From “In The Spirit” Newsletter
by Merileen Thorson
When Bruce and I agreed to serve as co-chairs of the Deacon committee three years ago, it was with some reservations as well as some reluctance. We agreed that Bruce could handle the meetings side; he’s much better at that than I am, and I’d handle “details”. That seemed workable. The same reluctance I felt at chairing deacons came when it was time for the first Prayer Retreat. Silence. Growing up on a farm, there was plenty of silence in the wide open spaces, but also plenty of noise—animals, machinery, siblings…so, a prayer retreat….spending eight hours in silence and prayer? These days, I am more used to a classroom full of chatty children and active grandchildren. How could I spend a day in quiet? Besides, there is so much to DO on the weekends. How could I give up the time to spend a day in prayer? And, how could I keep my mind focused and OFF the things I needed to do before Monday? So, yes, I had some reservations…was hesitant…reluctant. I was also pleasantly surprised.
The first retreat at St Mary’s Seminary was not spent just in silence. There was music, and sharing, and time for reflection, and food, and wandering the beautiful snow-covered grounds, and fellowship, and food, and getting to know other members of LCC and… time for prayer. Yes, there was some silence, but it was good! It was refreshing…it was renewing.
As our next Winter Retreat approaches in a few weeks, I want to encourage everyone to think about spending all or part of the day with us. You will be challenged to grow in your faith, and have time to reflect and relax (as I recall, some-one even dozed off for a few minutes last year). The time will benefit your spiritual life in wonderful ways. Take it from one who is not a fan of silence or “idle time”. ..it will be worth it to participate in the Winter Retreat (formerly called Prayer Re-treat) in any way you can.