Sunday, July 10, 2011

Peeling Away the Layers

This week is my annual silent retreat.  Every year I get myself to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius as preached by the Miles Christi priests.  It is an excellent retreat.  I got to thinking that this retreat is much like peeling an onion.  I tried to explain this to some of my children and they said, "Why? Because it makes you cry?"  Well, yes, sometimes it does do that, however that isn't what I had in mind.

Whenever I go on this retreat, I am never quite sure how many layers God is going to peel back.  Sometimes He is gentle and only works on one layer or two.  Other times He has been more aggressive and peels back a whole bunch of layers.  When that happens, then yes, tears are usually involved.  

I've had some retreats where I am euphoric the entire time.  I've had others where I feel as if I've been dragged behind a galloping horse.  Hard to tell ahead of time which type of retreat it is going to be.

I really look forward to this time away.  It is the only time of the year where I can fully immerse myself in being self-centered without feeling guilty.  People hear that I am going on retreat and ask me to pray for them.  Truth be told, I can't.  That's not what this is about.  It is about totally focusing on yourself; your faults and failings; taking this quiet time to really listen to what it is that God wants to change in you.  If I go in with an open mind and heart, then I can hear pretty loud and clear what it is God is asking of me.  It is great not having to worry about making small talk with the other retreatants, either.  You don't even have to talk at meal times.  It truly is wonderful and peaceful.

If you ever have the chance to partake in one of these retreats, I implore you to go!  You will never regret it.  While I cannot say that I will pray for you, I humbly ask for your prayers for me and all of the other women who will be participating this week.  Thank you :)

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