Sisters Charlotte, Connie Ruth and myself will be leaving for the monastery in the morning. We begin our five-day silent retreat at 9 AM Monday, 8/3. Yup. We are given five days each summer of being silent together to hone the ear of the heart for the voice of GOD. It may sound ominous in a culture that encourages technological connectedness 24/7. In fact when I was brand new, it was difficult, to say the least. But, as the anniversary of my entrance approaches, (September, 2002), I look forward to community retreat with great joy.
Being silent together is a powerful thing. We have two conferences each day from our Retreat Director, Eucharist, and huge chunks of time for private prayer, reading and rest. Retreat is a gift from GOD - an ancient practice that recharges the spiritual batteries of women who are deeply committed to a life of prayer and work. (Oh, we do get to talk for 30 minutes each evening. After vespers we'll go to table and say grace. After the blessing of our food, the prioress will say a short, somewhat magical incantation that will loose our tongues. Then, when we leave the Dining Room, we walk back into sacred silence.) During retreat we receive no phone calls (everything will be put into our individual voicemail boxes,) there is no paging, and no TV. We receive no private guests or retreatants during these days (unless the prioress has extended that invitation,) and we are asked to leave our "work" behind for 5 days. So, my friends, I will be "off-line" until Saturday, August 8th. Look for a blog about our Jubilee celebration on Monday, August 10th.
I want to thank all of you who participated in the poll to rename our cooking show. So many wonderful ideas were submitted. We will use the most popular name, "The Bristow Bistro". Hopefully, that one is not in use anywhere or by anyone. A new segment should go live tonight - before midnight. Know that you will be in my grateful prayers this week. Please keep the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia in yours.
Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki