Today I got back from retreat! I prayed for the intentions that people had listed here, and will continue to do so.
I'm very grateful to my community for giving me this opportunity for spiritual renewal. It came at a good time for me and has left me feeling "recharged."
For now I just want to say hello to everyone and that I missed reading all your comments. I intend to blog about some of the wonderful graces that came through the retreat as I get settled back in and catch up on my work. I hope to focus on some things that anyone can tap into in their own lives whether they can go on retreat or not.
One thing for now: a group of about 20 people made the retreat, and it was amazing to me how just through being together in prayer and silence, a real bond formed among us. There were two break days when we could talk and get to know each other a little more, but for most of the time it was silent prayer that drew us together. Most of us didn't know each other before coming there (however we were blessed to have a group of 9 Jesuit novices with us making the retreat). But by the end of the retreat we had truly formed a community. It brought home to me in a new way how important prayer is in forming community. That's true whether it's a religious community or the community of the family. Shared prayer draws people together at the "heart" level. And families don't have to make a retreat together for that to happen. Some kind of family prayer is enough. It's hard to find the time today when family members are drawn in so many directions, but it's well worth it.