Welcome to Retreat!

Welcome to Retreat! August 10, 2008

:NOTE::::Check this post (below photo) for links to latest retreat posts::::END:

Welcome to our first Online Retreat!

Each day of the retreat (from now until sundown, August 16) will be found on its own page, and this notice will remain at the top of the “blog proper” until the retreat ends. In the interest of promoting interior silence, comments will be turned off.

RETREAT START, beginning at Sundown, August 10, may be found here.
First meditation (Sunday Night) is here.

MONDAY AUGUST 11 – “Be opened/Surrender and Expectation”
Noon Meditation
3 PM – The Wonder Hour
6 PM – Ephphatha, Be Opened!
9 PM – Peaceful Mind/Compline

TUESDAY, AUGUST 12 – “Sun/Heat/Cooling”
Noontime in the Light
3 PM – the Wonder Hour; Lightening!
6 PM – The Cooling Shade
9 PM – Be-ing. And Centered.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13 – “Choosing Life: Hard, Messy, Challenging, Fragile Life!
Noon: Chances to Choose
3 PM Wonder Hour; Go With the Throw!
6 PM; Cutting Up an Ox

9 PM; Stones in the River/Compline

THURSDAY, AUGUST 14 – “Virtues and Reflections”
Morning; Sacrifice
Noon; Greatness in Littleness
3 PM Wonder Hour; “Poof!”
9 PM; In the Stillness

FRIDAY, AUGUST 15 – Assumptions & Wild Honey
Noon; Hope is a Thing…
3 PM – Wonder Hour; On the Radio
6 PM-; Vespers of the Assumption
9 PM – Meditation Before Sleep

SATURDAY, AUGUST 16 – Depths & Surfaces
Coming to the Surface
Noon; Planning Brings Change
3 PM; Books & Chat
Sundown; Close of Retreat/Vespers & Compline

As I noted in the post below, the purpose of this retreat is pretty much the same purpose as any other retreat – it is the mindful and voluntary creation of time and space, into which one steps, as through a portal. Like a portal, it is meant to take you somewhere outside of the ordinary, day-to-day worries, concerns, duties, obsessions, have-to’s and compulsions. It is a reclamation of the “self” we tend to expend in too-great measure every day. In “giving up” as much of “the world” as one can reasonably do, for a limited time, we may re-order our priorities, re-discover what is really important in our real lives. Often our daily routine tends to corrupt our view, so that we begin to believe we need some things to survive – that we need to check in on the news 5 times a day, we need to answer some snarky remark in an internet forum. During this retreat time, I would urge you to resist the urge to follow your ordinary blog-reading/news-reading patterns, to step away from the computer as much as possible and consider that the time you would normally spend online might be better spent snoozing in the hammock, taking a walk, visiting a neighbor or picking up an old, discarded hobby.

If you can, though, do try to check back in here at least a few times a day – at least for morning and evening, or before you head to bed – so that you can maintain the sense of “retreat” and of “regrouping.”

Try, also, to pop in here, and allow yourself to bask in the mysterious interior silence it brings about.

Also, if possible, jot down your thoughts, keep a sort of “retreat journal” of anything that “speaks” to you, with an idea that perhaps whatever struck you, and inspired you to mark it in your “journal”, is something that is just for you, something that is meant for you to dwell on and explore a little bit.

Retreats combine periods of silence, withdrawal and rest with periods of mental and/or spiritual activity. This retreat, presented by a Catholic, will sometimes veer unavoidably into the Christian, but will bring other – hopefully surprising – points of view from other religions and even from the musings of avowed secularists, everyday. There will be invitations to meditate on scripture, poetry, fine art, “high” culture, books and prayer. There is a plan to include audio recordings of your hostess chanting vespers or compline (prayer before sleep) – and hopefully that will work out – but if it does not, that will be okay. Let’s all be content to be led.

Since only a superior sort of being could put together such an undertaking alone (and I am no superior being), look for some familiar names to show up over the course of the next few days as some bloggers have graciously consented to my using their photos, past musings, book excerpts, private journeys and (in a few cases) new posts they have specially and specifically prepared for you, in hopes that it helps to deepen and enrich your retreat experience. Thanks in advance to Ann Althouse, Deacon Greg Kandra, Patrick O’ Hannigan, Happy Catholic, Vanderleun, Spiritual Things Matter, Dick Meyer, Ed Morrissey, Siggy, and readers Nora and Dick. A few others will be showing up later in the week!

As their feast days fall within the week, I am putting this online retreat under the patronage of St. Clare of Assisi (who is also the patroness of television/screen communications) and St. Maximilian Kolbe, and also Our Lady of the Cenacle (the Upper Room in which Mary and the Apostles gathered and prayed awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit), St. Michael the Archangel, St. Benedict (hopefully he’ll help my chants!), St. Therese of Lisieux, (she understood the power of little things…hopefully she’ll pray for the success of this little retreat, for all of us) and St. Gerard Majella, my blog-patron for this year.

All you holy men and women, you angels, pray for us and for our intentions as we begin, and throughout this week.

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