24 hours at the abbey

Had a good time at conception abbey this week, even if it was only a 24 hour booster.

Here is my wisdom from Fr. Adam. He gave me a quote which he said was from Pope John the XXIII, but the internet has it from John Paul II – I’d trust Fr. Adam on this one. Anyway, the quote is:

“See everything. Ignore a lot. Improve a little.”

I’ll be chewing on that one.

As part of my rule of life, I take 3 yearly week-long retreats at the abbey. These are about exchanging my own daily routine for a daily rhythm which is determined by the monks of conception abbey and the divine office. I go chant prayers with them 3-4 times a day and attend mass each day with them and participate in spiritual direction with Fr. Adam. The rest of the week is spent reading, writing, praying, and in contemplation.

Also as a part of my rule of life, I go to the abbey for “abbey days.” These are short, 24-30 hour retreats which I do each of the 9 months of the year where I don’t have a week long retreat scheduled. That’s what I did Monday/Tuesday this week. These days are supposed to help me to continually draw the pace of my life into perspective. The goal of the abbey day is just to get away for 24 hours and meditate and pray as well as to participate in spiritual direction with Fr. Adam.

So my goal in my rule of life is to have 3 week-long (5 day) retreats and 9 day long retreats, for a total of 24 days a year of relative silence and solitude, (I never make that many, this year I’ve done one long retreat and 3 abbey days – so I’m off by 3 days already). Still, it seems like a lot of time away when I see it written out like that. But, amid the 55 hour work weeks with school work on top of that, I see the abbey as a necessity for my own sanity.

About Tim Suttle

Tim Suttle is a pastor, writer, and musician. He is the author of several books: Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), and An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade Books, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals. Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. He has planted three successful churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.


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