Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Out of Silence

I'm on retreat at Mount St Francis in Cochrane, Alberta; my eighteenth Diocese of Calgary clergy retreat here. Other than in our worship and our retreat leader's words (National Indigenous Bishop Mark MacDonald) we are silent from just after lunch on Monday to after the Eucharist just before lunch on Thursday.

I love it.

Mind you, it isn't really silent. It's amazing how much noise we make even when we're not speaking; footsteps seem heavy, whispers seem very loud, water runs, toilets flush, the retreat centre phone rings and is answered. But I don't have to talk to anyone, even at meal time. I love it.

The only words I say are words of worship in the daily prayer and Eucharist.

I read and think and pray and write and listen. The silence makes room for the Lord to download some stuff if he wants. I don't necessarily know what yet, but I know from experience that there's new material aboard and it will pop up when I least expect it and at exactly the right time.