December 1, 2020: A reflection on renewal through retreat
My retreat this year was an experience and revelation of God’s close companionship. My hope was to be refreshed and renewed during my “time away with God”. Being at St. Benedict Retreat Center near Schuyler was a great gift as it is out in the country. I was in a place where I could give myself to whatever came my way – open to hear God speak. I turned off my phone, email, etc. I came to listen and hear what God had to say. Where is God calling me at this time?
Listening to God
Nature refreshes and renews me so being “in the country” enhanced this time away. I walked around the lake, through the Stations of the Cross, listened to the birds, heard the wind through the leaves, and watched tiny creatures along the pathways. At night the majesty of the sky – universe – reminded me of my childhood experience of connecting with the universe. In all this I was drawn to quiet inside myself and more open to hear God.
Making room for God
There is a labyrinth which I walked as well. One is encouraged to ask God or oneself a question as one begins “the walk”. Since I was focused on “listening to God” that was the sense I had as I walked. When I came to the center of the labyrinth I realized I had done all the talking, no listening! So on my “return” out of the labyrinth I “listened” for god’s message. In walking I came to realize that God’s ways are not my ways. Sometimes I look and think “I have been here before”, yet God takes me, leads me here to see it from a new perspective, with “different eyes” and it becomes a new experience. God calls me to keep my mind and heart open to the surprises that God calls me to at each moment.
As I sat with God during this time, inside a small voice said “Time with You goes so quickly”. I heard in response, “Why don’t you spend more time with Me?’ This and my labyrinth walk caused me to reflect on how I can “free my mind” from mindless chatter. I have taken this as one of the blessings of my retreat, to hear God.
One evening our retreat group of 11 met for Centering Prayer. This is another way of “listening to God” as one centers on the Presence of God for 20 minutes. “Be still and know that I am God” Ps. 46:10. I find this a calming influence in my being and is another blessing of the retreat.
Igniting the Flame
Ending my “time with God” and the many blessings I realized, called me in a deeper way to give more space in my life for time with God. God’s call was to “go and share” so I am making a conscious effort to “seed the world” with positivity through sending positive energy out each through my Facebook page. It is a way to extend this energy to whomever my read the page.
Give back positivity, just like Sr Marie Alice!
Are you, too looking to send out positivity into the world? Our metro area celebrates December 1 with #GivingTuesday402. Together, we can harness the power of ALL, with ALL gifts and ALL ways of doing good at shareomaha.org. There, you can see our and other local nonprofits’ volunteer opportunities, Amazon Wish Lists, and donation options.
This season, we are asking for people to buy a gift directly for a Notre Dame Sister. Using our Amazon Wish List, you can participate in #GivingTuesday402 and get something great for a Sister that she wouldn’t ordinarily purchase for herself.