Today I went with four other people from our church (and a friend of one of them) to St. Benedict's Monastery for a Spiritual R&R Day retreat they offered to our church (as well as others). Three of us are in our mid-to-late thirties. The other two were almost twice our age. It was nice to have a mix and be able to talk with each other.
It was my first visit to a monastery. I've been wanting to go for a long time, but this was one of my first opportunities. The day was largely just an open day for spiritual renewal. We could sign up for a 10 minute healing touch neck massage (which was full) and a half hour of spiritual direction (which I did). Sister Josue gave an opening presentation on celebrating All Saints Day. Sister Eunice gave a closing prayer that was a nice end to the day. But what I looked forward to most was getting to attend prayer times with the community. The mid-day prayer was the only one we were there for, but it was a blessing. It was wonderful to hear the psalms sung and get to be part of the choir singing back to each other. My one desire for the day would have been to have had time to talk with the sisters more. There is much I would love to learn about monasticism (especially Benedictine) and to draw on their wealth of faith.
But the day did what it was designed to do--providing spiritual R&R. I hope to be able to spend more time down the road with that or other communities.
Sister Eunice shared from Matthew 11:29 in the closing prayer: "...learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest..." Amen