I posed this question on Facebook, in a whirlwind of trying-to-get-to-a-retreat myself.
A retreat, a silent retreat, a time away for prayer, for reflection, for adoration of Our Lord. Time to be, simply be. With God. Mindfully. Fully present. To pray, think, write.
But, oh the many, many things a mother must organize, before she even begins the hour drive to the retreat centre. Cars, errands, appointments, phone calls, bills, work, extra work, work meetings, teach Catechism, listen to a friend, work emails, listen to a son read his religion paper, the one he wrote for Homeschool study today, talk about uni assignments and times, chauffeur, sort who is taking Anny to music and who is doing junk mail delivery and who will be home when and will the homeschool son be alone and who needs what car and what about laundry and meals and Kumon and OOSH and ready cash and objections and did you pay the car rego and the rent before you left for the retreat and make sure you pray for this intention, okay?
Those little details in a mother’s life.
Should mothers go on retreat, with all the work needed just, simply, for two days away?
Reflecting tonight after vespers and compline, feeling some of that tension and tiredness releasing, being in the quiet presence of Our Lord (Be still, and know that I am God)…I thought…yes.
There are contradictions and mysteries in a mother’s life, in a woman’s life.
God, Himself, is one of those mysteries .
As the author writes in one of my ” retreat reading books”….(“The Orthodox Way”)… God cannot be grasped by the mind.If he could be grasped, he would not be God. (Evagarius of Pontas). Metanoia, the Greek word for repentance, means, literally, change of mind . In approaching God, we are to change our mind, stripping ourselves of all our habitual ways of thinking. We are to be converted not only in our will but in our intellect. We need to reverse our interior perspective, to stand the pyramid on it’s head.
And that is why mothers should go on retreat. No matter how difficult it is to actually get there.