Live, Laugh, Love

I have been asked to lead a retreat at the Guesthouse of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in September. The person who originally was in charge of the retreat is unable to lead it, and so I have inherited it. It is called “Live, Laugh, Love” and it sounds like it will be tremendous fun. Here is the write-up for the retreat, as it appears on the Monastery’s Website:

Live, Laugh, Love
September 13-16, 2010

The Live, Laugh, Love Retreat is a Celebration — celebrating our relationship with God. It is an uplifting, joyous expression of our connection to our Creator and all of creation, a time of gratitude. Through our connection to Christ and the Holy Spirit, we come to recognize the hospitality of our hearts, and come to understand the value of each of us as participants in the unfolding of God’s plan.

I’ll be working with Fr. Tom Francis, one of the monks at the Monastery; he will be speaking on prayer and probably also on the joyful love found at the heart of the Holy Trinity. Although I haven’t firmed up the details yet, I think there’s plenty of room on this retreat to explore the Fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, etc.), the too-often-neglected question of humor in the spiritual life, finding joy in the midst of pain and suffering, and the relationship between theosis and sanctification and the call to live a full, deep, satisfying life.

So please come to this retreat! Note that it is a “mid-week” retreat, beginning on a Monday and running through a Thursday. In other words, it is perfect for clergy, church employees, and others who are for whatever reason unable to attend weekend events — and it is also ideal for retirees or for anyone who wants to take a few days off and relish the silence of a Trappist monastery!

The Monastery of the Holy Spirit is located in Conyers, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. Suggested donation for staying at the Guesthouse is $60-$100 a night (sliding scale), which includes meals. To register for this retreat or for more information, call 770-760-0959.

Also, a reminder of the other retreats I’ll be co-leading this summer at the Monastery:

June 4-6, 2010:
Spiritual Writing and Journal Keeping
(with Fr. James Behrens, OCSO)
Explore your personal connection between the inner life and the written word. This weekend includes time for silence, for journaling, and for reflections on the relationship between writing and the spiritual life.
Suitable for professional and amateur writers at all skill levels, this weekend does not include personal criticism or feedback. Instead, it simply creates a space where you can write, you can pray, and perhaps even combine the two into a unified spiritual practice. New for 2010: the weekend will include breakout sessions – one for bloggers & journalists, the other for professional (and aspiring professional) writers – where writers with similar goals and interests can gather to share ideas and experiences.

July 23-25, 2010:
Wisdom of the Christian Mystics
(with Fr. Tom Francis, OCSO)
From the Desert Fathers to Julian of Norwich to Thomas Merton, Christian history is filled with stories of men and women who experienced a profound sense of God’s presence in their lives. Can the teachings of the mystics still speak to us today? The mystics themselves would say “yes” – and furthermore, that their message is not just for priests or monks or nuns, but is indeed meant for the entire people of God. With this in mind, during this weekend we will look at several ways in which the wisdom of the Christian mystics can provide insight and inspiration for our age. This will include the universal call to holiness – St. Paul ‘s directive to “pray without ceasing,” and the promise from the Psalms to “be still and know God.”

For more information or to register, click here.

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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.