I have taken the plunge.
After talking about it for a while, I have finally booked myself to attend an 8 day silent retreat at St Beuno’s Ignatian Spirituality Centre. I will be going towards the end of January.
I feel keenly the pivot point of my life.
I am 45 years old, and not done with adventure. I carry within me the wounds of a troubled childhood and sometimes it seems as if I am still 17, but at the same time I am no longer a child. The man I have become stands on shaky ground, but I am not ready to find a safe corner and watch TV just yet.
Increasingly though, I am aware that adventure does not just take place in the physical environment- in fact if it is to have any real value it is always a spiritual quest.
I also feel strongly that spirituality of this sort can not have, as a primary aim, the promotion of ME. There is a kind of spirituality that seems to grow from secular ideas about self actualisation and personal growth. They make an idol out of self, and this is not really compatible with following Jesus. So, whilst I might hope for satisfaction as a by product, the aim is to connect with something deeper, something outside me, so that I am better equipped to be an Agent of the Kingdom of God. In this way the internal journey connects again with the journey outwards.
I have no idea what the outcome of spending days alone with myself and God might be.
And lest this all sounds a bit pompous and self important, I am a bit scared.
Well, I’m lost for words! Let’s hope you will be too! Seriously hope the adventure continues and the experience turns out to be way more than you ever expected. Praying wonderful conection and can’t wait to hear about it. Shhh! x
Cheers Mark! Thankfully you can still write, so hope to be doing some some of that…
The intertwining of our lives continues….. I used to go there regularly for ‘spiritual direction’ when I lived in North Wales. I still gaze at the place wistfully when I zoom past on the A55 on my yearly visit back to N.Wales. It is a lovely place and I admire you for the courage for doing this: I hope you will be very blessed by the experience. Take your walking boots!
Wow- of course, it is would have been right on your doorstep wouldn’t it? Walking boots will be in the bag!
The best (probably only?) retreat I ever went on was an Ignatian style one run by and American author and it was great.
Pray that as you pass through your own “dark night of the soul” you learn more about yourself and the infite love that God has for you.
I’m a tiny bit jealous too…
I look forward to welcoming you to Beuno’s.