Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Online Retreat


Session 1

I need time for a retreat. Of course, we all need time for a retreat sometimes. A day of recollection it is called in the monastic tradition. My retreat today will be broken up for coffee, lunch, and for work. But, the emphasis is on “a day with God.” A time to probe my life, to ponder implications of it, along with a day of continuous prayer, a time for the Holy Spirit to lead me.

(Note: The best website for understanding this is the Sacred Space Online Retreat. Perhaps that will he helpful to you.)

God’s Presence

A verse I often use is found in Psalm 46. “Be still and know that I am God.” What a wonderful starting point. Be still Dan. Let your spirit be quiet. Drown out the clamor and call of the day with God’s presence near. Listen for his voice. Be thankful to God ! Leave the clutter behind.


Listen to God. Take note of my thoughts and concerns. What am I feeling? Where am I now in my life?

I have been in a funk (a low depressed mood) lately. Struggling over getting medical help for Janet (wife), helping people through several difficult deaths at the hospital, keeping up with the Tres Dias retreat (just finished), the wedding, living through another Presidential election, and really needing a vacation. And it has been a year since I was diagnosed with Prostate cancer—another milestone.

A beginning thought: I am in the presence of the Lord.

A Healing Prayer from the Celtic Prayer Book

At every moment of our existence
you are present to us, Father.
In gentle compassion.
Help us to be present to one another
so that our presence may be a strength
that heals the wounds of time
and gives hope that is for all persons
through Jesus, our Lord and Brother.
Weston Priory, Vermont


I go to the cafeteria and eat 2 eggs and cheese plus Texas Toast and water. While eating I am aware of the Presence of God. I continue my praying that God be with me this day.

Session 2

I read Luke 12, which is our Sunday School lesson for this coming Sunday.

As I read I become a part of the audience that sat at Jesus feet. I observe how Jesus interacts with the people. I listen to what he says. I try to hear his words for me. What does happen as I read? What moves me or influences me and changes me?

Read Luke 12:1-7

Warning: “Be on Guard.”— Against the Pharisees, yes, but what else? Our time (is it wasted?), in our attitudes (is it just another regurgitation of what we have heard on tv or the radio), and in how we love. (Do we really love those we meet?)

The verse that captures my attention is verse 7. "The very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

How easy it is to forget this. On my bookshelf is a sparrow I got at Capistrano. Every year on February 19th the sparrows return to the monastery where they have been fed for hundreds of years. To be fed we must return to the Father.

What is the Lord saying to me this morning through this passage?

Isn’t he saying, “Dan, the worrying about Janet does not help. I will find a way for her. Relax, Live, Let me in your life.”

I sit quietly and contemplate God’s word to me.
I also read Isaiah 58:9b-14:

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in. If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honour it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.


I go buy coffee at Dave’s Coffee stand. It is always a friendly place. Dave knows everyone and prays for them. He is the “chief prayer” at the hospital. When he was sick recently, everyone missed him.

Wandering away from the stand I see patients walking through the corridors. Most walk slowly with walking canes. Usually a mate walks beside them. Some are lost, unable to find their way among the distant signs, the various elevators, and the nameless crosswalks going somewhere unknown. I feel a sympathy for these, my people, my parishioners. I will pray for some of these and sit beside their mates when they die. It brings much humility to me.

Session 3

I continue my reading in Luke 12. I listen closely as the Do not worry theme continues (12:22-34). Seek his kingdom first and all these things shall be added unto you. Or Your Father knows what you need before you even ask.

It is so easy to say that we do not worry, but really…………..!!!! But the comfort of knowing that he knows my needs even before I express them. That is a wonderful thought.

I have hit a brick wall. Its all over. Amen.


At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for being so vulnerable on your blog and sharing your retreat day. (Gary Manders)

At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God will give you the wisdom to deal with Janet's medical problem. Thanks for showing how one can have a retreat in such a simple way.

At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed how when you read your Bible you placed yourself at the feet of Jesus, listening as the disciples would have.

thank you for sharing...

Prayers for your wife's health...
He is there in the midst of our storm.

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Elizabeth Rose said...

Dan here is a HAIKU you can use:
holy breath of life...
I bow to the God within...
Spirit walk with me.

This is very versatile just change the last line to address Spirit. e.g "Spirit heal my wife", Spirit show me peace" ...

I asked the Holy Spirit for a way to connect when I write poetry and this is the HAIKU I received.

At 2:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blest are you
Who draw near to Life
and go on ...renewed.


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