For the next few days, I will have the good fortune of being at the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh, Wisconsin for a silent retreat. This is one of my favorite places in the entire world and truly a cocoon where I can get away from my daily life, spend time in deep contemplation and prayer, and refresh my body and soul.
The contrast between the retreat and my normal life could not be more stark. I am a “Type A” personality. I have a demanding profession where I constantly need to be plugged in and available via cell phone, e-mail, text, etc. I am one of those people that is always on my iPhone. I sleep with my iPad and iPhone next to my bed and not infrequently do I awake in the middle of the night thinking about some problem at work and send off a quick e-mail or note to a client or colleague. I recognize that this behavior is not necessarily normal or healthy but after 20 years it is hard to disengage.
I have developed a fairly solid prayer life and routine, loosely based around a modified Daily Office and weekday Mass 1-2 times a week. However, other than those brief respites or my occasional five-second resettings in The Divine Milieu, I am constantly on the go between work and two growing boys. That is why the retreat is so refreshing as it truly allows me to get away from the distractions of everday life and develop a more personal relationship with God. Until a couple of years ago, I thought I did not have the time for a retreat like this. After experiencing it, I can not imagine going without.
[Editor’s Note: As I will be on a Silent Retreat the next few days, I have pre-published the next several blogposts. I may not be able to approve or respond to comments immediately so please be patient].