Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Great Disturbance in the Force has Been Righted!

My retreat is over and I can talk again.

They had a lot of nerve calling this weekend a "SILENT RETREAT"!!

Last year I went on my first Jesuit Silent retreat. I met with a spiritual director twice a day and the rest of the time I was either supposed to do nothing or some exercise that my director assigned me to do, all the while observing grand silence so as not to disturb the other women who were on retreat with me.

This year I was on what I thought was a silent retreat, but this time there were EIGHT TALKS by a Jesuit Priest! Now I am sure that this man is a wonderful retreat master, but somehow it mars my idea of a silent retreat to be forced to sit through eight talks on the spiritual exercises interspersed throughout the day. On top of that there was the rosary and stations of the cross and spiritual direction. One could hardly qualify this as a silent retreat except for the fact that we were supposed to not talk as we went between all of the functions we were supposed to attend.

I still was able to enter into the spirit of the time away and I came away with pages of insights and notes to help in my discernment over the next few months. I came in contact with four new Jesuit priests, one of whom stayed up late with me as I worked through an issue I have been trying to come to terms with, and gave me great counsel. I am so happy to have found my spiritual home in Ignatian spirituality and the Jesuits. Whenever I need clarity in discernment I know that I can count on the Jesuits to lead me to it.

If only Bellermine would have a real Silent retreat for women, all silence with no talks or mandatory rosaries or stations, just silence, direction, and the exercises I would go back in a heartbeat. Well I might have to reconsider the drive through Chicago, that took forever, but the grounds and the staff were nice.

I will try to remember to post some of my insights (at least the less personal ones) on my blog from time to time so that you can all benefit from what I learned.

The first one will be my next post.


1 comment:

Mark Mossa, SJ said...

Ah! Yes, when dealing with Ignatian silent retreats, it is important to know whether you are attending a silent "directed" retreat (your previous experience) or a silent "preached" retreat, which is what you experienced this weekend. Both have their merits, but I prefer the directed retreats, more quiet time with just me and God. Well, now you know!

Hope it was good anyway!