Retreat Day For Me and Thee -UPDATED

Have you had enough?

I have. I’m having one of those weeks where I feel like The Great Unread, like I am the mutt who cannot pass muster with the pedigrees.

Well, okay, I am a mutt. But I’m God’s Own Mutt, and quite privileged.

Yes, I am privileged to write for a modest living, which is so much better than having to manage an office, for one. So, before I start giving in to the “why do I bother, no one reads me,” ego-roasting and self-indulgent megrims (which quickly lead to acedia) I’ll do what needs doing: I’m calling “Retreat!”

Let’s take a break. Let’s find time for some quiet, and some prayer, and the luxury of reading something out under a tree, with a cup of Mystic Monk Coffee (or better yet, an iced recipe) in the hand.

Let us ponder Augustine, or pray what hours we can manage, muse on simple mechanics, crack open a book of favorite paintings, and then find something to smile over.

Tomorrow will come fast enough, and with it all the attendant concerns. For today, I am in retreat!

Let this be our prayer, then, our meditation on which to begin, because no matter all we know, and all we intuit, we still cannot get past the dividing stream, and must await the Shepherd to come to us:

Pastrè dè délaï l’aïo,
As gaïré dè buon tèms?
Dio lou baïlèro lèrô,
Lèrô lèrô lèrô lèrô baïlèro lô.

Pastré lou prat faï flour,
Li cal gorda toun troupel.
Dio lou baïlèro lèrô,
Lèrô lèrô lèrô lèrô baïlèro lô.

Pastré couci foraï,
En obal io lou bel riou!
Dio lou baïlèro lèrô,
Lèrô lèrô lèrô lèrô baïlèro lô.

[English translation]

Shepherd across the river,
You’re hardly having a good time,
Sing baïlèro lèrô
No, I’m not,
And you, too, can sing baïlèro

Shepherd, the meadows are in bloom.
You should graze your flock on this side,
Sing baïlèro lèrô
The grass is greener in the meadows on this side,
Baïlèro lèrô

Shepherd, the water divides us,
And I can’t cross it,
Sing baïlèro lèrô
Then I’ll come down and find you,
Baïlèro lèrô

Check back later, for something “retreat-y”

UPDATE: Julie has her own retreat ideas

O/T but good: What Every Catholic Should Know

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Robert

    Nobody reads you? What?

    I remember you calling a retreat not that long ago and recommending an English film with Miranda Richardson and the guy from Foyle’s War (sorry, having a blank memory day).

    I went out and found it. It was lovely.

    You’re one of the sanest Catholic writers out there and devoid, mind you, of the khaki stodginess that afflicts more than a few.

    Love your work,


  • Susan

    Have I told you lately how much I enjoy your blog? I thought not.

    Looking forward to this wonderful day of retreat.

    Many, many blessing unto you in all you do this day. :)

  • Tony

    If you think you’re “unread,” you’re definitely mistaken. Your writing about faith and politics is always enlightening for me and many others.

  • Peggy

    Can I just copy and paste this on my blog too? (Just kidding…) I feel exactly the same way today!

  • alexandrag

    Yay. I love it when you proclaim retreat days. “This is the day that the Lord has made. Come, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

    I also love your other writings!

    May we all be aware today of the innumerable blessings God has bestowed on us!

  • Ron

    Nobody reads you???? I so have to call a great big B.S. on that one. Have a nice retreat, then come back as feisty as ever.

  • Jennifer

    A retreat sounds so lovely…

    However, I don’t believe for one second that no one reads you! I read you every day! And usually, like today, I have to open up the dictionary and look up a word or two that you’ve used. (I’m not sayin’ which ones.) You’re one smart cookie.

    Have a quiet day. I shall try to do the same.

  • Last Sphere

    My Dearest Anchoress

    I have been reading your blog for over two years now and it has become one of my staple daily sites right along with HotAir and Drudge.

    I have been slugging my way back to my Catholic faith for the last six years thanks initially to EWTN (and throughout to Chesterton) and now increasingly to you.

    Just recently I have been telling my wife and one of my colleagues about your site as I constantly reference bits of spiritual revelation that seem to bloom from your writings day after day. And I think to myself “What a wonderful blessed calling The Anchoress has! I feel called to the same career, but what can I possibly contribute?”

    I marvel at your insight and at the depth of your spiritual awareness. But even more so I marvel at your seemingly effortless and completely natural ability to communicate those thoughts. God-given talents such as yours are so very special indeed that they standout in this world as an oddity because they have the ability to rile the soul when the soul prefers not to be disturbed from it’s dysfunctional slumber.

    So you can image my surprise when I read “I’m having one of those weeks where I feel like The Great Unread, like I am the mutt who cannot pass muster with the pedigrees.” Frankly Anchoress, I was initially shocked, then I was annoyed, and then I was reminded that your self-pity was all too familiar to my own heart. And that’s when I realized that your brokenness, your insecurity, your frailty, was in fact your greatest avenue to God’s grace. And thank God for those weaknesses. How insufferable would you be if you truly understood the full beauty of your talents?

    I’m also reminded that Chesterton had no pedigrees. He described himself merely as a journalist. You may not have the sizable readership of Chesterton- but then, in today’s world Chesterton doesn’t even have the following he had in his day.

    You are indeed privileged Anchoress, but not nearly as privileged as we are for having you in our lives. From God’s lips to our hearts.

    God Bless.

  • F

    Whoa, Last Sphere snuck into my mind and stole all my sentiments and responses to you.

    If you sometimes, or, often feel unread, just remember that there are thousands of folks like me who, read in a hurry and zip back to work, or, mean to respond but have an ADD moment and phase out, or, the boss walks in…

    Thanks for blessing me, Anchoress, esp when I want to zing someone and you do it far more eloquently and adeptly then I ever could.

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  • Alexandra

    Please, yours is the one, true Catholic blog I can count on to be faithful to the liturgy and to the Faith. As a new Catholic, I respect what you do, and value your postings as bits of light in an otherwise dark, dark world. Thank you for what you do….

  • Piano Girl88

    What lovely music ~ I felt the tension of the past few months leaving my body as I listened to one of my favorite singers and looked at the beautiful handiwork of God in nature. I don’t always leave comments, but please know that I receive much from your writings, be they spiritual, political or humorous, and I especially love the music you post, even if we do have a slight disagreement over our favorite bass ~ Terfel or Hvorostovski… :~)

  • mary

    Ditto what Last Sphere wrote. Your blog is a retreat, in itself, from all the yamma yamma of the daily headlines. Or should I say “the illusions” of what the world sees as important. Thank you for your writings. You touch more people than you think.

  • maria horvath

    Robert –

    I think you’re talking about the film “Enchanted April,” with Miranda Richardson and Michael Kitchen, among other great actors.

    The Anchoress wrote about this lovely film on November 11, 2009, “Create a retreat for yourself.”

  • Dee

    Unread? I look forward to reading you nearly every day with the same inner glee I approach my secret stash of snack-sized Snickers bars. The anticipation, unwrapping the treat..the first nibble..a little more-mmm-all done! Such a delight! Please regard us, your happy clan of regular readers, with pity and share yourself with us even when you feel discouraged. Love you!

  • Sally June

    The Anchoress often reminds me that civility, courtesy and, yes, grace are to be found — and looked for — on the Internet as elsewhere. I feel that her blog is a place I can go to get sane, level-headed perspective. I don’t know what I would do without it.

    Oh yeah. The writing ain’t shabby, neither.