Re-entry into “regular life” after an 8 day silent retreat is an interesting experience. As much as I might have resisted the silence behind the stone walls of the retreat center, I find myself just as startled by the noise of everyday life. The wide open space of reflection….gone. The profound depth of shared listening….gone. Instead, I’m surrounded by music I didn’t ask for or voices filling in where quiet used to be.
These cold March days I am seeking ways to bring the retreat with me into my routine. I’d like to integrate what I heard along the frozen shoreline of Gloucester into the responsibilities and relationships that are here in my “one, wild and precious life.” *
It seems fitting to continue my reflection on the retreat as the Christian practice of Lent begins. Lent is a time of opening our minds and hearts to the mystery of God. This is no small task! The church suggests fasting, praying more, and giving of ourselves. Lent is a time to lower the volume of our needs and increase the volume of God’s message of Love.
And that is my prayer for you, my friends. May you find the volume control in your heart that allows you to turn down the voices of fear or doubt or guilt. They are not the voice of our loving God. They are wounds that are calling out for healing, remnants of old patterns or misunderstandings. Let them teach you so you may be free of them, but not controlled by them.
Instead, find that other little dial or slider in your heart…you know the one, its tinged with gold and fits perfectly in your fingers. Tune it carefully and listen…keep increasing the volume until you can’t miss what is being said…you are loved, you are loving, you are lovable. Let the music of these words fill your mind, your heart, your being. Trust this message and enter into your own retreat time, your own deeper connection with your God. May it be so…
With love, Lisa
*thank you to Mary Oliver and “The Summer Day”