Silent retreats to dialogue with God

They have a busy agenda, they like to talk. And yet, they have chosen to stop to “retreat” and enter the time of silence. Portrait

"An inner rest has settled down"

Her first silent retreat experience, Anne-Claire found both strange and beneficial. These silent days are punctuated by common moments, where those in charge of the retreat brought a meditation on a biblical text, but also by times of individual reflection. Meals are taken in silence. For Anne-Claire, a dynamic fifty-something, it is an amazing experience to share this moment with strangers and not be able to ask them questions to take an interest in them.

“I entered an individual bubble, 'selfish',” she says. It's a time to think about your life and your relationships.

“I try to hear what God wants to tell me, to find out what his plans are for me, what he would like to change in me. And in the outer silence, which spreads within, it becomes easier to hear his voice. For someone talkative like me, it's a real inner rest that sets in. After two days of silence, I didn't want to start talking again, never realizing the energy it took. "

Sunday afternoon, during the last common moment, each one briefly tells what he received during this retreat. Touching and strong moment.

“While no words had been exchanged for a whole weekend, we felt close to each other. "

"I was more attentive to my questions"

"Walking in silence, observing the landscape, listening to the rustle of the wind in the foliage, experiencing the thirst linked to the ambient heat: it is enriching your own meditation, allowing the Word received to reason with its own experience".

Marlène, a sociable forty-something, took part in a “Walk and meditation” camp in the Cévennes. Each morning, the group walked for several hours in silence, meditating on a Bible text and reflecting on a few questions proposed by the organizers.

Over the course of the walk and the time that passes, thanks to the silence, the reflection can deepen and get to the point. Marlène felt deprived of the worry of speaking or listening:

“I was more available and more attentive to my own questions, my resistance, my fears and my joys. I was able to stay focused on what was inside me, without being interrupted by the thoughts of others. "

Walking in silence makes it possible to "walk" without going in circles, to go beyond the words exchanged. This opens the way for listening to God and for dialogue with him to explore new roads to be traveled in the future. “In the evening, in all simplicity, I shared with the group a keyword, a phrase or an object brought back from the walk, the fruit of my meditation in silence. I was then able to welcome in my turn the signs offered by my fellow travelers and to rejoice with them in the work of God in their existence ”, concludes Marlène herself and you remain under the Law! So stop going around in circles, staying in a false guilt, in the "I should have".

The walk of faith is that of a Word of truth that reaches you in your today. God wants to meet you. It will give you the strength to carry what you cannot change, such as freeing yourself from what is in the past. Living in the today of God is the true rest of grace, the only reality that matters

Nina Charles
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