This weekend I was truly blessed to be able to take a personal respite retreat. I was really desiring some time to just be alone and take a little break. As I thought and prayed about the best way to do this, I was reminded of a monastery I had driven by several times that had retreat facilities. I contacted them, worked it out with my siblings, and made the arrangements. When I arrived in the morning, I got a little tour of the place and a key to one of the houses. There was another woman there too, but she was gone by noon, so I had the whole house to myself for the rest of the time. The site was on 100 acres of forest. The buildings were connected by walking paths that also led to several different prayer sites. I was glad the weather cooperated and spent a lot of time walking and experiencing each of the different sites. I prayed in about every way I knew and then more. I also spent time resting alone, reading, and napping. There was no internet and my cell phone reception was spotty, so I didn’t use my devices at all. I brought some of my own meals, but I also joined the Sisters for a few. They were super friendly, welcoming, and peaceful. They talked about some of their recent experiences. One of them grew up speaking Spanish. They recently loaded up her car with toothbrushes and toothpaste that they had collected and she brought them to one of the detainment centers that holds refugees. She visited there often to help in any way she could even though she is 80 years old. They said there is almost always a Catholic presence in the center helping to care for the people there. Interesting that we never hear that on the news. The Sisters also have a thrift shop. A couple of weeks ago, their van holding bins of merchandise was stolen. The police found the van, but it had been destroyed and all the products were gone. One of the Sisters spoke to a local car dealer who donated a van to them. It was so uplifting to be among the women whose hearts were sincerely focused on the good of others. Their goal is to be “A place of hope and hospitality for the world.” It certainly was for me. God brought the place to my mind, everything worked out for me to go, and it was exactly what I needed and was hoping for. Of course. God is good.
I Found God today in countless ways, but most of all in His care and love for me.