Simone Weil, a French philosopher and activist from the mid-twentieth century commented that one major, if not the major failure, is “our inability to feed on the light.” I have just returned from my yearly weeklong silent retreat, something that has been a mainstay of my life for 15 years. I really needed it. I am much better able to feed on the light now, than before I left. And so many subtle and not so subtle changes have happened inside me. I know that for me the time in solitude and silence in the context of a monastic setting, routine, spiritual readings, nature and rich liturgy, not only revives and renews me, it re-sets my compass. Swaths of time in silent prayer/contemplation and hikes in the hills, are important parts of my retreat too. The effect continues to amaze me. Aaaah.
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