This weekend I will be on retreat at Miramar in Duxbury, MA. The theme of the retreat is Julian of Norwich, a mystical saint from the 1300s England. Julian was an anchoress. So now I may have used three words in the first two sentences we are normally unfamiliar. Mystical, anchoress and retreat.

I think sometimes we are so hungry for explicit, almost scientific information about our faith, we miss the point. By feeding our hunger for facts, we miss the mystical. The part we cannot explain. The feeling we have when we know God is close to us, but we can’t communicate it. When this happens, we need to snuggle up to the mystical, the wonder of God in our lives and those around us. We are all on a spiritual journey, which like any journey has many waypoints and interludes and episodes. Often the only thing we have in common with other’s journeys are their uniqueness. Which is no commonality at all.

Our faith is often described as a mystery but in a way which emphasizes our inability to understand. There is no need to understand. The only thing we are called to is to be close to God. Only to accept His love as presented to us. In the Eucharist, in our actions with others and in an acceptance of the mystery of God’s presence in our lives.

Retreats can help us in this process. Setting some time away from the hurly-burly of everyday life. Some time when we can slow down enough to be present in the Presence. Perhaps you can do the same. To retreat from the “noise of the world” for a short time and just go on a date with Jesus. Perhaps you can take a day, but if not, a short walk might do.

Just embrace the mystical. And see God in the everyday.



Sometimes we don’t need those words,

The advice of others,

Proclamations of a better life,

Just silence and a walk.


In a garden. Any garden will do.

To reflect on my journey.

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