Saturday, October 23, 2021

The Way to Use a Retreat

 Fr. Michael Fish

I was 18 years old, just having completed my military service, when one morning after Mass, Sr. Louis Michael, a Holy Cross Sister, walked across the church and handed me a book, The Sign of Jonas, in which she had written, “While we wait for a sign.” I was discerning my vocation at that time.

The Sign of Jonas began my relationship with Thomas Merton and kept alive in me the “inner monk,” finally realized 30 years later when I entered Camaldoli. Later, as Vocations Director and Novice Master, I was amazed at the number of young men who came to the Hermitage to explore their call, mainly because of reading Merton. 40 years after his death, he continued to speak with contemporary freshness – a spiritual language which the English world, in particular, could relate to and understand.

My prayer is that we will use the time spent at this retreat, to encourage and support us, “While we wait for a sign.”