Back Again

I got back from my (silent) retreat today.  The retreat was excellent.  I was surprised at how comfortable I was with the silence.   My first year on this retreat, I cracked on the last day; last year, I was so frustrated with how the year had gone that I wanted nothing more than for the retreat to be over so that I could go home and take a break.  This year, I comfortably kept silence for the entire retreat.  I’ll take that as an indicator of two things:  I’ve grown a lot this year, and this past year was a good one.  Of course, I didn’t need a retreat to tell me either of those things. 

My associate pastor gave the retreat.  He’s the same priest from my conversion story, which I have posted on my blog elsewhere.  He didn’t fail to disappoint.  The topic of the retreat was the Road to Emmaus, and he gave several great talks.  During my spare time, I read the work this blog was named after, St. John of the Cross’ Assent to Mount Carmel.  I finished over 2/3 of it before I realized it would do me no good to finish reading it at the moment.  He was discussing aspects of the spiritual life so far beyond where I am spiritually at the moment that I didn’t deem it beneficial to finish it.

I was able to pray for a good deal of the time.  When I wasn’t praying, I was concocting a possible argument against an Orthodox argument contra Catholicism, one of much more substantial weight than the ones that I’ve addressed thus far (I know that I could have spent my time doing better things, but no one’s perfect, especially me!).  I need to do a lot of fact checking before I even think about publishing it though.  When it comes to philosophy and theology, I tend to be so insecure with my ability that I don’t propose an argument unless I’m sure it’s a good one.  Seeing as the issue I want to argue against is a big one, I’m even more hesitant to publish.  I’ll just have to see how confident I am with this argument after a bit of research and a lot of fact-checking before I publish:  I want to make sure I’m not attacking a strawman. 

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