Silence and Stillness on my Retreat

November 18, 2013

Just over a month ago, I went on my annual silent retreat.  While normally my retreat is for a 3-4 days, this year I went on a 7 day silent retreat at Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, MA.  .  In my recent dotMagis post, I addressed my worries about confronting stillness:

Silence is part of my daily life as my husband heads to work and as my kids head to school. There are hours within my day when our house is quiet, save the sound of my fingers typing on the computer or the hum of the washer or dryer tumbling in the background.

Stillness, however, is rare. Days are full, starting with early mornings of getting everyone ready for school. As I return from dropping my daughter off at preschool, the clock begins ticking, marking the seconds remaining to accomplish my work before I slip back into my favorite role as a stay-at-home mom when my children return from school. The late afternoons are full and loud as I eagerly listen to the boisterous telling of my children’s days in between snacks, homework, and dinner preparation. The energy rises as Chris returns home, and the four of us spend the few cherished hours each night together eating dinner, preparing for the next day, tackling chores, and playing.

Day to day life is full and busy, and I was anxious about being confronted with 7 days with no to do lists and agenda items.  The gift of both silence and stillness from those 7 days on retreat was a blessing, one that is still deepening in my day to day life.

How do you feel about facing both silence and stillness in your own life?

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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