As my retreat in North Wales in July had been cancelled, I was delighted to receive the email telling me that the Sisters of St Andrew were reopening to guests. Despite the Covid restrictions it was nevertheless good to be back at St Andrews and of course to receive the usual warm welcome from the Sisters.
Apart from a Supervision Session, I had nothing planned for the four days that I was in retreat. I just wanted to refocus on God and to review a little of the work I had done when undertaking the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life.
Sitting in the garden it seemed appropriate to meditate on the God of Creation, so I focused on Psalms 103 and 104. Despite the peace of the garden at times been shattered by workmen of various descriptions it was good just ‘to be’, to be in God’s presence, in the real world. As I walked slowly around the garden I could see the effects of climate change and how some plants and shrubs were dying through lack of rain but other little ones seemed determined to survive. Fortunately, a day of rain helped.
The chapel was as beautiful as ever and how wonderful it was to join the sisters for Evening and Night prayer. To hear singing at worship too made all the difference.
I sat in the garden and sketched some of the views I saw.
I look forward to returning to Lewisham in October.