Wednesday, October 7, 2009

how it ended

This is how the Jesuits at Wernersville end an 8 day retreat.... a morning mass.

The homily is given over to the silent folk and the Jesuits just ask for us to be short about our reflections. It's been over a month but I said something like this:

Walking into this retreat 8 days ago, I was greeted warmly by Father Jack, but just on the other side of him I saw a huge list. I nearly gave up on drawing cards for all of you but your presence here means so much to me. It is how I say thanks for your willingness to be with me in silence. I have received so much. I am leaving here today with a calling to make art and to greet God as I enter my studio. Your cards and thanks are going into my studio as a physical reminder of what this retreat has meant to me.

In my studio window is the cross that goes deep (see Jim's comment) and on my walls are cards and slips of paper containing words written in silence. I stand in my studio surrounded by reminders of how powerful a gift of God can be, if shared with the world.

Then it was over and the introvert, who is not so good at hearing nice things about himself, braced himself for some positive attention. Don't these people know how hard it is to hug someone.

anyway, choosing to enter into a relationship with God is far from easy, not always comforting, but can be down right amazing.


  1. In my neck of the woods, they refer to that sort of meeting as "popcorn", letting the Spirit, Himself, move whomsoever unto a sharing of their heart. It's part of what I so loved about church in thoe early years of my conversion.....

  2. Today -- though there was an invitation to share if so moved, there was but silence. And that was fine...

  3. Jim and Michelle ---

    my home church does it from time to time, but I am often silent. usually by the time I have formulated something to say, the service has moved on.

    At Wernersville, I know it is coming and have a chance to decide on what I would like to share.

  4. Interesting that their was hugging at the end of your retreat despite the lack of conversational interaction. I was raised by Germans and hugging didn't happen much in my family. I generally fumble the social buss and give a straight-arm look about hugs. Although I'm an extrovert, I totally get it.

    Anyway, I'm glad that your retreat was so refreshing and that your deeper relationship with God included your studio. I have much enjoyed your telling of the story of your retreat.

  5. Kathryn--- I know, draw someone a card and then they want a hug too... some people ;')


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