Retreats | Sabbaticals | Silence | Solitude | Ireland

Reflections

Withdrawal

“Jesus withdrew to Galilee”. And the word there—‘anachoreo’is the one from which we get anchorite. It means to ‘step aside’, or ‘go off’. Matthew uses it again later when after a particularly busy period the Lord ‘goes off’ to a lonely place to pray. And it can help us to ponder for a moment the importance →


Expanding Our Desire

The word ‘desire’ means ‘of the stars’’de-siderum’. That’s a good description of desire—hitching our hearts to a star.’ Only our deepest desires are ones our hearts have already been hitched to and are hard-wired for from the first moment we were made. The hearts of the wisest men and women that have ever made the longest, most important journeys, →


“They Will Renew Their Strength”

Is. 40: 25-31 Mt. 11, 28-30 Isaiah and Matthew are so hope-filled. “Though young men faint and grow weary And youths stagger and fall, They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength They will run and not grow weary, Walk and not grow frail.”  Such promise! And then in the Gospel Jesus extends the invitation we all await: 28a “Come (over) to me.”   What a sweet →


Advent Hope

Advent is about hope. As the year turns to a close, there can be a haunting bitter-sweet feel to this month - hoping for loved ones to return, for health to return, balancing limited family budgets with unlimited expectations of children. For some, the aspects that would make a happy Christmas are missing. Reality is always less than it might be. →


Autumn Leisure

Autumn is time for contemplative appreciation and assimilation of an active summer. The long days of gardening and grounds keeping and caring for retreatants are succeeded by shorter days and golden leaves and best of all—time and silence. Everyone has rhythms of action and contemplation. These used to be determined by seasons of the year. Technology changed that with graveyard shifts →