December 15, 2006

Quiet (And Not-So-Quiet) Time Away

As Amy eluded to in her most frequent post, I was away for a few days at prayer. The group of novices that typically meets on Wednesdays gathered at the ASC's Center of Peace in Ruma, IL for four days of "Contemplative Experience." Fr. Brian Pierce, OP led us in various types of prayer combined with sessions on quieting ourselves to be present, to hear God, and to hear the voices of those in society least often heard. Fr. Brian's experience is that without inner stillness one's life becomes split between prayer and ministry instead of one flowing from the other--contemplation in action. I was struck with the image of faith as a journey in darkness, not as a negative experience, but an unknown path. With that image came all of the places of darkness where growth occurs: in the womb, under the earth, in a cocoon. Very powerful images. I also reflected on the numerous games my brothers and sisters and I chose to play in the dark when we were growing up. Darkness can be full of mystery and excitement when I am not alone.

We ended our days with Eucharist and sharing. After that we were free to play and eat and socialize. Monday we watched "Legally Blonde." Tuesday night ended with a rousing game of spoons. And Wednesday we sat and talked and really just enjoyed each other's company. It was great to be with each other in a different way.

Next week a young woman named Alisha whom Pat and I met on our trip to Zwolle, LA earlier this year is coming to visit for a few days. That should keep us plenty entertained. The next week is Christmas already! I think I'll just continue to sit with the Advent waiting for now. I'm not quite ready to give that up.

Advent stillness for all...


  1. it's good to see you so devoted to God and his ministry. May God
    Bless You with His Love, Peace & Merry Christmas!

  2. Thank you for keeping us/ME posted on your experiences, Sarah. It reminds me to stay focused on the inner life. This posting reminds me not to separate my prayer and works.... So often I need that reminder!

    Happy last week of Advent. We don't actually have a fourth week this year since "Sundays don't count" according to "old-school" ideas. Sundays are to celebrate!

    Pat Murphy