Friday, May 1, 2015

Shhh. . .

Shhh . . . don’t talk to me. I have just returned from spending the week at a silent retreat at a Trappist monastery. When I told people I was going they told me stories of others who had done such silent retreats. The usual scenario was that participants would go crazy in the silence after a couple of days. “Just be prepared,” they warned. But I didn’t go crazy; I found peace. I live a rather quiet, somewhat sequestered life at home so the silence seemed normal. Being at the monastery has drawn me into it even more. But being totally focused on God for these days has changed me, hopefully forever.

This is my first day back. I got up early to walk outside, hoping the practice of being up at first light would bring peace and joy into my heart that would last the entire day. I can see how hard it is in this fast-paced environment. Even yesterday as I drove home I felt it change. I started the trip home, driving over gravel roads and country lanes, leaving the river and the gentle mountains in my rear-view mirror. I was hurling myself back into life outside the monastery—cars and concrete and super achievers. I know this crazy world is where my life is. Somehow I’ll figure out how to keep that peace and joy in my heart. Somehow.

I’ll write more about my experience in the next few days, but for now I’m resting in the silence.


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