Off to the convent

In an hour or so I need to catch a train to Poor Clares convent in West Sussex, an enclosed religious order for women. The guest house has five to six rooms, available for retreats for both men and women.

I received an email from one of the sisters advising me to arrive before evening Mass at 5.50, meaning I need to catch the 15.38 from Clapham Junction to Arundel, arriving in time for the service.

I have no idea what to expect from the weekend and I’m feeling ill-prepared. The week has been a busy one and I realise that I’ve given very little thought to what a weekend of prayer, contemplation and solitude will entail, or what it will be like after such a busy week.

It won’t be so solitary though – I will be in community with the sisters, and a friend is joining me tomorrow for the night. As the convent is near the South Downs Way, she is thinking of catching a train a bit further away and walking part of the trail to the convent.

Arundel - famous for its castle

I get the impression that Poor Clares Arundel will be a good starting point for my 12 week retreat programme. I managed to snatch a few spare moments today to watch some short videos on YouTube. The community is really quite progressive – they have put together some interviews of themselves talking about their lives in the convent. You can watch them here.

Having watched the videos, I’m feeling a bit more tuned in to it all. I’m skipping my cousin’s birthday party tonight and another best friend’s birthday do tomorrow eve… how’s that for commitment!

I suppose this is what taking a retreat is all about though, cutting loose from the usual business (there is always something going on at the weekend, right?) and retreating some place a bit quieter – in my case, a convent.

I’m currently wondering whether to take my mobile phone with me. My iPod – I can just about give that up for a weekend, but my phone? I will probably take it, just in case, and turn it on maybe just a couple of times during the weekend.

Perhaps by the end of the 12 months I won’t think twice about leaving this little device behind.

I wonder if they have wireless in the convent? (just joking).

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Off to the convent

  1. I hope that your retreat goes well and you find peace and comport as you step back from the world. I too am at the point when I also need to step back and take time out which I hope to do with the Poor Clares in March

    May God bless you

    Janet

  2. I think retreats are a wonderful way to keep on top of life. The whole concept is one which if more of us became more familiar with, would in time, see a dramatic change in life / family life , for all of us. Why don’t we all take this on board?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s