Wednesday, July 7, 2010

the retreat - day 4 - Jan. 11, 2008

Focus for the day:  "Deepening in God's Love - Stand before God as you are...Know that you are loved infinitely, perfectly...You did not earn love...and you cannot lose love...Let God love you..."

From journal:  woke up at 11:00 p.m. last night...sought to pray in the sense that SJ means it - turned my mind (rational, analytical part) off and let go and was open to God.  Didn't sense anything happening but stuck with it for a while, then went back to bed.  Woke up a few more times in the night - not fitful, just waking up.  Early a.m. phone call woke me, and the Sisters' concern in looking for SM and in the apparent nature of the call drew me to prayer for them....

My "task" today is to deepen in God's love for me.  I find myself, since coming here, reflecting on community, living in it, and this one in particular.  Whether it be this congregation or another - I don't think I'm done learning about various kinds - I have found my ducks, my people.  I see what I belong to, and I am so deeply thankful.

People will arrive today for a large weekend retreat.  My meals will be in the bookstore/meeting room so that I can still eat alone and in silence - I am thankful for their arranging that.  George Winston was on the CD player last night - "December"?  I enjoyed that very much, along with my chicken and gravy, quinoa, carrots, apples, roll, and water.

10:55 - fitful a.m. - lots of phone calls and building activity - at one point I spent about 1/2 hour in the recliner enjoying the Savior of Zven. icon and Nouwen's reflection - he quoted Mt. 11:28 and part of Ps. 139 and that made me smile.  I went to the icon seeking peace, comfort, release from my anxieties and frustration and the busy-ness of the house....Generally grumpy.  Laid down, phone still ringing, people moving.  Slept some, but had fitful, angry, jealous, petty dreams - in one I'd sought refuge in my car from the noise and activity, feeling guilty for my lack of charity and prayer, and also miffed.

Took a bath and cleaned up self and room.  Now sitting back down with journal, icon, Bible, and God, to ask for forgiveness and peace.

After lunch I went for a walk - stayed on easy, level ground today as a comfort for my mood.  I came to the end of a street at the east end of the convent and remembered the Sisters' graveyard - the consolation of saints seemed like a good idea.  Enjoyed my walk to and through the stones - dated from late 1890's to current day - many Sisters died in their 20's and 30's in the older stones.  Sat for a while - so thankful for weather warm enough to walk and sit this week - and meditated on God's care for his creation.  Thought a bit about how uncertain I am about what I'll do after this retreat, and remembered Christ's assurance and God's care for sparrows and lilies, not to mention humans, and I observed the birds, squirrels, and men at a nearby plant, all working and receiving, their needs being met.  Prayed some for others, as I've been drawn to throughout last night and today.  Got back about 2:00, snacked and read a mystery for a while, covers pulled over my ears to block out the phone ringing and doors slamming.  Enjoying some blissful quiet now that their seminar has begun.

To bring up with SJ today - it seems like I define prayer much more broadly than she does - she seems to be talking about contemplation only (a Catholic thing?).  I feel that I'm praying throughout the day, but not as she would define it, and therefore it's not as good.  If my mind's engaged, I'm not doing it right, still need to draw closer to God. (?)  I don't doubt there's plenty of room to draw closer, but I'm viewing everything else I do now as negative.  Just my perfectionism?  What does God say, where is he leading me?  Will return now to readings for today in going deeper in God's love and seek his heart in this.

Also a bit homesick today for the boys and a typical Friday night with them.

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