Perspective

Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Location: United States

Monday, April 12, 2010

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Henry said...

Wow, this place looks beautiful!

6:23 AM  
Blogger Cura Animarum said...

That place looks fabulous!

In regards to a making an actual retreat. I know I was terrified about going on my first one not knowing a single person there, not ever having gone on one before, and being away from my home where I feel the most safe and secure.

I certainly understand shyness, been shy and very introverted my whole life. I was physically ill the night before and the drive to the retreat centre was like a walk to my own execution.

What helped immensely was the very fact that it was a silent retreat (something I didn't know before arriving). It was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I could finally breathe!

My biggest concern when gathering in a group of strangers is that I won't know what to do or say. I feel very socially awkward...and believe me I know how ridiculous that sounds coming from someone who was formerly a radio DJ and is presently involved in very public parish ministry! Still it is what is is.

The silence was terrific. I didn't have to worry about not having anything intelligent or appropriate to say, didn't have to worry about awkward silences, not having a real response to someone's comment etc. My own desire to not really engage others in conversation was perfectly justified by the restrictions of the retreat.

I was able to actually relax and get into my own space with Christ while growing more and more comfortable with the physical presence of the others long before we would ever have to make conversation.

In know the cost can be preclusive, but many retreat houses will have subsidy programs for people who wouldn't otherwise be able to go on retreat because of the cost. If you ever had the chance to again, you should go for it. I really think you would get a lot out of it and you might be pleasantly surprised at just how closely and protectively Christ walks with you through the experience.

12:59 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Henry :)

1:57 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Cura,

The way you describd your feelings is exactly how I feel in social situations - the nausea, the dread, the not knowing what to say or what to do with myself (that's why it's so much easier for me to know people via the computer). A silent retreat would really make a difference, I think - I hadn't considered that. Thanks :)

2:02 PM  

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