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As we prepare for a five night stay at Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey, I am preparing for one of the great crises of our monastic retreats.

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Create space for beauty.

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On retreat at the Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe, rolling out of bed at 3:10 a.m. to dress and walk in the darkness to Bethany House to sit in silent prayer with Brother Mark, does not feel like a burden or  a chore.

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This morning we pack our bags, clean our room, make up our beds with fresh linen, and, following Lauds, Mass and breakfast, get into our car and head down Abbey Road towards Port Angeles, the ferry and home.

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The ferry pulls away from the dock. We move out into the dark waters of the Juan de Fuca Strait as we leave the shelter of the harbour.

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The end of a retreat always feels a bit tragic. For four days, we have held a gentle open silence. We have moved easily through these days with tenderness and deep devotion. We have experienced the generosity of life and opened to the gentleness and warmth that are a sign of God’s gracious presence.
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Every day is “Day 7”. “Day 7” is where we normally live. This is the world of stimulation, busyness, noise, activity, demand, and expectation. “Day 7” draws us away from depth, tempting us to live on the surface of life and forget our true identity rooted and grounded in God.
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You have set my feet in a spacious place ~ Psalm 31:8

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