Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I've come back from an incredible retreat at the White House, the Jesuit retreat center in St. Louis. The retreat was entirely silent except for prayers (rosary, Mass, etc.) and conferences with the spiritual directors. About 60 men (they do women's retreats separately) came to participate in a series of meditations based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The retreat starts with God's blessings and our gratitude, then sin and a decimated world, then follows the life of Christ through the Passion and Resurrection.

As powerful as those meditations were, my own retreat was really based around the book I checked out from their library for my spare moments: Story of a Soul, by St. Therese of Lisieux. It is odd how great an affinity I felt for this 19th-Century Carmelite nun, but I saw in her distractions and doubts an image of my own troubles, and in her "little way" the inspiration to rid myself of the doubleness, or duplicity, that gives me problems. I can't really explain that well, but I have hope that God will work with me in a way I haven't let Him before; that I can turn distraction, or failure, or sin, right back to the love of God and not let myself stray further. Really, for so long I've been trying to do it all on my own, and my character just won't suffice to act the way I want to.

And the reason I came on the retreat- a particular discernment- just emerged from that grace of God, and I have been rejoicing.

Forgive me if I don't make much sense.

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