Give to God, Pay Later
My recent ninth annual Ignatian silent retreat climbed to the top of my best retreat list.
What makes for an outstanding retreat?
First, a fruitful retreat leaves me feeling like I’ve had a deep , weekend-long rendezvous with Jesus. Second, a great retreat delivers either that “aha” moment or the slow cooker version of gradual increased awareness to the series of meditations that recalibrate my life. Thirdly, a retreat that’s worth the inconvenience of getting there illuminates concrete ways to implement in my daily life the vision God reveals. A healthy approach to my retreat rejuvenates my body and soul, so I’m not returning home to an unruly crew and possibly a disaster of a house, with no gas in the tank.
This retreat delivered. Watch out!
With a renewed commitment to self-care I looked forward to getting to bed early to start the week off right. However, I was faced with an unanticipated service responsibility that kept me up late in the evening.
My eye was still on the prize of an improved morning routine with my kids memorizing the scripture of the month and reviewing our K4J (Kids for Jesus) Virtue Building materials that I had slacked off on. Benjamin, our five-year-old, did not cooperate. From difficulties with shoes and belts and just getting it together for the day, all the time for extra prayers dissipated. We were lucky to get to school on time.
My earlier rising to be obedient to my spiritual director’s recommendation that I needed more time in prayer put a major kink in my already challenging morning / evening routine. Cranky from not having enough sleep, I felt frustrated and irritated. I had to refrain from barking at the kids, but my tension emitted in my tone and body language. Within 36 hours of leaving the Sisters of St. Joseph Convent I started to feel deflated.
But as a regular retreat-goer, I had forgotten a cardinal rule of retreats: the better the retreat, the worse the week following it will be. I like to see it as Satan’s attempt at negative consequences. See here’s what you get for trying to do something good. Now don’t do that again!
Investing in ourselves with a retreat promotes change that repulses the Evil One. So watch out and sidestep the change back moves he has in store for you. In my next blog see how inviting the Holy Spirit back in the mix can help bring back serenity along with positive spiritual results.
The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationship Tip: Prepare for the possible backlash any time you take an important step forward in your spiritual life.