Summer vacations are good for a change of pace, like we looked at last time and the change of pace from being at your 'regular' spot in church can be very refreshing. Sometimes, though, we all need to take a REAL retreat. To go away to a quiet place where we can be quiet and hear God's voice. That can be rather frightening at first-to be alone with our thoughts and God might be a bit intimidating, so start out with a short retreat. Perhaps just a day or even an afternoon.
For longer and more focused retreats, a retreat center of some kind can be very helpful. The people at the center can offer guidance and there is the advantage of having meals prepared by someone else and a quiet room to rest in.
A personal retreat can give you the chance to focus or refocus on God. You'll have the chance to become aware of things that might be keeping you from living your fullest life. The silence and solitude, perhaps intimidating at first, can become genuine companions by the end of a retreat time. At the end of retreat times you will probably have some new insights. These may not be anywhere near the topic you thought you were going to be considering on retreat, but be assured, they are exactly what God wants you to hear!
You may prefer to have a retreat with others so you can share your thoughts and insights and be inspired by the other participants and the speaker. As women of the DRG, we have opportunities for that kind of retreat on a regular basis-in our parishes or across the Diocese. (That is one purpose of this blog, to give a place to share that information with us all!) There are, in fact, three retreats planned expressly for Women of the DRG that you can find on the What's Happening page of this blog. The first one to put on your calendar is "Crazy Quilt Conversations" Nov. 9-10 at the Bosque Center. This will be a time when we come together as Women of the Diocese to brainstorm our role in the ministry of the Diocese and beyond! It should be an exciting time of listening, sharing, quiet, and fellowship. (It's not a time for quilting except in the symbolic way.)
Even if you like retreats that are active like the Crazy Quilt one this fall, I would urge you to make time for a personal retreat of an afternoon, a day, a weekend, or longer. [This is as much a mandate to myself as everyone else:) ]
Everyplace in the country has somewhere not too far away where you can have a day or longer of retreat. Here in NM, we are blessed with a multitude of venues. Below are just a few of them, and I'll bet you have a favorite. If it's not listed, let me know what and where it is so we can all benefit. Maybe I'll even add a page to this blog as reference if we get enough listings!
Bosque Center: Albuquerque, NM: www.dioceserg.org
Camp Stoney: Santa Fe, NM: campstoney.org/
Canossian Spirituality Center: Albuquerque, NM: www.canossiansisters.org/
Christ in the Desert: just north of Abiqui, NM: www.christdesert.org/
Ghost Ranch: Abiqui, NM: www.ghostranch.org
Glorieta Center: Pecos, NM: glorietaconferencecenter.org/
Holy Cross Retreat Center: Mesilla Park, NM: www.holycrossretreat.org/
Immaculate Heart of Mary Retreat Center: Santa Fe, NM ihmretreat.com/:
Mandala Center: near Raton, NM: www.mandalacenter.org.
Norbertine Center: Albuquerque, NM: www.norbertinecommunity.org/
Pecos Monastery: Pecos, NM: www.pecosmonastery.org/
RavenWind Retreat: Weed, NM: www.ravenwindretreat.net
San Geronimo Lodge: in Taos, NM: www.sangeronimolodge.com