The Countdown Has Begun…

I am ready.  That’s all I can say.  I am ready.

I am ready to leave this place for a week and retreat.  Of the several definitions for “retreat”, the one that applies to me is:   “a period of seclusion for the purposes of prayer and meditation.”

The Church, in its infinite wisdom, requires that all brothers, sisters, deacons, priests, bishops, and popes go on retreat once a year.  The reason is quite simple.  We often get so involved at our assignments that we forget to take time for ourselves.  We suffer when we do not get the time that we need for rest and reflection and when we suffer, our people suffer as well because we are not as able to meet their needs as we should be.

This coming Sunday, I will celebrate the 6:30 and 8:00 a.m. Masses and then I will drive to Merrillville to meet a priest friend.  Together, we will drive down to St. Meinrad Archabbey Guesthouse where we will be able to spend a week in a private retreat.  We generally do this together each July.  We will most likely see each other each evening to go out to eat.  The rest of the time, we are in our own worlds as we reflect the days away.

I generally go out for walks either very early in the morning or late in the evening because the bottom of Indiana is quite hot at this time of the year and walking in the day is just not wise.  Going out in the morning or evening, however, also presents challenges of its own:  mosquitoes.  I have to wear lots of bug spray.  Which is also a trick since I am allergic to bug spray.  Once applied, I have about an hour and a half to wash it off before I start breaking out.  Ah, the dilemmas of life.  🙂

When I am on retreat, I usually take my laptop with me and do one or two on line retreats from different religious centers.  They help to keep me focused.  I also take a couple of religious DVDs with me to watch in the evenings.  They help me reflect upon God’s love.

Anyway, I’ve been moving pretty much on autopilot this week.  I cannot wait for Sunday to get here so that I can go away and recharge the ol’ spiritual batteries.

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