It has been a very busy week – sorry for the lack of blogging – but when a priest is going to be away for a weekend there is much preparation to be done. Preparation of pew sheets (this time to include marriage liturgy eucharistic prayer for a blessing), visiting, and much photocopying and prep for the retreat itself. (Not to mention 2 hospital appointments but you know, there are just some things one should not blog about!)
11 of us are heading off the Whitchester today for 3 days of silence and contemplation. Now, as you know, some of us ENFPs struggle a bit with silence and would much prefer part-silence (yes, we do need a bit of quiet) and part activity and talk. However, sacrifices must be made. Our little flocks (or big-assed flocks as suggested at Synod by C & A) are not all made up of extroverts and noisy attention-seekers like myself. So I shall be leading a silent retreat (and I get to talk) and suffering for the art. And Whitchester is a lovely place to go and be quiet – chintzy rooms, log fire, excellent food, and beautiful grounds.
Our theme is going to be Seeing and Believing using the DVD of the same name by Christopher Herbert, Bishop of St Albans. (Check out Canterbury Press if you’re interested.) We shall be looking at some classic images of Christ by some of the world’s greatest artists and meditating on them. I have enjoyed doing a little more research than the DVD offered. Art works for me so I hope it does its thing for those coming.
OK, better get on. I hear they are all rather nervous about the prospect of keeping silence, albeit for just a short time. But from past experience, I know that they will not want to come out of it at the end.