Sr. Rose Mary Dougherty, SSND, guided almost 70 IVC participants from Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and the DC/ Metro Maryland Regions in our opening fall retreat at Loyola-on-the-Potomac retreat house. As we returned to previous or new commitments, we were invited through Biblical narratives and the Psalms as well as other poems and prose quotations, to center within ourselves in the quiet, aware of God’s continuing presence there, and consider a number of meaningful questions and themes. I found many of these to be helpful in enlarging my awareness of where I am now as a person of faith, desiring to live life to the full in a loving way.
“What is my prayer for myself?”
“What do I need to ask for?”
“Who are the people who point out God to me?”
“Who are the people God is encouraging me to open to in life?”
“What do I need to forgive in myself or in them before I can do this?”
“How am I being invited to live my love now?”
“Who are the people who support me in leading this kind of life?”
The moments spent considering these questions helped me get in better touch with myself. I found it helpful that after my solo contemplative time, which included walking about the beautiful retreat house grounds, I could continue this sort of prayer by joining my small group and sharing with them something from my individual prayer.
I appreciated the way this retreat was formed and developed through Rose Mary and the retreatants because I felt the format and the content showed a deep respect and trust in us human participants and in God’s continual presence in us, as we grow as contemplatives in action.
Mary Jean Schuette is a retired teacher and a first-year member of IVC-Baltimore, where she tutors men at Christopher Place Employment Academy.