Home > Episcopal Church, sabbatical, St. Patrick's > Please maintain radio silence!

Please maintain radio silence!

Today is the first full day I have spent in my home the month of July! We got back very late last night, and I leave again at 5:00 AM, this time by myself to the Abbey of Gethsemane for a silent retreat. Here is more info on the Abbey.

This monastery is where Thomas Merton lived and prayed and wrote, if you are familiar with his works (go to http://www.merton.org/ for more on Merton). He is buried on the grounds. It is a Abbey of the Trappist monks, an order of the Roman Catholic Church. Although I have never been there, I had a minister friend, the Rev. Tom Adkins, in Greenville who took an annual trip there and had greatly encouraged me to make such a pilgrimage myself – and so here I go!

What do monks do? Well, they pray – a LOT! And they work – a LOT! Here is their daily prayer schedule:

Monday/Saturday
3:15 am Vigils
5:45 am Lauds
6:15 am Eucharist
7:30 am Terce
12:15 pm Sext
2:15 pm None
5:30 pm Vespers
7:00 pm Rosary
7:30 pm Compline

We will see how often I can make it into chapel, I am thinking maybe not the Vigils so much, but you never know! The grounds of the monastery are beautiful and allow wonderful spaces for praying, walking, and just being alone with God in nature. I hope to do much more writing as well, if the Spirit leads me that way. I am open to whatever God leads me to do during this week as I prepare to return to St. Patrick’s.

Since it’s a silent retreat I won’t be talking, texting, emailing, etc. I have really done far less of all that during the sabbatical as it is, and these five days will have me basically cutoff from the electronic world that is constantly distracting us.

As my sabbatical time is winding down I find myself thinking more and more of St. Patrick’s and her people and our lives together. That’s a good sign! I won’t ever forget what a blessing this time away has been for me and Jennifer and look forward to sharing LOTS of stories. Meanwhile, here are a few pics of the Abbey and I hope you will pray for me as I do for you.

David+

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