As much as I love visiting family, as much as I love traveling with friends, as much as I love my job, there is nothing as sweet as a retreat at Our Lady of Grace. The thing that is especially filling my heart with gratitude on this beautiful fall day is the sense of Sabbath that fills these few days at the Monastery.
My mind is nearly completely away from responsibilities ( they’ll all still be around when I return), and my soul is filled with worship, good study, table fellowship, laughter, and sweet rest.
As I walked the labyrinth this afternoon after learning yet another way to pray using zentangles, the sky was bluer than blue, the air was fall crisp, and the trees were clapping their hands with autumn joy. I felt close to tears as my heart overflowed with thanks each step of that prayer walk.
When I was here on my last oblate retreat two years ago, I accepted God’s invitation to be a candidate for bishop literally as I walked the labyrinth on the same kind of gorgeous fall day and received a phone call asking me to put my name forth. Which I did and for which I was not elected.
After walking through the post- election grief last year, such a gift it is to be so very thankful for the abundant, abundant gifts God has poured on me like the snow and the rain that covered me on the labyrinth walk yesterday.
The other oblates leave in the morning, but I’ll have nearly three more days to reflect on St. Benedict’s Chapter 7 on Humility.