Reflections on "Retreat to Go Forward"

When I was a student in Rome studying at the International Seminary of Propaganda Fide (The Propagation of the Faith) I recall acting as a tour guide to a group of American tourists, who anxiously wanted to see the statue of Michael Angelo's Moses, housed at the Esquiline Hill. I remember we arrived at the church at 12 noon when an old priest was locking the doors of the church. The people were insistent and complained and asked why he was locking up the doors of the church, where upon he replied; "You Americans are always in a hurry! Rome is the "Eternal City" the statue of Moses has been around for four hundred years, come back tomorrow!" But they continued their protest and inquired; why do they close the doors of the church at 12 noon in Rome? Where upon the old priest replied: "Why? The reason is that here in Rome... between the hours of 12 noon and 3pm, even God takes a siesta!"

In our day and age it has been said- "We're too busy making a living...We have no time to live." Today everybody is stressed; everybody is doing more and more. We are losing what I would call our "sacred space of listening." We fail to realize that the present moment is all we can call our own!

How often we fail to live in the present moment. As a result we become frustrated and anxious having to come to the realization that yesterday has gone and we can not change it. Tomorrow has not come yet and it is not necessarily a promise, but a gift. Living in the present moment frees us to live and cherish the real.

Recently I took a mini-retreat, (even we who supposedly are God's ministers need to take "time-out" to allow God to re-create His spirit in us). Too often, we're a part of the "doing church" and fail to be a part of the "being church". Some people wish for things to happen, some people wait for things to happen, while others watch things happen.

Retreat, for me is a time of mystery, when I am a part of the "waiting, watching, & wondering Church", in which I allow God to speak to me and un-clutter my life and empower me to listen to His voice. Making a retreat for me, is a moment of truth which delivers me from the heresy of over action and enables me to put my life in perspective.

I thank God for the opportunity of such an encounter, and I hope and pray all could have a similar experience. We need that sacred space and time to wait on God as it were, and to listen to His it is spoken very often in the sounds of silence.