Benedictine Sister Shares About Community Retreat

johnOur community retreat with Father Vince Hovley, SJ was profoundly simple.

I appreciated the way that Vince integrated body, mind and soul.  He integrated the right and left sides of our brains in each of his presentation with music, photography, art and words.  His gentle message and methods of presentation challenged me deeply.   The retreat through Vince called me into an overpowering participation in the mystery of both/and as he shared his treasures: Eucharist and the Gospel of John.

I humbly share some of the messages I pondered during this week of quiet; some I edited into my own journey:

  •  I am -you are – all are the beloved of Christ and prodigal child.
  • Live taking nothing for granted.
  • Come – find beauty everywhere.
  • People – the world is God’s presence.
  • Seek this presence in each person.
  • All is sacred – All is Gift.
  • Allow the Word to be a mirror of you. (“Make my word your own.”)
  • “Do this in memory of me.”
  • Be bread and wine to others.
  • It is right and just to glorify God.
  • God, we and I are one.
  • Do you trust enough that God and we are one?
  • Consider we are in communion – Christ lives in us. (Rather than “going to communion.”)
    • Make Eucharist a way of life:
    • With sacred eyes see that all is gift.
    • Make the Word your own
    • Be bread and wine for others
    • Be in communion with all.
    • Recognize that Christ lives in us: individually and collectively.
    • We are the Body of Christ
  • I have a choice where I dwell – in darkness or light.
  • Love is about belonging to each other.
    • Belonging promotes forgiveness of the small stuff even the big stuff that comes between me and my associates.
    • Belonging takes great trust. Trust in the person not the behaviors and their words.
    • Belonging accepts the saint and the sinner of self and others.
    • Belonging negotiates the hard times, endures suffering, and see the blessing in it all.
    • Belonging lets go of the past and lives in the moment of now.
  • I am invited to dwell – stay – remain with the Christ.
  • Choose to focus on what you want.  Imagine it and it will come to be.

As retreat closes, I prayerfully promise myself to integrate, etch and imagine all into my personal life during this year between the call and message of our annual retreats. Finally, I invite you to ponder these truths in your personal life and shared life with others.

MT Summers, OSB

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