it really was allowing us to see that this spiritual journey is always daily and literally step by step.
One of the scriptures I included was Jeremiah 6:16
Thus says the Lord: stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.
But they said, We will not walk in it."
That seemed to really speak to me about the call to move forward and our resistance. And so much of the resistance comes from the fact that the deeper we get into our relationship with God - the more vulnerable we become. No wonder we resist.
But, of course, a retreat is a time in which we have at least said YES - I am giving you this time, Lord. And so we did and over the course of 6 hours of silence, reflection, sharing, praying, crafting I think some of us felt strengthened in our own journeys and prepared to keep going. One of the activities was that we identified some of the "rocks" within us that got in the way of our growth. We provided rocks to write on and then share (if we wanted) with each other. My partner was Kay and we found that we had written the same word on both our rocks - FEAR. After praying together she threw my fear in the lake and I threw hers in and we stood in silence and watched the circles spread over the lake. It was an important ritual for me.
The most profound part of these retreats for me is the process that I personally go through every time we do one. We somehow land on a theme and slowly but surely over about 6 weeks the different parts of the day come together. And often - like Saturday - in the moment we change some of our plans and allow the spirit to guide us. The retreat always ends up being more than I ever imagined it would be.
I have to say that I live my life in faith as I truly often feel like I am just putting one foot in front of the other and trusting that God will do something with me. And then the something happens.
I did not go to morning prayers this morning because it snowed last night, it is my "day off" and I had Addie spending the night. So this morning as I sat with my beautiful granddaughter and enjoyed her company I felt that the morning was in its own way prayerful.
This evening, however I did go to my prayer room and just listened to music and perused some of my books. I thought I would share what I wrote. Just because.
"I am just sitting in my prayer room listening to John Michael Talboy and writing whatever I want....
From Joan Chittister
- what is there in this of God for me?
The Everything of a deep and demanding prayer life is an awareness and acceptance of the self
- Self knowledge saves us from ourselves
- The fact is that we become what we think about
- Prayer like a laser beam concentrates the mind and challenges the soul
- It is our need for one another that teaches us our need for God
- There is nowhere where we are alone
From Richard Rohr
- Every time you choose to love you have also just chosen to die