Sunday, September 18, 2011

47 bookmarks, prayers for transitions, and the Jesuit part in the Big Bang Theoryconnection

roots at the base of a Sycamore

Before the silence enters your life at Wernersville, there is a last supper of conversation:

1.  I am recognized as the dude who drew cards for retreatants in the past.  I clearly say it won't be happening.  There are designs I want to work on and I didn't enjoy trying to distribute the cards.  But a seed is planted and that evening grows into an idea and experiments, which will lead to 47 bookmarks.  The idea:  Use a network.  If I gave the bookmarks to my spritual director and she gave them to the other  directors and they gave them to their directees....

And so I timed it out and with date in hand I figured that I clearly could make 47 bookmarks without affecting my retreat and the art I had planned to do.

2.  A woman at the table is about to leave a job with no clear path forward.  I pray for her and as the retreat goes on I will stumble into her at the billiards table and a yoga class... and I wonder if I will ever have a conversation with her again.  Since I am leaving early, I will not be at the last breakfast when we can "legally" converse again.  But when I pass by her on my last evening, I break silence long enough to wish her well.

3.  I mention that I teach science and the conversation turns towards the creation of the world and the Big Bang Theory.  That night I remember that the Big Bang Theory emerged from the mind of a Catholic Priest.  The only time I get on a computer for a week is to look up his name.  I write the name on a piece of paper and silently hand it to a dude during a quite supper.   The scientist, while not a Jesuit, did have some Jesuit teachers early in his life.   and the recipient of the piece of paper has silently reentered my life at facebook.



  1. I love the image of the silence entering into you, rather than the opposite. I always thing of it as my action, walking in, as opposed to God's action, pulling me in...

    And the design that arose that I've seen is soaked in that grace!

  2. I like the descriptions of the retreats you describe. Any that I have been on were far more structured. Sister Mary Alice barely gave me time to get the required readings done! You can laugh, I actually quit going as they got too stressful :-) It's interesting to me how your recipient connected with you on Facebook, so quietly.

  3. Michelle--- that design will get its own special post once you journey to Japan. Thanks so much for the special commissions. I thrive on them.

    Kwee-- sad to hear of the stress. I am blessed to have found a retreat style that matches my spirit quite well.


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