Letter 8: Community Through Distance
This weekend, I had the immense privilege of attending the opening retreat for a spirituality and leadership program of which I will be a part over the next year and a half. This was the first retreat I had attended since my senior retreat in high school. Therefore, not only was it was my first retreat as an adult, but it was also the first retreat I attended voluntarily. The members of my cohort are spread out all over the world - multiple states in the US, Canada, Egypt, Kenya, the Philippines - which is so, so incredible. It also means that our retreat was virtual, which brought its own unique aspects.
Instead of writing an original opinion piece today, I want to share a few takeaways and insights from this weekend as I move forward into this next chapter of my spiritual journey.
My disgust and frustration at the world's "ceaseless repetition of the history it refuses to rise above."
To "lay aside your inability to be surprised."
"this struggle, this grace that scorches us toward one another"
God's presence is overwhelming beauty
and a breath of relief after confronting fear.
“Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is “timing.” It waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way."
- Fulton Sheen, theologian.
A "strong undercurrent has pulled me throughout and toward."
"We thank you, Lord, for those who have challenged us."
"What's personal is universal. Listening to others shows us we're not alone."
"I greet God, and I greet the God who is more God than the God I greet."
For "remaining open to making mistakes and learning from them;
open to being hurt;
open to getting lost;
open to receiving both the gifts and limitations of others and
allowing them to impact us."
"Change happens at the speed of trust."
"Awaken our spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon we will be home in a new rhythm,
For our soul senses the world that awaits us."
This weekend, I received the grace of encountering kindred spirits across the globe. What an incredible gift, a sense of homecoming and adventure, a humbling celebration of life and hope. To be called to this journey, at this moment, with these people... my heart is full. What I have felt moving me and inspiring me is indeed the Spirit, also moving through these new friends, these kindred spirits. The abundance of this life is great, and I am so grateful.