Retreat Time

Photo Credit: Maureen McCarthy, OSU

One of my favorite times each year is when I am on retreat. Every vowed religious is required to take time each year for prayer and reflection during a set time called retreat. My favorite type of retreat is to spend 7-8 days in a hermitage in a woods or some other kind of nature setting.

For many years, I made my retreat in hermitages in a woods in Erie, PA. I not only had the woods but also it was walking distance from Lake Erie. Every day I would walk to the lake and take time to reflect on the changing waters. The lake seemed to be an image of what life was/is all about. One day I was so struck by the changing reality of the lake that I felt compelled to write a poem.

Lake Perceptions

Grey,
forlorn,
stretching out before the mind’s eye,
a vastness that speaks of depth,
of mystery.

Storm,
turbulent,
crashing against the strongest walls,
digging up the dregs within,
creating unrest.

Blue,
penetrating,
inviting participation from within,
a movement reaching outward,
to be at one.

Calm,
serenity,
belying inner power and strength,
waiting for winds to act upon
new creation.

These differing faces of the lake remind me of how real life is on a daily basis. Some days are calm but others are tumultuous.  Some reflect our inner strength and some defy our resolve to be at peace. Regardless of how changing the lake is, it is always there, remaining a reality of creation. This is true of us as well. Regardless of what is happening in our lives or the world around us we remain the real human face of God’s creation.

Time away on retreat is a gift many people can’t afford for a variety of reasons, yet quiet time to reflect on our lives is essential for good mental and emotional health. We need to see the beauty of nature around us, even if it is a beautiful weed. We need to be aware of our changing moods, needs and hopes. Retreat time or quiet time for personal reflection are not just a plus in our lives but a necessity. Take the time!

In what ways does nature influence the way you live?

In what ways do you take time to nourish your inner being?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. mflannery8 says:

    Thnks Maureen–Is your retreat place the Benedictine Monastery hermitages in Erie? I’ve gone there as well and love it. I hope they are open this year. Here is the source for getting on a blog directory: Nunspeak; or, Nuns Blog; or Nun News Blog. One leads to another. Sad to say but I have read some pretty nasty stuff from conservative clergy on their blogs. Go ahead and peruse. Let me know what you think. Mary Ann

    On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 2:30 AM Angela For Today wrote:

    > maureenmccarthyosu posted: ” Photo Credit: Maureen McCarthy, OSU One of my > favorite times each year is when I am on retreat. Every vowed religious is > required to take time each year for prayer and reflection during a set time > called retreat. My favorite type of retreat is to spen” >

    Like

    1. Yes, I’ve gone to the Benedictine hermitages about 25-30 times. Find it hard now to carry everything in – getting old! Thanks for the links. Will give it a try.

      On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 12:42 PM Angela For Today wrote:

      > > > > > > > > > Respond to this comment by replying above this line > > > > > > > New comment on Angela For Today > > > > > > > > > * mflannery8 > > commented on Retreat Time > * > > > Photo Credit: Maureen McCarthy, OSU > > > > One of my favorite times each year is when I am on retreat. Every vowed > religious is … > > > > Thnks Maureen–Is your retreat place the Benedictine Monastery hermitages > in Erie? I’ve gone there as well and love it. I hope they are open this > year. Here is the source for getting on a blog directory: Nunspeak; or, > Nuns Blog; or Nun News Blog. One leads to another. Sad to say but I have > read some pretty nasty stuff from conservative clergy on their blogs. Go > ahead and peruse. Let me know what you think. Mary Ann > >

      Like

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