Community Retreat – Day One

MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2012

“Let us set out on this way with the Gospel for our guide.” – Rule of Benedict, Prologue

Alright, well technically the Community Monastic Retreat began Sunday, but today was my first day attending the special events led by Abbott Jerome Kodell, our guest and guide. Annually, Our Lady of Grace holds a retreat for the community, and invites outside guests to attend and learn more about monastic life and the Benedictine way. This year the theme is the spiritual journey as found in Scripture. In addition to morning prayer, I have been generously invited to listen to Abbott Jerome’s seminars in the morning, as well as the special Masses at midday.

Today, I found a wonderful balance that I believe St. Benedict would have been proud of. Opening my workday with morning praise is not unusual for me, but this morning this was followed by the abbott’s 30 minute talk. He compared our spiritual journey to a journey in the wilderness (fitting, as we recently celebrated St. John the Baptist in the Church.) Through various stories and Scripture quotations, he explained that although it may not be easy, we need to let Faith be our guide along our journeys. To do this, we must listen as disciples and put our trust in God, who, after all, knows best.

I also got to attend Mass before midday meal, which had a really good Gospel reading (Matthew, 7:1-5) and many songs of comfort (which are needed around the community lately, as several sisters have unfortunately been diagnosed with cancer.) As my boyfriend will tell you, I am not shy about singing in church, as I feel it is an important way for me to participate in the liturgy.

And, amongst all this, I went about my tasks at BI. Today I was put on “emergency” duty finishing recording and inputting inventory into the computer system, something which has to be submitted by the end of the month. I was determined to make my work meaningful today (so as not to unbalance Ora et Labora!), and so I put worked as efficiently as I could and got my part done. Phew!

I’m absolutely looking forward to learning more tomorrow about our individual and collective spiritual journeys from a Benedictine perspective. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the remainder of my week with the retreat!


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