I’m retreating this weekend — from the hustle & bustle of the city and most technology (I left the laptop at home (eeek!) — but have no fear, I have my phone) to Glastonbury Abbey for a spiritual retreat.
Last year, Brother Dan Horan talked about our relationship with God in terms of “dating”. All relationships in our lives take work, whether it’s with parents, siblings, co-workers, friends or significant others, and so does our relationship with God. He talks about this (and other things) in his blog: Dating God (Inspired by the life and writings of Francis and Clare of Assisi, I reflect on the possibility of understanding relationship of prayer as Dating God in the everyday and ordinary experiences of the twenty-first-century world. I also discuss other issues of timely import (at least to me). Check back here for reflections on contemporary matters and periodic musings.)
Last year I had a fantastic time and I’m excited to see what this weekend brings.
The topic this time: “The Lesser-Known Stories of Francis: Lessons of Franciscan Spirituality for Today.” — We’ll look at some of the early stories of the brothers about St. Francis and the early Franciscans from those “who were with him.” Most people know the stories about St. Francis with the wolf of Gubbio, preaching to the birds, encountering the Leper, etc., but many are not so familiar with the stories that come down to us from texts like “The Assisi Compilation” or the “Legend of the Three Companions.” Some of these stories reveal another side of St. Francis, a side that is much more human and complicated, a side that reveals a whole array of human emotions (sadness, anger, forgiveness, compassion, etc.) that goes beyond the “saintly” image we might all have of Francis. These will open new ways of thinking about Francis and Franciscan spirituality for us to reflect on and share.
So off I go!
And if you’re so inclined, keep me, and everyone else on the retreat, in your thoughts and prayers. It will be much appreciated.