Sunday, August 17, 2008

Silence speaking to the heart on retreat


While I am on retreat at St Thecla's Retreat House in Billerica, MA I am keeping you in prayer each moment and especially during the celebration of Eucharistic Liturgy in our chapel. There are 45 sisters on retreat with four retreat directors. There is a room for each of us. Each room has a a sink, a bed (with mattress donated from a self-giving Boston benefactor), a table (donated by a generous benefactor in a Los Angeles art store)and a window from which to contemplate God's beauty. In the morning the birds sing me awake as the sun rises. I leave my blinds open to be awakened naturally during retreat instead of by my chime alarm. In the evening the crickets play a symphony for the stars while I tune in. All of this sounds enticing - peaceful... One sister reminded me that the cross is easier to carry here on retreat then in everyday life. This is true normally. This year though, in the midst of my transition and dwelling in the human city, I find that the cross is heavier in the quiet of retreat. Once in a while I go to share it with my Simon of Cyrene - a friend - or in confession to lighten the load. It is the silence at times like these that speaks to the heart - what is going to be missed in the community you just shared. Those sisters you worked with in the apostolate whom you will no longer have formal meetings with. My joy at working full time in the National Office of Cooperators is overshadowed by knowledge of myself - my weaknesses seem to be edging in on the strengths I thought I had. As a Pauline my retreat is ultimately a prayer to bring to fulfillment the words of Paul "May the God of peace make you holy and bring you to perfection. He who has called you is faithful."

PS The photo is a carving by my brother Michael representing the One who is faithful and takes upon himself all of our burdens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Sr. Margaret,

Many thanks for keeping us Pauline Cooperators in your prayers. May your retreat be a springboard to an everlasting fountain of graces as you move forward to the new challenges in the leading the laity in the Pauline Family in U.S.A. Congratulations in you new leadership role among the Pauline Cooperators of America!!!

May God bless you always. May Jesus Master be with you along His Way, Truth and Life as you proclaim His message to the ends of the earth. May the Queen of Apostles intercede for you. May St. Paul the Apostle pray for all your intentions. Amen.

Best regards,
Margie Skeels
Manhattan Pauline Cooperator