On Retreat: Friday 11/20

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I'm away on retreat so I won't be posting as often as usual, just once a day, in the evening.  Rather than offering a Pause for Prayer or Night Prayer, I'm inviting you to find some time and a place wherever you are this week to join me on retreat. I'll be writing in the first person singular and I hope you can make my words your prayer as you carve out a little retreat time for yourself each day this week.  Find a quiet place... find a quiet time...  light a candle...  take a few deep breaths... ask the Lord to help you pray...
These have been days of grace and peace, Lord,
   and I'm very grateful for this time but as soon as tomorrow morning 
I'll leave this place and the ocean outside my window 
   and the glorious sunrise, sunset beauty you've provided every day...
I'll leave behind the crackling fires 
   on the hearth each night
and your warm, quiet presence in the chapel, 
   all around the grounds outside
      and deep within my heart..
I'll leave behind the silence, the healing quietude,
the seedbed of my prayer:
   my keen awareness of your being close at hand, 
   so close I thought, sometimes, I might reach out
   and have you take my hand in yours...
I'll leave behind the company of all my silent partners,
retreatant coconspirators, most of whom I do not know 
with whom I haven't shared a word
   (save at your Table, in our prayer) companions,
whose wordless witness came as gift, 
providing everywhere a sanctuary for your Holy Spirit...
I'll leave behind so much, Lord,
but I'll not be leaving you:
you'll be going home with me,
   getting in my car tomorrow morning,
      riding shot gun, showing me the path of life
   heading back to Belmont and to Thanksgiving
      and to Advent and a brand new year of grace, 2021,
   in your presence, in your Spirit, in your love...

For your warm and gracious welcome
   when I arrived on Sunday night;
for these days and for their beauty,
   for these nights and restful sleep;
for a new and fresh perspective  
   on the plans you have for me;
just to be here and not worry
   about where else I might be;
for this time of grace and mercy
  this week of peace an prayer;
for all of those I prayed for
   and for all who prayed for me;
for all of this I thank you, Lord,
   with all my mind, my heart and soul...
Stay with me, Lord,
   and keep me close to you...
(Having been on retreat his week at the ocean's edge,
this seems the only song to choose as I leave tomorrow morning) 

Lord, You Have Come by Cesáreo Gabaráin
Lord, you have come to the seashore,
neither searching for the rich nor the wise,
desiring only that I should follow.

O, Lord, with your eyes set upon me,
gently smiling, you have spoken my name;
all I longed for I have found by the water,
at your side, I will seek other shores.

Lord, see my goods, my possessions;
in my boat you find no power, no wealth.
Will you accept, then, my nets and labour?

Lord, take my hands and direct them.
Help me spend myself in seeking the lost,
returning love for the love you gave me.

Lord, as I drift on the waters,
be the resting place of my restless heart,
my life’s companion, my friend and refuge.


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