Sunday, March 07, 2010
Law and Gospel is reflecting on a silent retreat at the old Jesuit novitiate -- now the Jesuit Center -- in Wernersville that I haunt with some regularity. Her black and white photos of places I know well shrouded in show are beautiful and haunting.
When I was up in December for a night of silence, and an appointment the following day with Patient Spiritual Director, I wandered down to this alcove on the third floor to stand in the bay windows and watch the moon rise. Usually I go sit in the eastern cloisters and do this, even in very cold weather, but they were buried under too much snow! The house was nearly empty - just a few odd retreatants like myself rattling around. I heard someone walk down the hall behind me, but assumed it was someone headed off for a late evening meeting with a director, and enjoyed the deep stillness.
I finished my tea, enjoying the moon on the snow, then turned to go back to my room. As I stepped out from the darkened alcove, a young man coming down the hall clutching a pillow started and let out a yelp. "I thought you were a ghost," he gulped. "No ghosts," I said. And for the moment, that was true.