Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I am on a directed retreat at the moment in our friary at Ards peninsula, Co. Donegal. Donegal is about as far north as one can go in Ireland. It's in the north-western corner and Ards is a peninsula (one of a number) on its north-western edge. For a 'Dub' it's miles from anywhere. At the moment it is raining but not as cold as it has been. Unlike my home friary there are very few children nearby, there is little traffic and I can hear the sea, the wind and the birds. The air is clean and fresh and these days comes straight from the Arctic.

I am here with another friar on a private retreat. Last year I made my directed retreat in Dublin, in silence. That was good but not as life-giving as this one. Perhaps it is because last year my Dad was sick and dying or that retreat house had tiny rooms and I get claustrophobic or perhaps it is because I have a big room here, we're not bound to silence and the director is one of our own. Speaking of directors ours can, while giving direction, quote from multiple languages, some of them biblical, sometimes all in the same sentence and even 'redact back' to what the author would've said but decided to leave out. Very funny and very helpful. I am learning to waste time with God, to let God be God and let the silence do the talking.

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