Perspectives du 2 septembre 2018-A talk by David Hawken

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Espace spirituel anglophone

dimanche 2 septembre à 8h45

Durée émission : 10 min

Espace spirituel anglophone

About an hour south, and a little bit west, of Poitiers, there’s a village called Hanc H.A.N.C. where an English couple have set up Le Jardin des Arts.

It’s a place where you can go for a painting holiday, but also simply for peace and quiet. I’m going to be there, just for a day, at the end of August. Now my attempts at painting would be judged into fourth place with a group of three five-year-olds, so I’m going for what is called a Retreat, although I do find that word is a little disturbing.

‘Retreat’ has several meanings:
It’s a move back by soldiers or an army, either because they have been defeated or in order to avoid fighting. A move backwards.
It’s to change one's mind or plans as a result of criticism or difficulty. Admitting one was wrong.
In a game of Chess, it’s to move (a piece) back from a forward or threatened position on the board. Not defeat but certainly defensive.

Another definition is a private and safe place such as a country/mountain/lakeside retreat. That’s a bit more positive.
And the reason I’m going “On Retreat” is because a Retreat can also be defined as a period of time used to pray and study quietly, or to think carefully, away from normal activities and duties. The advertisement for the Day read like this:

A Retreat is a time for quiet prayerful reflection on how and where God is at work in our lives, and on what God is calling each of us to become: a mixture of formal prayer times, and space to privately meditate on the scriptures and God’s presence in our lives. Please bring an open heart and mind.
I have to admit it’s not something I’m used to. Like many people in the Church, I’m a bit afraid of the long silences – I want things to be happening: the liturgy, the reading of the Bible, singing hymns, the Eucharist. I find just “being” quite difficult.

So with much fear but more than a little anticipation, I want to go to this Jardin, to be quiet and try to listen to God. Of course we can all make space in our lives if we really want to, in order to make our own Retreat. It doesn’t have to be a week or even a day – just a moment with you and God.
I don’t suppose we’ll be singing any hymns on my Retreat, but if we do, I’ll request this one. Sing along, if you like, or just be quiet and let God speak to you through the words and music.

MUSIC: “Dear Lord and Father of mankind”

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