Friday, April 5, 2013

A Time to Begin Again

There is a time in every life
when the very act
of looking back and taking stock
becomes essential
to going forward.

Without the light
that shines out of the darkness
of the past,
we cannot chart
a new path
to the future.

Monastic spirituality
is built around
a life of retreat and reflection.

Retreat time is the practice
of making personal time
for the kind of spiritual time
that is beyond the routine
of religious practices or spiritual duties.

Part of our spiritual journey
must, if the soul is to make progress
in the spiritual life,
be spent remembering
what we say are our intentions in life,
in the light of what we can clearly see
are becoming the patterns and actions
of our lives.

Retreat times remind us
that it is easy
to become slack
in concern for the mundane,
the daily,
and the unglamorous
in the face of a world so enticingly exciting.

Retreat time is the flagship piece of the year
that sets the standard
for a rhythm of life that moves seamlessly
between contemplation and action,
between work and Sabbath,
between regular retreat
and reflection days
throughout the year.

Retreat times remind us
always to make the space
to begin—again—
and in the midst of the cloying demands
of work and family,of money-making worries
and the stressors of social systems,
to fix the eye of the heart
on the really important things of life.

–from The Monastery of the Heart by Joan Chittister

 I'm away for a quilt retreat and it can be spiritual besides productive.  Will share later.   

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