Been thinking of the temptations that come to me when I go to be silent at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Wernersville. As I was walking about Lansdale this morning, I welcomed the fact that I knew some of the temptations that greet me there. I thought of how the newly baptized Jesus headed out into the wilderness. He was clearly prepared for the temptations, his responses show us he was ready.
How ready am I? The next time I go on retreat, will I be able to quote scripture to fight off the following?
The Jesuit Center has graciously provided a computer for those on retreat. I have been pulled into the room in the past. Can I walk by it for a weekend retreat, let alone 8 days? No e-mail, facebook, Flickr. I desire to avoid it. The voice shows up... "It will be OK if you just do this." I feel it is best to avoid. A break from the internet may be a good thing every now and then.
Down in the Amish Room are snacks, including a virtually unlimited supply of potato chips. I am thinking I don't need to eat that many chips, especially since I have been known to stop by the dessert table each evening.
The mind wants to roam from here to there. How wonderful it would be if it remained in the present moment of the present retreat. Can I avoid counting the days that are left? Can I not wish for a more "meaningful" experience? Can I greet each moment as a blessing of a unique opportunity to stop and be with God? Do I really need to drive to see the garden like I have in the past? Can I resist taking science books to prepare for teaching lessons when I return? Can I not compare a present retreat with past retreats? If moved to draw cards for fellow retreaters, can I just go with the desire? Do I have to do this every time? Can I just be? Can I be aware of when my mind is taking me away from the retreat, greet the thought and let it move on? My mind will wonder. Can be aware of the temptation to not be in the present moment?
Ignatius believed that God was in all things. So maybe I am wrong about the computer, potato chips, and my unmindful nature. Maybe it is in those things, where I will find God. Maybe not.
One last photo from Wernersville... when I saw this image of me standing on a stump, I became aware... of how much I needed new sneakers.