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Benedictine Spirituality is Women's Retreat Focus

by Lalor Cadley

Lalor with Jessie

Learn to know God in the thick of your oh-so-daily life, during a Contemplative Retreat for Women, May 17–20, 2010, at the Benedictine Spirituality Center of the Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman, AL.

“I welcome this opportunity to introduce you and others on the journey to the precious gift of Benedictine spirituality – so ancient and so new,” says Lalor Cadley, who will lead the retreat. “Benedictine spirituality has gifted people – both lay and religious – with a pathway to God for centuries.”

How has Benedictine spirituality continued to illumine the path of sincere seekers for 1,500 years?

For one thing, Cadley says, it is a spirituality rooted deep in the wisdom of Scripture. “The Psalms, the Gospels, writings of Testaments Old and New – these are the bedrock of ‘the Rule,’ as essential to the individual and the community as daily bread.”

Also, Benedictine spirituality is grounded in everyday life. “You do not have to go apart, or take up rigorous disciplines, or observe elaborate pieties,” Cadley says. “According to Benedict, if you want to know God, start right where you are. For God is in all things – as present here as anywhere else.”

How do we come to know this God in the thick of our oh-so-daily life? “Listen!” Benedict tells us. The key is to learn to listen deeply: to the Scriptures, to the life you are living, to the life that is unfolding before you.

And listen in community, Cadley advises. “In community, you will be given ways to practice courage, faith, justice, generosity. In community, you will be formed, by the way you rinse the plates or greet your spouse or sell a car. In community, God’s call will come to you, and God’s dream for you be realized. Or not.

“Our time on retreat at the monastery is designed to conform to the rhythm of Benedictine life going on around us. There will be time for prayer, solitude, study, and ‘holy leisure.’

“Benedictine sisters will offer their insights on the Rule, and we will be invited to reflect on how their way of life might speak to us, as we strive to create lives of balance, mercy, love and delight.

“I hope some of you will choose to join us. You will be most welcome. And if you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.”

A writer, retreat leader, and spiritual director, Lalor Cadley has worked for more than 20 years with men and women on the spiritual journey.