As you read this corner from me this weekend, I hope you will take a moment to pray for me. What’s so problematic for Deacon Jeff this weekend? Really nothing at all. However, God willing, as you read this, I will be on a silent retreat at the Jesuit House on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh.
For those of you who have never heard of a silent retreat before, please allow me to give you a little background. There are several places to go on a silent retreat. The closest is the Jesuit House in Oshkosh and I personally happen to like it! Is it totally silent? No, but briefly here’s how it goes:
After arriving on Thursday and getting personal belongings in your room, dinner is served. There you can meet and talk with others. There are usually around 40 men who come to each retreat. Following dinner, there is a brief talk from the director and an introduction of the priest who will be offering talks each day.
There are usually four talks each day (about 30 minutes each), but it’s up to you whether to attend or not. Once the introductions are complete, you are silent for the rest of the time here including meals. If you are looking for something like salt or pepper at the dinner table, there is a spinning lazy Susan where you can get these items without asking. The only time you talk is at the daily Mass; you are allowed to pray out loud!
Boring you might say? How can you stay quiet the whole time? I thought the same thing the first time I went. But what happens is that in the silence, God speaks to you! I’ve had so many wonderful things I’ve learned on these retreats, only because I don’t talk, and God can speak clearly to me!
So please do pray for me, as I will be praying for all of you in earnest! I will see all of you for Holy Week!
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