Pray for us during our time of retreat; we shall keep you in our prayers.
This week all the sisters of our community are gathering at the monastery for retreat. The sister who coordinates our on-going formation has set a week for conference retreat for our sisters. This calls us to pause and set aside time from our varying schedules due to their ministry and service in different works of the Church. This summer Father Jerome Kodell, OSB of Subiaco Abbey will be our retreat director. His conferences will focus on “Walking the Road of Faith”. He will be taking us into the Scriptures to see how God continually invites us into a journey of trust from the wilderness of Exodus to the Paschal Mystery of the Cross. For a little peek into his retreat conferences, Father Jerome wrote an article on a similar topic about listening for God and following His Call for Our Sunday Visitor.
Listen I (General Norms of our Federation) recognizes that “Benedictine formation is a lifelong process of daily conversion within a dynamic, monastic faith community. The entire community is responsible, under the direction of the prioress, for the ongoing formation of all sisters. The monastery fulfills this responsibility when it provides the environment for the sisters to share their life together in faith and to continue their own daily effort toward growth in Christ” (G111).
Listen II (Specific Norms of our Federation) reminds the prioress that “the Monastery Norms specifies the ways a monastery provides for the continuing spiritual development of its sisters, such as community renewal, annual retreats, days of recollection and other opportunities” (S129).
Our Listen III or Monastery Norms (specific to our monastic guidance) take all this into account and very simply states a list of items to support this continuing formation including “annual retreats” (M111.g). Simple…However, this yearly week of retreat is so important within our monastic life that it is even written into our contracts so we that may set at least a week aside for personal and private prayer, reflection, community, and Reconciliation.
Retreat allows for a deepening of relationship with God in the silence of our day (including meals). This silence is broken only by Father’s conferences and our celebrations of community prayer and Eucharist. However, the silence isn’t still, it is nurtured through our personal prayer and is active in our sisters’ personal reflection on the conferences. All this additional time in prayer reminds us to follow Saint Benedict’s injunction on the oratory:
“Let the oratory be what is is called, a place of prayer; and let nothing else be done there or kept there. When the Work of God is ended, let all go out in perfect silence, and let reverence for God be observed, so that any sister who may wish to pray privately will not be hindered by another’s misconduct. And that other times also, if anyone should want to pray by herself, let her go in simply and pray, not in a loud voice but with tears and fervor of heart. She who does not say her prayers in this way, therefore, shall not be permitted to remain in the oratory when the Work of God is ended, lest another be hindered, as we have said” (Rule of Benedict 52).
Retreat Week Prayer & Eucharist (July 17-22):
(Saturday Lauds: 8:30AM)
(Tuesday Vespers & Communal Penance: 7:00PM )
Inspired to consider a retreat
to strengthen your relationship with Christ?
Blessings to you,
Return to “One Heart and One Soul”