I returned yesterday from a few days of retreat at Bethany Retreat Center. It is a quiet place in the hills of Pennsylvania. This is my second time there. I enjoy it because it is quiet, well removed from the “noise” of our society. They have walking trails and daily Mass in the chapel.
Life in our society today can be pretty “noisy” so I always look forward to the opportunity to take my yearly retreat to get re-centered on God and my prayer life. Even working in ministry I can get caught up in the things of the world and lose track of what ministry is really about, serving the people of God according to God’s will, not my own plan. Away from all the meetings, emails, and phone calls I had the opportunity to listen to what God has to say.
The time at retreat is always a time to help me get my prayer life back in proper order. It isn’t that I had stopped praying but sometimes I find myself saying the prayers more out of habit than with the heart. A “speciality” at Bethany Retreat Center is contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer means taking the time to “not think.” It means to let go of all the thoughts that pop into our heads and to simply sit in the presence of God. It is a difficult thing for me to let go of all those thoughts but the reward of God’s presence is worth the effort.
I hope you have the opportunity to make a retreat in your own life.