Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. John Muir
Meditation: I remember a difficult time in my life. My studies had worn me out. My body was tired. My Spirit was depleted and my soul was restless. I was not sure anymore of the direction I was going. I remember choosing to go for a week to enter a silent retreat in a monastery in Germany. The Sisters baked self-made bread and offered us all kinds of healthy food. The landscape around the monastery allowed me to walk for hours in quiet and beautiful nature. Every few hours the monastery bells would ring to invite us to come together as community for meditation and prayer. My thoughts and feelings were allowed “to play” freely as in my covenant of silence I did not have to get distracted by socializing or making small talk. I was free to attend to my Self, even though I was part of a community. If needed, I could ask one of the Sisters to listen to me and pray for me. That week was one of the most healing experiences. My body rested a lot. The healthy food replenished me. My soul was able to sort through many emotions. And my Spirit reconnected with the larger community and with God. This week taught me a lot about what I needed to heal and be strong again. Since that experience I have incorporate most of those elements (walking, healthy eating, being part of community, praying, and time without “noise”) into my daily life. It keeps me sane and grounded.
Prayer: Healing God, thank You for those spiritual communities that help us heal and recover when we need it. Thank You that they teach us what we need physically and spiritually to be healthy and remain grounded in ourselves and in You. Help us to incorporate those healing experiences into our daily life. And if we fail and get sick or depleted, help us to get away and allow to be healed through silence, nature and community. Amen
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners, creating praise on their lips. Peace, peace, to those far and near,” says the LORD. “And I will heal them. Isaiah 57:18-19 (NIV)