After Easter I often take a spiritual retreat with several of my clergy colleagues. Our usual retreat is the St. Joseph Abbey, north of New Orleans outside of Covington. St. Joseph Abbey is a Benedictine Monastery and while there, we enter into the cycle of the monks -- morning prayers, noon mass, evening vespers ... and silence! Do you have any idea how difficult silence is to maintain?
This year our retreat took us to Ponchatoula, LA to Rosaryville. Rosaryville is the original site that the Benedictines settled in the 1800s. However, they moved upstream to their present site and a group of nuns took over the retreat house at Rosaryville. I enjoyed the openness of the retreat. Without the cycle of the monks we were on our own. We were still to observe silence, but ... did I mention how hard that is?
The three days were gorgeous. I filled them with meditation, reading, art work, and of course, photography. I always find it hard to enter into the time and harder still to return to the world.