"A silent retreat? I could never do that."

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That the ordinary might become extraordinary

I was lucky enough to spend the final “public,” weekend, last March before this pandemic self-quarantining began, at a silent retreat.

I could never do that…

Before the weekend, people kept saying to me, “Oh, that’s awful,” & “That must be hard,” and, “I could never do that.” I find the opposite to be true. I learned to love a silent retreat years ago on my first, at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA. Where I discovered, in silence there is abundant space to listen. 

What language are you speaking?

Before the pandemic, we talked, we prayed, we were on the go, go, go, but how often did we devote even an hour to listening? Listening to our very lives that speak volumes? The silence makes way for deep listening. As Thomas Keating says, “Silence is God’s first language.” 

God is found in everything

One of the recurring themes in my reading and meditation is, that God is found in everything. Richard Rohr’s Cosmic Christ, has a lot to do with that, and it is repeatedly affirmed in nature and in relationship. The ordinary becomes extraordinary, when we are willing to listen, to see, to be present. 

“Can’t you make do?”-mom

And now that we are forced to hole up, tuck in and enjoy the simpler things, “making do,” as my momma always suggests, hopefully we are beginning to see that the simple is lovely, the decluttered schedule is delicious, and the quiet can be nourishing.

Answerless Questions

When will this be over? When will things be “normal?” Instead of dwelling on answerless questions, maybe shift into the wonder and release of saying, “I don’t know.” And embracing that in every moment. The wonder like that of a little child enjoying the flowers the grass, the inter play of discovery, trial and error. Letting the precious ordinary become extraordinary.

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