Monday, September 7, 2009

deeper places, part 2 falling into silence, search for a calling

a friend reading this post, asks...
So this was a completely silent retreat? 8 days?

I arrived in time to unpack before dinner, send out one last facebook status, then went to eat. The dinner does not require silence so you have one opportunity to discern a friend or two before you stop talking. Then the silence begins... for next seven full days the only sustained conversation is a daily meeting with your director. A handful of times a day, I will break silence to say something profound like... Good Morning or Thank You. The daily mass allows for liturgical speech and singing, and you do get to pass the peace out loud.

Like I said, sometimes it ain't no vacation. The 8th morning you can converse at 7:30.
The first two passages given to me for reflection were callings, Isaiah 43: 1-7. and Jeremiah 1: 4-19. A couple years back I asked God if there was a calling in my life and if so I would pursue it with my whole heart. I didn't get an answer.
In Isaiah's passage God says he is honored to know the man. The word honored flew out at me, well not the first, or second, or third time I read it, but when I returned to it in the evening. I have thought of being loved, healed, taught, redeemed... by God. But is God honored to know me? This was something new. How could an all powerful knowing loving God be honored to know a lowly fool human like myself?

The next day I woke up with this thought, "May I live out this day in such a way that you will be honored to know me." I thought... "OK, that is good enough, I can pack my bags and go home." and then I said (silently of course),
"and feel free to tell me what you are calling me to do?"

That day my director gave me Jeremiah, one of my favorite passages. "I will put words into your mouth" and "As you prepare yourself for action..."



  1. Wow, sounds like a good experience though probably not an easy one, correct?

    "'I will put words into your mouth" and "As you prepare yourself for action...' "

    very cool, no?

    7 days? Wow. Wondering if it was an emotional experience for you.


  2. Daisy---- amazingly cool and exhausting. more emotions than normal.

  3. I center with a group of friends and we are quiet for approximately 45 minutes including one silent walk around the chapel. It is getting easier but sometimes I really struggle with that amount of silence. Several have left our group because they can't handle the silence.

    I am impressed with eight days. I wonder if it is easier for an introvert.

  4. Kathryn... likely it is, but I am a social introvert and would have loved to sit and chat with some of those faces I was seeing in the dining hall.

  5. Sounds like an interesting experience. I wish I could be at a silent retreat for even just a day!

  6. Kievas--- keep throwing that desire out towards God. I hope you get to go on a retreat.


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