A Retreat is Really A Step Forward

I am tucked away on the third floor of this one-time convent and Catholic college for girls. A powerful place to write.

I am tucked away on the third floor of this one-time convent and Catholic college for girls. A powerful place to write.

I notice how energized I feel as I walk to my cell of a room, the sole person on this floor at this retreat center.

The Catholic nuns have got their act together. The number of women entering Catholic convents is dwindling. Various orders of sisters are compensating by renovating their convents and sisters-only retreat centers and opening them to the public.

I have three such places within four hours of me where I may spend a weekend or longer. The one in the picture offers meals every day, not just weekends. All provide quiet spaces, a desk, and a wifi signal.

I am in heaven.

Even though I have my own house basically to myself, I am distracted by work I do for other organizations and the chores of everyday living. In my room away from home, in a place taken care of by others and where meals are cooked, presented, and cleaned up by others, I sit at a desk, guilt-free, and go to it.

I sense the history of women praying, studying, focusing their lives on holiness in the days when these convents were full. The energy is powerful.

My connection with my imagination, diction and composition intensifies during this time in retreat.

The work is also powerful and the process sacred.

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