27. My Own Personal Retreat Center

Balcony

I’ve had some trouble with the Empty Nest Blues lately.  And the truth is, though it’s ticked off by my son starting his last semester of college, it’s exacerbated by the fact that I live alone.  I had always thought this would be something my husband and I would face together.  So it makes the pain of the divorce fresh.

But the other day I started reading Thomas Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation, and another book I started reading reminded me of how I’ve heard of people who take a personal retreat and spend time at a monastery — and I’ve always thought that would be a wonderful thing to do.

But then it occurred to me — I’ve got a Personal Retreat Center right where I live!  I’ve got a lake view, a path by the lake to walk, a balcony, a library of books around me, music of my choice, and all the solitude I could possibly want.  If such a place had been available to me when I was a busy mother of little ones, I would have fainted with thankfulness!

It also reminds me of I Corinthians 7.  A married woman or man spends time and energy trying to please her or his spouse.  An unmarried woman can focus on trying to please the Lord.

I do want to find a partner who wants to please the Lord.  But it’s better to be single than to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t.

And meanwhile, it helps my attitude to realize what a wonderful opportunity I’ve been given for all the prayer and contemplation and reading and writing I could possibly want to do.

Who knows, maybe that reflection will help me keep from spending too much time playing mindless computer games!

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