I am back from my annual retreat, renewed and refreshed after days of blessings with the Holy One. I never made a silent retreat until I was in formation with my religious community, and now I truly cannot imagine what my life would be like without this regular gift of time and space and quiet to just be with my loving God.
Every retreat is different, with its own graces and challenges too. One grace of this year was letting this time spend itself, allowing myself to be open to God’s presence all around me in every moment. I can’t really explain the movement of God in my life these days, other than to say that God is very good.
In his encyclical Laudato Si’, taken from the opening line of the Canticle of the Sun, Pope Francis invites us to spend time with God’s magnificent book of creation:
“.. Saint Francis, faithful to Scripture, invites us to see nature as a magnificent book in which God speaks to us and grants us a glimpse of his infinite beauty and goodness. “Through the greatness and the beauty of creatures one comes to know by analogy their maker” (Wis 13:5); indeed, “his eternal power and divinity have been made known through his works since the creation of the world” (Rom 1:20).” (Laudato Si, no. 12).
If I had to sum up this past week, it would be accepting invitation upon invitation to get a glimpse of God’s beauty and goodness. And that, my friends, is gift upon gift upon gift! Here’s just a sampling.