Before one of our spiritual retreats at St. Leo Abbey in Florida, USA, my wife and I adopted a theme and thought about that theme in the weeks before our weekend at the abbey.
Contemplating the retreat theme kept us focused. We moved our lives away from excessive activity — a pre-retreat flight from the world (fuga mundi) — a theme also found in the lives of the earliest desert monks.
The theme helped direct our attention to the silence we looked forward to at the retreat.
Spending time each evening meditating on our theme caused us to realize that many spiritual joys of a retreat are available at home — or anywhere there is a monastic heart.
When we arrived at the abbey Friday evening we felt as if we had been there for days. As it turned out, the retreat was nothing like we planned, it was better — leading us to think that God also enjoys planning how to direct and layer seemingly unrelated events to unfold precisely on one particular weekend in Florida.
Pick a theme, plan a retreat. Live the joy of God.
The picture is Lamp by zenobia_joy
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