I spent the first part of my week at a retreat. It was held at the lovely Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House in Grand Coteau, just a couple of miles from my abode.
The retreat is a silent retreat which means you cannot talk so you can listen to Jesus' spirit talk and reflect. It's easier than one may think. It is nice not to have the pressure of having to make conversation.
I feel the need to reconnect to God sometimes. The retreat allows me to do just that.
The retreat is given by Jesuit Priests and well-trained laypeople called Retreat Directors. It is based on the teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola. There are conferences with a time of reflection after each.
The grounds are so beautiful with the huge oak trees, flowers and plants the retreatant can explore at any time. Every time I walk around I always find something new. I enjoy just sitting either in the green rickety rocker near my room or in the middle of the courtyard and watch the squirrels. They are some amazing creatures.
There are plenty of benches, chairs, rockers throughout the grounds to sit and enjoy the quietness.The retreatant can visit the beautiful quaint Chapel or large library where you can either read or buy books at any time. There is also voluntary face to face chats with the Directors or Priests.
Although the conferences are based on Catholicism, any religion is welcomed.
Reconciliation, saying the rosary, Anointing of the Sick and Mass are also included.
Once you enter the gates, you don't have to worry about anything.
Bells are rung to wake you up and before each activity.
Food is prepared by 4 lovely cooks. The head of the kitchen is Ms. Maria who has worked there for almost 48 years. The food is freshly prepared and delicious. There are also fruit, cookies and drinks that are available at any time.
I remember years ago my Mom had finally persuaded my sister and I to go with her. Through the years I went several times on occasion. For the past 3-4 years I've been going at least once a year in addition to Hubby and I going to the Married Couple's Retreat.
It is like a mini vacation from the world. I would recommend anyone to go. I am sure a retreat can be found near where you live.
More on what I learned later.