Wednesday, September 11, 2013

come to the quiet

entrance to Cedarbrake
“I have always played around with writing.  As a grade-school age child, I could pour into a poem emotions that I could not even yet name. My parents still have this collection of sappy, yet honest, Spanish poems that reflect even now, not only who I was in my emotion, but who I wanted to become in my vision. Something about writing has always called forth from deep within me a level of honesty that nothing else seems to. When I write, I not only open my heart to the truths of this moment, at times I touch a well of wisdom that I have learned to humbly recognize as the Holy Spirit within me. That’s one of the reasons that I have learned that writing parallels and mirrors my spiritual life. It allows me to name, in a sense, where I am in the spiritual journey.”

which I co-authored with my husband Michael

I’m spending the rest of the week at one of my favorite places on earth—Cedarbrake Renewal Center, a beautiful retreat facilityfor the Diocese of Austin, Texas, and a place that holds many memories for me.

My first visit to Cedarbrake was as a 20-year-old undergraduate student at the University of Texas. Years later, Michael and I came here on an Engaged Encounter retreat—and wrote our vows sitting on the loft of the Cedarbrake chapel. Even more years after that, I began attending as a young mother a silent retreat called “Desert Solitude,” which was led every summer by my dear friend Pat Stankus.

Walking these rocky paths through the cedar woods of central Texas, I can feel deeply and profoundly the communion of many saints who have walked before me—and this year, in a special way, my beloved Pat.

Please join me in praying for all who will be joining me here Friday night for the “Writing as Prayer” retreat, and say one for me as I prepare and seek quiet and peace—unplugged—for the next couple of days.