I am winding up Week 1 of my 30-day Ignatian Spiritual Exercises at the magnificent Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, Mass. and I hardly know where to begin. Every day has been action-packed. Gull watching. Wave pondering. Napping.
Even so, I feel like I am always barreling through the halls and grounds, ratcheted up to warp speed while the other retreatants prayerfully, mindfully, move at barnacle pace and write thoughtfully in their journals.
Notwithstanding, it's amazing the deep and affectionate bond I feel toward the folks with whom I'm sharing this experience in silence. Up by 5 most days, I've come to know all the other early birds, spread out in the dining room with our coffee, gazing silently out to sea.
Whether I'm wandering the outdoor Stations of the Cross, clambering over tidal lagoons, or hanging clothes on the line to dry in the bright ocean air, some other welcome, comforting human presence is almost always close by. We gather each afternoon at 5 for Mass, and...it is just as Mass should be. Yesterday the delightful Rev. Harry Cain, S.J. presided and I learned, among other things, that I've been pronouncing demoniac wrong (t's de MONE ee ack, not deh mone I ick) all these years.
Current reading includes Zbigniew Herbert's Still Life with a Bridle, Carlo Carretto's The Desert in the City, and James Martin's Jesus: A Pilgrimage. The library also has lots of interesting picture books of Gloucester after hurricanes, floods, ice storms, and crippling blizzards.
Here's the link to this week's Aleteia piece, which no-one there appears to have read, so maybe you all will!
It's called The Cardinal Rule: Don't Bore Yourself.
|the window seat in "The Fireplace Room" where Mass begins each afternoon at 5.|
|I mean come on, right? this is just one of many such beautifully-appointed rooms|
|the breezeay connecting the main house to retreat wing.|
diet cokes for sale ($1) in fridge at opposite end
|St. Ignatius of Loyola in a niche|
|the view from my window on a foggy morn|
|the wall my me bed. I noticed Jesus had some dust on His |
pore head so I got right up there and groomed Him.
|wildflower bouquets--a big plus|
|hi, I need some spiritual direction!|