On Saturday, from at least 9 am until 4:00 pm, we were silent. This silence was imposed on us as a group. It was a time for prayer, reflection, listening for God's voice. While we met at a Dominican Center, the only Catholic thing we did was to walk a prayer labyrinth like the one seen here, along with being silent. I found that prayer walk to be a good, profound experience for me, perhaps the most intimate of the day. And just being silent was good, even as we ate lunch together.
Like our Pastor Sharon said, a good share of God's working on me was over what annoyed me. Of course one encounters minor annoyances, not the least of which is having to pass people by and not speak. I really only had one annoyance, and it was a major one for me, but something God was able to use for good, even though it made part of my day uncomfortable. During the last hour, we had anointing with oil and prayer for those asking for healing or commissioning to service, and then holy communion together, before we left.
The result I can see from the experience is the desire to carry on more of the same into my regular daily life. Seeking God in more silence. And also an enlargening or deepening of my capacity to seek and want more of God and of his working and will in my life. Deb enjoyed it also.
Through silence hopefully God's word penetrates deeper into our hearts and lives. Sometimes before, or in the midst of this happening, we need to have our hearts exposed, coming to God in our helplessness and emptiness. That can be unpleasant, but often only through that do we begin to set our hearts on God. Although God works in different ways at different times, maybe giving us an extraordinary sense of his presence early on, while working on us later. For me there was no extraordinary sense of his presence at all throughout the day. But it was still a great day in God's presence with others of God's children.
Have any of you ever been a part of a silent retreat? Anything you'd like to share about that, or on this?