Hosea 2:16-22 Reflection:
“I am going to lure her and lead her out into the wilderness.”
These are the opening two lines of today's reading and they describe beautifully a silent retreat I went on last week: we were lured out into the wilderness of silence and there we were encouraged, quite successfully as it turned out, to have an encounter with God.
The retreat was organized by the Foyer of Charity group in Ireland and was held at the beautiful Ards Friary in Donegal. Ards is such a wonderful setting for a retreat and I won’t bother trying to describe the place.
The Foyer of Charity has several different retreats that they deliver; this was what they call the ‘fundamental retreat’ and it consists of sound Catholic teaching on the basics of the faith. It is well worth doing.
However, the five days of silence allow you to go deep into yourself and touch on some of the issues that concern your spiritual life: the silence and the beauty seduces you into going further than you normally can in your workaday life.
What came up for me most of all, was the damage that ‘deliberate’ venial sin can do to your spiritual life, how it retards your spiritual growth and development. Another thing that came out was the need for regular confession, at least once a month.
I came home with plenty to think about. If ever you get the chance to do a Foyer of Charity retreat, take it. It is well worthwhile.