It was wonderful to be able to have a mini-retreat in the Easter season. I thought much about how we are called to live as Easter people; we are called to live in joy and gratitude and trust.
I read that the Easter season of 50 days (ends on Pentecost) is the longest of the special seasons in the Church year and while Advent and Lent are seasons of preparation, the Easter season prolongs the celebration of Easter. Before Vatican II, the Sundays after Easter were called just that, "after Easter" but now they are called the "Second Sunday of Easter, the Third Sunday of Easter, etc.
What can I share of my retreat? The importance of silence. It was a time to stop whatever I had been doing and just be with the Lord. I tried to listen and be silent. I came home relaxed and renewed and found that a former student of mine in Maylasia, Dr. Alex Tang, had sent me his monthly reflection entitled: "Come Apart Before You Come Apart." Here are a few of his thoughts:
We need to take time out for silence and solitude because our bodies are not built for constant stress. What are the benefits? First, we will develop a discerning spirit. We get to know the Holy Spirit better when we are silent and when we are alone.
A time of silence and solitude can help us to become more sensitive to people.
His reflection ends with some questions and this prayer:
O Lord, help us to find time in our busy schedule for some silence and solitude. Teach us to speak the language of silence, and help us to be at peace in solitude. Show us that solitude is not loneliness but is being fully in your presence. In silence and with a grateful heart we pray." Amen.
How will I make time for some silence and solitude?