Suddenly Less Urgent ~ reflections on a retreat

July 30, 2008 — 2 Comments
monastery at boston - soc. of st. john the evangelist

monastery at Boston – Soc. of St. John the Evangelist

Being a guest at the monastery is an act of submission

stepping into the enclosed world

refreshed on the rules

the ‘rule of life’ that binds the community

worshiping with the brothers – in their way

sensitive to the rhythm of chant

not too loud – even when I catch on

practicing the disciplines of silence

praying the hours

psalms coming alive in community

worship suddenly more urgent.

 

I eat with the brothers and other guests

we worship and peacefully wait outside the refectory

waiting for the welcome and the blessing of the leader

silent hospitality

meals are exquisite and moderate and healthy

no time for seconds

no time to overeat

no need to fast these three days

eating is restored to the rhythm

no longer an end in itself.

 

I’m tired the first day – so I rest

I suspend my retreat goals

suddenly less urgent

fasting from tyranny

from internet access

from my own accessibility

and instant response

from watching news

this kind of fast seems more flesh-breaking 

body desires seem suddenly less urgent

 

And solitude?

So much more than aloneness

not that temptations flee without a fight

and retreats can turn quickly into resolve un-sustained

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner….

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2 responses to Suddenly Less Urgent ~ reflections on a retreat

  1. 

    Good morning, Lyle.

    I am so happy for you, that you were able make some real retreat time for yourself. It was obviously of considerable value and consolation to you. And thank you for sharing your thoughtful, insightful reflections:

    “…I suspend my retreat goals
    suddenly less urgent
    fasting from tyranny…
    this kind of fast seems more flesh-breaking
    body desires seem suddenly less urgent.

    “And solitude?
    So much more than aloneness
    not that temptations flee without a fight
    and retreats can turn quickly into resolve un-sustained
    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner…”

    Amen

    And so, the walk goes on with Him, and more often, necessarily, in solitude.

    Warm regards, Greg

  2. 

    Thank you Lyle for sharing this time of solace, a piece of heaven with us. Your words reflect such a sense of peace, humility, and submission to the Lord as he does His work in you. May your experience be revealed in your prayers.

    Phil. 1:3
    Maureen & the boys

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