What a grand retreat we had on the last days of the year. There's an old tradition that goes back to our earliest documents that the sisters would gather in retreat on the last days of the year.
Over the years, this practice fell by the wayside. But some of the sisters put their heads together and decided to treat us to a year end retreat. Srs Linda Straub (CSJ from St. Louis) and Cathy Steffans (CSJ from St. Paul, MN) lead the reflections. There was time for prayer, reflection, sharing, resting, walking, etc.
More than 60 sisters gathered for the retreat, many of us stayed here at the motherhouse, but there were also sisters commuting from other houses in the area. It was great to see everyone and have some time to share and catch up a little.
The theme was our consecration to the two trinities and it was wonderfully explained by Linda and Kathy. While much was familiar, it is always a treat to reflect again and delve deeper into the realities. I'll try to get the text from the consecration prayer to post.
There were two special insights for me, one was the notion of being called to perfection: be perfect as the Father is perfect; but a perfection of an ever growing relationship of love. God is growing in that relationship and I am called to grow in loving relationships with God, within community and with the dear neighbor. That seems so much warmer than the static notion that 'perfection' conjures up for me.
The other insight was the call to live the zeal of Jesus. This was especially brought out for me in challenge to deal with hurts and negative realities -- the challenge to keep trying to be in loving relationship, with integrity, and with humility and trust in the healing power of God in those relationships. I know I have some praying to do in these areas over the coming weeks.
The whole weekend was a gift, and such a great end to a wonderful Christmas celebration. Oh, that's right, it's not over yet. We'll top off everything with the Epiphany celebration next Sunday. That's when we usually gather each year for Mass and brunch together as a community. Lots of folks come from around town and it's a grand closing to the Christmas celebration.
I know Sarah has some pictures from the retreat, so hopefully she will add them when she has a chance.
Peace and Blessings for the New Year!