“So let us close the door on our worldly calendars and deadlines and live instead in the paradise with the God of love… We don’t have to be mystics to accomplish this communion. We only need to focus on God with our will. That’s all. It is our own choice, and because God loves us, we can do this.” – St. Teresa of Avila
Entering the monastery was like entering a new world. Or perhaps it was more like leaving the old world. Leaving our cares and “our worldly calendars and deadlines” behind.
Right away I noticed the quiet. The soft voices. The silence.
There was no hyperactivity. No rushing around. No one in a hurry. No stress. No phones ringing off the hook.
And the peace. I wanted some of that peace. I yearned for it.
St. Teresa said that we do not have to be mystics to accomplish communion with God. We just “need to focus on God with our will.” In a monastery that is easy to do.
Follow the prayer schedule.
Keep the silence.
Pray in your room. As one of the Desert Fathers said – “Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything.”
It was a relief to leave the worldly calendars behind. As soon as I stepped into the monastery, I could just feel the tension slowly leave my body.
And if just being there wasn’t enough, we received another blessing right away. Because the theme of the retreat was the Eucharist, we learned that there would be perpetual adoration.
Silent time with the Eucharistic Lord. “… paradise with the God of love.”
I felt like I had come home.
Of course, I knew I couldn’t stay there forever. Our retreat was only 4 days. Way too short really. But I also knew that I needed this retreat. And I knew God had called us here. That felt like everything to me.
So I opened the door and stepped into the new world.