Do you get a day off? Well, every week we priests are entitled to an overnight. I love my vocation but admittedly I always look forward to this time to visit with family and to recharge my batteries. There’s something so relaxing to being, at least momentarily, away from the hustle and bustle of work.
For my day off, I typically alternate between my two sister’s homes. They both live in the South Hills with their families and are gracious hosts. This past week I stayed at my oldest sister’s home. Since I was the last one to leave the house the next morning, I double checked to make sure all of the appliances were turned off and the doors were locked. Of particular note, I unplugged a space heater which is housed in the downstairs powder room. I had a peaceful sense as I gathered my dog and belongings and got in my car for the four mile ride home to Mt. Lebanon, knowing that the space heater was unplugged.
As human beings we all need to become unplugged. Quite simply we need to yank ourselves from the busy demands of life and just be still. There is a beautiful line from Scripture: “Be still and know that I am God.” To be unplugged is to let go and let God.
Today I visited thirty-two of our women from St. Bernard Parish who are on retreat at St. Paul of the Cross Monastery. I had lunch with them and could really tell that they were coming unplugged. Yet, I was in awe of this because I know how hard it must be for them to leave their own world and plunge into the quiet stillness of retreat. They were joined by women from other parishes who also were attempting to become unplugged from life and plugged in to God. May God bless them with a fruitful retreat!
Tomorrow, November 7th, I will leave for my annual priesthood retreat. I am so looking forward to this time to become unplugged and just pray and rest. There is something about retreat that while it causes us to slow down, we become even more alive. The senses wake up. The quiet sense of being unplugged makes us see, hear, smell, taste and feel better. Please pray for me during this time. I will pray for you. Make sure you make time to get unplugged.