Retreat Part II

Front of Cenacle Retreat house

I didn’t arrive at the retreat center until 10:20 a.m. and was quickly led to my room which was quaint and simply decorated. There was a bed (many people on a retreat like to take spiritual naps :), desk, sink, towels and a comfy chair facing the window with a lovely view of the greenery. 

Before I go on to the tour of the center I have to share how IN-TUNED God is to me and what I’m going through. On the desk was a magazine and on the cover was the word I loathe the most because it has plagued me this past year like NEVER before in my entire life. The word was VULNERABILITY. There it was, God speaking to me again and letting me know that HE knows how I’ve been feeling and HE’S got me covered. I was so moved by that and wouldn’t you know someone left an insert on how one’s emotional needs can only be met by God and not man inside of the book?

Vulnerability – a feeling I dislike immensely

I was given a tour of the grounds which included a parlor on the floor of my room, a rooftop area with seats and lounge chairs also overlooking the beautiful scenery, library, chapel, and cafeteria. After the tour, I returned to my room, turned off my cell phone and took off my watch. I didn’t want any reminders of time. 

I spent some time on my knees praying and then I walked the peaceful grounds where squirrels scurried across the grass and even pelicans flew above. The retreat center is located right by Lake Pontchartrain. There were so many beautiful trees and the grass, although cut, was still very thick. I should have worn sneakers instead of flip-flops – the only negative. 

I was the only person at the retreat center doing a day of prayer, therefore, I was by my lonesome in the cafeteria as well. A little old lady wheeled over a cart with my lunch which consisted of broccoli cheddar soup, toasted circular bread, salad, chocolate eclairs for dessert, iced tea and water. She went over to the radio and turned on a classical music c.d. and left me in perfect peace. The music, ambiance, the atmosphere was all so peaceful and overwhelming I nearly cried. (I guess my eyes were already dried out from crying earlier – you see I get REAL emotional when I lay it all out before my Awesome, Forgiving and Loving Father).

After lunch I walked the grounds and even climbed the levee to look at the lake. It was so nice out and oh so quiet. I found a small garden with the stations of the cross and smiled inside. I had wanted to meditate on the cross and here was my chance. There HE was again making sure to fulfill my heart’s desire as the psalm says.  As I slowly moved past each station I felt emotion building up in me again at this perfect sinless Jesus loving me soooo very much that he took my sins upon him to the point of death. 

The triangular wooden structures each have a station of the cross beneath it. There were many places to sit and reflect on the grounds.

I returned to my room and spent the last thirty minutes praying for me. I’ll share that my constant prayer is that God works in me, through me and mold me into the woman HE desires me to be. 

I took many pictures of the grounds but unfortunately, my camera has a mind of its own and only five pictures remain. 😦 However, if you’re interested in viewing the grounds you can look here online.