What I see and what I think about it.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

My retreat

I have had a great weekend away at Turvey Abbey. (You can google it) It is a Catholic Benedictine convent and monastery. I went to a silent, lead retreat called: On desert Paths. It was themed around Lent.

It was silent in the fact that you didn't have to talk to anyone else. (There were 10 of us there.) But if you want the jam then you ask for it quietly. It makes you thin about what you say. It means that you can spend time with God and not feel obliged to chat to people. For someone who is not good at small talk this was great.

It was lead in the fact that we had 5 sessions as a group, each for about an hour. These were lead meditation/contemplations on passages in the bible. Sister J (who was simply lovely) led these. We did something called Lectio Devina! In a nutshell - you read a passage, pick out a word of phrase that strikes you, ponder it over and over, and let God speak to you through it. We heard each passage read out loud twice and watched a power point with nice pictures to go along with it. There was a gap between each reading of about 5 - 10 mins. At the end we all wrote the phrase which we had been contemplating on a piece of paper and put it in the middle, reading it aloud.

There were also all the chapel services which we could go to if we wanted to. The first was at 6.10am (that is right - AM). I decided to try and go to all of them (I'm not sure why - I guess for my retreat it was part of the experience). And I managed. I was a couple of minutes late for the one at 6.10 as I only got out of bed at 6.05!

So the day was mainly filled with those two things. We also eat lots of delicious food (in silence) and had time to pray, create pictures, and explore the surrounding area. The grounds surrounding the convent and the building themselves were beautiful. It was a very peaceful place to be. The nun's made us feel very welcome. It was a lovely place and a lovely time. I do hope to go back.

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