Over the Christmas/New Year’s vacation (and at other times as well), some people go on a spiritual retreat. What is the value of a spiritual retreat, and how can we make good use of our time? What are some things to be done and not done?
C.S. Lewis, best known as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, wrote in his science fiction novel Perelandra:
Inner silence is for our race a difficult achievement. There is a chattering part of the mind which continues, until it is corrected, to chatter on even in the holiest places.
Yet, a place which has been consecrated for the purpose of silence and contemplation may be of some help in quietening the mind.
This short video offers a few pointers on mastering the unique opportunities and challenges afforded by the spiritual retreat:
Returning again to C.S. Lewis and Perelandra, we are further instructed:
Be confident, small immortals. You are not the only voice that all things utter, nor is there eternal silence in the places where you cannot come.
Perhaps the video is most useful for showing us what things not to bring on a spiritual retreat. Since a portable video player is probably one of them, maybe it’s best to write them down on a piece of paper, and leave that at home as well.
THINGS NOT TO BRING ON A SPIRITUAL RETREAT
– squeaky shoes
– The Killing DVD
– Wallander DVD
– Kit Kat bars
– potted goose meat
– vodka & tonic
– gin & tonic
No need to make the list too long, as that too might become a distraction.
We could read the list again, but here the wisdom of C.S. Lewis comes to our rescue:
Perhaps the experience had been so complete that repetition would be a vulgarity — like asking to hear the same symphony twice in a day.
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The views expressed are my own, and do not represent any other person or organization.
Of Further Interest
Note: If the embedded video doesn’t play, watch directly on YouTube here.