Wednesday, November 17, 2010

my retreat - with my God

it all seemed so romantic & exciting when I booked the retreat last week - then the panic set in. Even on the trip down to St.Mary's Towers, I could have turned around and gone home. many times.

dinner at 6 then Mass.. once that was over - we were in silence and left alone til morning
FRIDAY NIGHT from my journal: I miss Joe and feel lost & sad and feel like crying. I sit here wondering what I am supposed to be doing. the weekend stretches in front of me like a gaping hole.

Saturday: early morning walk. the air was slightly crisp. the sky already a dazzling blue. as I walked down the path, a feather had been placed on the ground [I like to think by the angels]. a sign to me that I was in the right place at the right time. I was in awe of the sacredness & quietness of this place. feeling blessed to be here. I walked and felt tears welling up - not for the reason that I first thought [of being alone] but because at that moment I truly believed that God loved me. I felt it in every cell of my being. Ants busily made their nests, magpie babies chased their mothers with that constant calling that they do. I wondered if it drove the mother birds insane. Birds sat in trees, at one time many of them sitting in branches, singing like a choir. I stood, listened and watched.

it feels very odd to be in the presence of other people and not speak. I feel rude at times. not even smiling or making eye contact. but in another way, very reverent. we all go about our business, some opening curtains, making breakfast as if we are all on separate planes of existence.. I am beginning to enjoy this .....
I love God so much. sometimes it makes me cry

St Marys Towers is absolute pure silence. no music. no tv. total stillness. that is what I wish to achieve & have in my daily life. of course, that is not possible because I am married and have a family. so how can I bring this into my daily life so that it works for me?

each day we had a Mass - and I had many opportunities to sit with Jesus in the many prayer chapels

it was if all my prayers & wishes had been answered - sitting in a circle of women- hearing of love & the Divine. candles & music that stirred my soul. in a very simple way, living in a convent - the life of a contemplative...but best of all


ever since I was a little girl - ever since I can remember, I have had a burning desire deep inside to find God. sometimes it is not as strong as others, but it always resurfaces. this absolute yearning.

natures Golden chalice

forget about yesterday - do not worry about tomorrow - but live this day as a person of faith

the Holy Spirit Tree

seeing the bottlebrush pods - a reminder of my childhood. God's way today that showing me that he was there then and is here with me now - constant.

statues of Mary

and simple shrines.. it was all like heaven to me.

on the weekend, I realised that I am a christian mystic [or rather, aspire to be one]. it is no good running anymore from this Jesus aversion thing that I have been avoiding for such a long time. it is time to embrace this - I was at such peace on the weekend just by accepting who I am and what I believe. Reading Carl McColman's book: Christian Mysticism, helped me tremendously over the weekend.
I struggle with knowing how to pray - centering prayer is easy for me to do.. i love it.. but how do I make my whole life, my whole day, a prayer? how do I hold the world in prayer?
I gained a spiritual director & once a month I can go back to St. Marys Towers for a day of solitude and silence and meet with my spiritual director - it is just a dream come true.


mxtodis123 said...

What a lovely, spiritual place. The grounds are beautiful and a labyrinth to boot. I'd love the opportunity to visit such a place. I thank you for sharing it with me. Through your photos and your post, I feel like I have been there.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I'm so happy for you, Miss*R! Isn't a silent retreat WONDERFUL? Beautiful retreat centre, grounds and photos -- and a labyrinth too! How perfect! *sigh*

Fire Byrd said...

I'm glad you got what you needed from going there and a future connection with them. Sounds like just the thing you need to help you find your way.

Winterwood said...

Robyn I am almost envious of your lovely what a lovely place and a labyrinth too.. I ve never actaully seen one in real before and would love to walk one! My best advice... be true to yourself and that way youll alwasy feel at home in yourself. Glad that retreat showed you who you are inside!

Imogen said...

That sounds so magical and blessed...

Anonymous said...

Dear Robyn,
I am so happy I popped in this morning to visit with you...
What a lovely place this St. Mary's is...
I am glad you are finding peace and feel God's love. I keep coming back to my faith, no matter how many times I turn my back. Jesus and Mary are always calling ~ very patient they are!
Sending you lots of hugs))

amelia said...

What a lovely place to be!! I'm with you all the way on the power of silence. Not too many people ever achieve it but it's worth striving for..
To listen instead of speak. Very few can do it..

Annie said...

Amen to it all dear Robyn. I am so very happy for you, especially for your gaining of a spiritual director and the opportunity to continue your journey in silence. Love, Annie

gemma said...

This must be like our Franciscan Renewal Center.
A peaceful and comforting place. I spent an afternoon there walking the labyrinth. Very happy that you have found solace inside yourself dear Robyn.
Love you.

Pam said...

This sounds wonderful Robyn. Thank you for sharing your journey including such beautiful photographs.How wonderful that, along with other ontemplative blessings, there was a labyrinth. I am so happy this turned out the way it did and fed your soul in such quiet and refreshing ways. It was meant to be.

judie said...

You were in the right place at the right time!

Beatnheart said...

Such a glorious place to be. Looks like heaven itself. I’m happy for you that you had such a wonderful retreat...

Kathryn said...

I'm smiling!:)

Sheila said...

I am so happy for you Robyn.
Perhaps this is what you have needed for a while, it certainly seems to have brought things into a clearer focus for you.
I've often wondered if I should have been a nun, I love solitude and quiet. Nature's noise excepted of course. Like you I have had problems pinning down the religion and belief part. Perhaps we try too hard.
Love you

"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)