Vocation Discernment Retreat Weekend

August 10th Vocation Retreat: Solitude and Silence Were Much Appreciated!

We were blessed with six prayerful young retreatants for our most recent Vocation Discernment Retreat day on Saturday, August 10th.  The day included discussions on religious life with a focus on our cloistered contemplative Passionist vocation, personal time in solitude, prayer with the community (Mass, Rosary, Divine Office, and Holy Hour), and three meals together with sharing.  The retreatants especially appreciated the time in silence and solitude.  They also valued the opportunity to share as a group.

An early divine inspiration that St. Paul of the Cross received was the call to solitude.  He wrote in the preface of the Primitive Rule for the Passionists, "I, Paul Francis, . . . was traveling west along the Genoa Riviera, when I noticed, on a hill above Sestri, a small church dedicated to our Lady of Gazzo.  As soon as I saw it, my heart longed for it because of its solitude.  For some time after that I continued living as I had been, but with a growing inspiration to retire into solitude . . . ."  After the Congregation was established, St. Paul of the Cross continued to encouraged all members, especially the superiors "to preserve and foster in the Congregation, the spirit of prayer, the spirit of solitude and the spirit of poverty.  You can be confident that, if these values are maintained, the Congregation shall shine like the sun before God and men" (St. Paul of the Cross).

A major theme in St. Paul of the Cross' life was the presence of God in the soul.  He repeatedly advised recollection which allows us to hear God speaking in the depths of our hearts.  Therefore, silence is necessary for conversing with God in prayer.  True religious silence, a healthy and calm interior, allows us to meet all reality, natural and supernatural, just the way we are. There is room for Christ to grow and reveal himself to us (From a conference on the Theology of Silence, presented by Father Silvan Rouse, CP, 2000).

Our next Vocation Discernment Retreat Day will be Saturday, November 9, 2019!

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The Contemplative Passionist Life