Why should contemplative nuns living in a monastery need so much retreat time? Answer: We need this quality of time because we really are contemplatives. Ours is the prayer of conscious, attentive, awareness of the transcendent, of the nearness of the presence of God without and within. Tonight at the Grand Silence we enter nine days of community retreat, a nine day novena, if you will, in preparation for our foundational feast of Pentecost. Each sister also enjoys a ten day period of personal retreat each year and one day of personal retreat each month.
During these nine days our schedule is abbreviated, work limited, all meals in silence and conversation only when absolutely necessary. So I bid you farewell for these nine days. Hope we don't lose any of you along the way. Goodness only knows I have given you a great deal to ponder in the last few days.
Tonight our director, a Trappist, started us out with this notion of the meaning, really the earth shaking impact of the Ascension when "Jesus went into the Father and took all of humanity along with him." A contemplative craves the time to ponder the awesome mystery and wonder that speaks of universal salvation.
Please pray for our community during these days.