Sunday, July 17, 2011

Contemplation and the Great Outdoors

I am back from retreat and finally back into the real world mentality again.  It took a few days, as this was a wonderful retreat with very rich content.  It also was not a very deep and painful one.  Fruitful, yes, but not painful.  More euphoric.  Praise God!

I had a thought about a day into the retreat that, had I become a nun instead of a wife and mother, I would most probably not have been a cloistered nun.  I fancy myself as more of an active-order type candidate.  Is that why God gave me 7 children, or are the 7 children the reason why I am always active???  Anyhow, I noticed that as soon as our meditation periods were over and we had some free time, I would dash for the nearest door and head outside.  Outside to sit in the sunshine or to walk the grounds.  Sometimes I would put my gym shoes on so I could really walk the grounds.  Moving about like that helps me think and being outside clears my head.

The retreat center we were at has an absolutely beautiful chapel (rather on the large size, too) that has perpetual adoration.  Jesus there, truly present, 24/7.  I did spend some time in there, too, but I've always had a hard time sitting still in adoration, which then makes me feel like I'm disturbing others around me.  I'm the kind of person who can't help but look at her watch every few minutes when I feel as if an hour has come close to passing.  It's not that I don't love being with the Lord, it's just that I have a hard time sitting on the hard pew for that long without getting antsy.

A friend of mine was telling me once about how she had a project to work on that was giving her problems, so she packed up her stuff and went to the nearest adoration chapel...and stayed there for 6 1/2 hours!  What amazed me even more is that she said her 8 year old son came with her and stayed the whole time, too, without getting out of hand.   Just the thought of it makes me shift in my seat!

Put me outside and let me move about and soak up the sun and then I can contemplate and mediate and really converse with the Lord.  If you really want to get things going, put me by a body of water and surround me with quiet and I could stay there for hours.

I'm so glad that I had the freedom and free time to move about as much as I did on this retreat.  I even came back with a bit of a suntan :)  But what is more important is that I came back full of peace and joy and resolutions.  Resolutions that will hopefully help me to live my life on earth with a more heavenward view point.  

1 comment:

  1. Laura~I am right with you. I immediately go into a contemplative state when outdoors amongst nature. I run there too when on retreat : )~Theresa