Beginning and ending with a few rays of sun with snow in between, today’s retreat was mind-blowing. The Sisters of St. Benedict hope the 65+ Oblates had as wonderful a time as they did. In the next week or so, we will post pictures and even try to upload a video of our presenter, Abbott Jerome. We missed those of you who were unable to attend. Any thoughts from those who were present?
This was my first Oblates’ day. I was truly impressed and inspired. As often happens in conferences, the idea that seems to have made the most immediate impact came in the informal, unplanned moments of the Q&A that followed the Abbott’s second talk. He spoke to the need for spending quiet time with the Lord. It’s something that I am not in the habit of doing. It should be obvious that, if we would hear God’s voice in the tumult of the day-to-day, we must get in the practice of listening for that voice – of communion with the owner of that voice – when the confusion and noise are absent. The need to be gentle with yourself in starting this also made an impact – the idea to start by silent communion with God for three minutes – five minutes – the length matters little. The starting matters much.
A response to Rick, on “little lengths” of time: I find it also helps to reground by keeping just one line from a psalm you’ve read, and calling it to mind while walking down the hall at work (or some other little in-between space of time).