Thursday, September 8, 2011

Into The Silence


Tomorrow evening begins the one week of the year for which I live the other 51. I will be spending the next six days on retreat in silence. No phones, TV, radio or media of any kind~just God, the beach and me.
The week before a retreat is always difficult. Satan really does all he can to prevent me from getting there. Our weather here in NJ these last few days has had me a bit worried. We had one week to dry out after hurricane Irene's visit and it has been raining again. But all is in God's hands and I trust him to keep the roads clear (or at least provide me with a detour).
I usually know pretty far in advance of the retreat what spiritual reading God wants me to bring along. This year I had a bit of trouble discerning what I should take along to help guide me during these six days. I came across two treasures by Thomas Merton in Barnes & Nobles's bargain bin. I will be using his Book of Hours as my prayer book for the week. I am also bringing his Thoughts in Solitude.
Silence is not just a luxury, it is a necessity. If we are to hear God, we need some prayerful quiet in our day. I have been blessed for the last five years to have six days of silence by one of His most awesome and beautiful creations~ the sea.
I will be back on Sunday, Sept. 18 with my usual Sunday meditation and hopefully some pictures and reflections as well. Please keep me in your prayers this week as all of you will be in mine.
I will leave you with an excerpt from Thomas Merton's Thoughts in Solitude. These words hold as much meaning now as they did when Merton wrote them in 1956.
"When men are merely submerged in a mass of impersonal human beings pushed around by automatic forces, they lose their true humanity, their integrity, their ability to love, their capacity for self~determination. When society is made up of men who know no interior solitude, it can no longer be held together by love and consequently is held together by a violent and abusive authority. But when men are violently deprived of the solitude and freedom which are their due, the society in which they live becomes putrid; it festers with servility, resentment and hate."


*All photos from my 2009 retreat.

14 comments:

christopher said...

Rosary for you tonight, Karinann, I pray the weather cooperates for you.

Karinann said...

Thanks for the Rosary Christopher~much appreciated. I don't care what the weather does once I am there~so far looks like all the roads I need to take are without flooding.
Prayers that you and your family are still safe from the fires~saw the news about the town near Austin today. Praying God sends some of our rain your way soon.

Randy said...

Prayers uplifted for a safe trip and a pleasant time with God, O and decent weather. Peace be with you!

Kathryn said...

Karinann,

Have a wonderful retreat. Will pray for you this week. In the Silence, God speaks.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Bon voyage et au revoir.

Prayers.

God bless.

Karinann said...

Victor,
Merci, mon ami. (That is the extent of my French)

Kathryn, Thank you for your prayers. Not only does God speak in the silence of these retreats, His voice is crystal clear.

Randy,
Thank you for your well wishes and prayers. As for the weather, like I told Christopher, I don't care much what it does while I am there. In fact I kind of like the rain and wind; it makes the ocean that much more beautiful and fun to watch.

colleen said...

God bless, Karinann! Hope to do this sometime too.

Colleen said...

Have a wonderful retreat! You will be in my prayers. I go on retreat the week after you! (go figure) BTW, those 2 books are great. Hugs and blessings.

Karinann said...

Thanks Colleen and Colleen :)
OK so this may be a confusing response...
Colleen (T on G)-Thanks for the prayers and I will keep you in my prayers during your retreat. I am looking forward to reading and praying with Thomas Merton these next 6 days.

Colleen (ID) I highly recommend making a retreat like this if at all possible.

mary333 said...

Enjoy your retreat, Karin!

Hee!Hee! And you can't even refer to them (Colleens) by adding the
1st letter of their last names since they start with the same letter :) I know a 3rd Colleen online and things get really messy sometimes.

Michael said...

Prayers for you this week! I hope the Lord moves you...

Daily Grace said...

Have a wonderful retreat! God bless you.

Anne said...

Love Merton's Book of Hours! Many blessings to you on your retreat!

noreen said...

Enjoy your retreat Karinann! You'll come back refreshed and peaceful!

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.