I LOVE silent retreats. It is so wonderful to get away and spend time before Our Lord. I remember going to my first retreat in 2006 and wondering how on earth I was going to be quiet for so long. :)
(Side note: I consider myself shy. I’m more outgoing than I used to be, and those who know me think “Shy? What are you talking about?”. Warning!! I become very talkative once I feel comfortable around someone. :-D I’m also much better talking one on one than in large groups. My grandmother tells a story of watching me as a small child one time and apparently I wouldn’t shut up the entire evening. We’re talking hours (literally hours)…. In any case, being silent for 3 days had me nervous at first.)
But then, I grew to LOVE silence. Silence before the tabernacle. Silence in the morning. Silence at meals. Silence at night. Praying. Listening to meditations given by awesome priests who know just the right combination of serious and funny.
The topics of the meditations are pretty similar year to year, yet always have the power to make me think about my life now. During one meditation on the Prodigal Son, the priest mentioned that sin is a away of saying “I’m not really convinced that Our Lord’s Will will make me happy.” As a (trying-to-be!) faithful Catholic, my husband and I are not going to go against the teachings of the Church in our efforts to conceive a child. But - do I really believe that His will WILL make me happy? That it’s the best for me? To be honest, I sometimes question that it is.
But again, we think about the Prodigal Son. He repented of his sin. He planned to return to his father. He even planned a speech! But what does his father do when he sees him in the distance? He runs to him. He RUNS!!!
Of course there was also a meditation on prayer. The priest told us a story of one woman he knows who prayed for years that her husband would convert to the Catholic faith. Years. First one… then two… ten… twenty… and finally, 49 YEARS later, he woke up one morning and said to her “I think I need to become Catholic. I’m not really sure why.” Her thought was “I know why!!” 49 YEARS!! Our Lord is pleased by our perseverance. And our faith. He promises us over and over again throughout the Gospels to pray more and more, with more and more belief. He promises to always hear and answer them. Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you will find…
Sometimes I forget that I am in time. God is outside of it. He sees everything. When I think that God hasn’t heard my prayer, do I give up? He has many good reasons for not answering them immediately. If he did, I wouldn’t have such an opportunity to grow in faith. He wants to give blessings… That your joy may be full. Do I have the conviction that my prayers are heard by Our Lord? Sometimes I doubt. But they ARE heard. Maybe the answer isn’t an immediate yes, like I want it to be. Maybe it isn’t the way I always imagine things to be. But his will IS perfect. And it is the one that will bring me closest to Him.
So yes, I had an AWESOME retreat. :)
And then… the morning after returning from my retreat - WHAM! I received the call from the doctor’s office to schedule my surgery. Talk about bringing me back to earth. And anxiety. It’s scheduled for February 23. I was kind of shaky when I got off the phone and then I remembered what I should be doing instead of worrying about it - PRAY! Let God worry about it. I have other things to do. So there. Take it God! I don’t want it! I feel better already… :)
Don’t get me wrong though - any prayers for February 23rd are most welcome. It’s time to storm heaven!