Well, we have returned from our wonderful silent retreat. I wouldn't be surprised if you can barely see this due to the glow of my halo :) Don't worry, the glow will begin to dim rapidly, I am afraid. I mean after all it is very easy to be holy when you are surrounded by Jesus, holy priests and silent women! As my one friend remarked afterwards the good thing about the silence is that you can't say anything stupid :D Now back amongst the "real world", the desire to become holy remains, the struggle just increases exponentially.
My roommate ended up to be a very nice lady. I did not find that out however until after the retreat was over. That first night, as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep, all I could do was HOPE that she was a very nice lady. It was kind of strange realizing you are sharing a room with someone about whom you know absolutely nothing.
In comparing this year's retreat to last year's, I would like to put forth this image. Imagine that I am on a horse riding towards a beautiful town. As I approach the town, all seems quiet and serene. I continue on my ride when all of a sudden I am knocked from my horse and fall to the ground. Unfortunately, my boot is still stuck in the stirrup and the horse takes off, dragging me down the road. Occasionally the horse stops and I try feverishly to remove my boot from the stirrup but am unable to do so. All at once, the horse stops and I am gently helped to my feet, dusted off and my wounds are tended to. After awhile, I am ever so gently put back on my horse and am able to ride on to the next town. That was last year's retreat.
This year, I road toward that same town with a little bit of trepidation since I remembered what last year's ride was like. All still looked quiet and serene, so I continued on down the main road. Once in the town I was again knocked off my horse, but lo-and-behold, my boot was not stuck in the stirrup. I was able to get on my horse and continue on my ride, only to be knocked off again. This happened a few more times but as I approached the far side of town, I was gently helped up, brushed off and placed back atop my horse for good, bolstered by the graces I needed to ride on to the next town.
Maybe the analogy doesn't make you want to run and sign up for a silent retreat, but trust me, the feeling you have as you ride out of town is worth the pain of getting knocked off your horse. So, if you are interested in attending a Miles Christi Silent Retreat, Father just announced that they have added another women's retreat in Illinios the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend. Give thanks with your family and then go give thanks to the Lord. It would be well worth it!