I have returned from the Annual Guided Directed Silent Retreat held every year at the Mary And Joseph Retreat Center.
As always, it was a way for me to deepen my AA 11th step. The retreat is based on the Ignatious Spiritual Exercises, and this year my assigned Spiritual Director gave me training in “Ignation Contemplation”.
The day started with breakfast at 8 AM. I skipped breakfast and went next door to St. John Fisher church for the 8 AM mass, Monday through Saturday. This is the first time I have been able to do 6 daily masses in a row, and I can see the spiritual value of it. But how to squeeze a daily weekday mass into my work schedule as a shift worker?
There was a conference/lecture at 9:30 AM, and we had the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted. Although a silent retreat, I was given a dispensation to travel down the hill to my usual noon AA meeting. Yes, I missed lunch, but since I was not engaged in heavy work, as when I do my daily shift at the Post Office, I could pass it off as fasting, and just be content with 6 PM dinner.
We also had daily mass at 5 PM. Two evening were set aside for a viewing of the film INTO GREAT SILENCE. No doubt about it, there is an Anchorite lurking in the depths of my soul who would be thrilled to join those Monks.
But as my Spiritual Director pointed out, that would be running away from my duties. And especially, as a Recovered Alcoholic sober 24 years, from my work in AA, my Corporal Work Of Mercy, to Ransom The Captives to Alcohol and Drugs.
And as such, on Wednesday Afternoon, the Presiding Priest gave me the Sacrament Of The Annointing Of The Sick. The Catholic Church fully understands and accepts that Alcoholics are not bad people trying to become good, sinners who need to be “reformed”. No, we are sick people trying to become well and stay well. ANNOINT!
I also went to confession Wednesday night, as part of the “clearing away the wreckage of the past.”:o
One of the mass reading perked me up, the one from Ezekial where an angel went through the city marking foreheads with a “tau”. Now THAT might be an idea…where a TAU cross on your forehead to protest the Culture of Death that starts with abortion and ends with euthenasia. To protest the concept of homosexual marriage. :mad:
But I would need to find an appropiate rubber stamp to put the mark on my forehead daily. Any suggestions?
So the retreat is over, and boy o boy you should see how brightly my halo is shining! (But not enough to impress my cats, of course.) Tomorrow at 3 PM I return to work, and I doubt the halo will survive until the end of the shift at 11:30 PM. :rolleyes:
I plan, of course, to attend next year, being held 9-15 August 2009.