My turn was coming and I didn’t have an answer—at least not one that I felt comfortable sharing with the group.
“What are you hoping to get from this weekend?” the sister running our women’s retreat had prompted.
“Quiet,” was the word that instantly jumped into mind, but I was too afraid to seem anti-social or to close the door to some new friendships. I don’t completely remember what I responded with, maybe something along the lines of rest or relaxation?
I just know it wasn’t as brutally honest as, “silence, please” (cheesy smile included—and maybe a wink too).
Imagine my surprise when our next set of instructions included the rules of conduct for this silent retreat.
Sisters, I was floored.
It had been on my heart to attend a silent retreat in the near future. I had planned to go on one many years prior but discerned it was not the right time. And here God placed one neatly in my hands and allowed me to forgo the mental back-and-forth of whether or not I was ready.
God provided exactly what I was looking for and in the most beautiful way, at exactly the right moment.
Just like Jesus’ miracle with the loves and the fishes, God’s abundance was both boundless and precise all at the same time (see Mark 6:34-44).
I don’t know if you’ve ever planned a meal for a large group, but feeding five thousand people and only having a few baskets left of fragments and fish bones is in itself miraculous. That Jesus began with just five loaves and two fish is yet another layer to His greatness.
Even with these examples, I still need a gentle reminder that not all moments of God’s abounding generosity are as "in-your-face." Sometimes our insecurities or fears can overshadow the abundance. And for those moments, I pray for the grace to see with clear eyes that God provides exactly what we need and so much more than we could ever ask for.
If you need more encouragement on taking a retreat, read our blog post here.
Sarah Rose is a small town Ohio girl who is obsessed with all things Ignatian and is passionate about faith, social justice, and the intersection of the two. She left Ohio in 2012 and after a year of service in rural Alaska, earning her Master of Divinity in California, and working at a Connecticut High School, is officially back in Ohio serving as a university Newman Campus Minister. When she’s not working, she enjoys contagious laughter, clever puns, and finding the good in all things. You can find out more about her here.