Friday, June 21, 2013

Theology Class

Greetings from the general area of Culpeper, Virginia!  I am on a six day workshop at the beautiful Longlea Conference Center in a land of moist green hills, rivers and, yes, giant bugs.  This desert dweller is not used to any of these things and has passed many a night here staring in fascination at the fireflies glowing off and on outside of her windows.  Seriously, I have never seen fireflies before outside of "Pirates of the Caribbean"and I find them absolutely fascinating.

I am quite lucky to be receiving a moral theology course from a fantastic and brilliant priest, in fact, the same priest who taught me theology a year ago outside of Boston.  As my head is much clearer this year, I am in a better place to absorb these big ideas that are so important to truly understanding Catholic teaching.

This is the back view of the house where most of the activities take place.    A great environment to find peace and understanding, don't you agree?

And this is the view from those steps you see:

And have I mention the food?  Three beautifully prepared, delicious and perfectly presented meals each day make this a busy mom's heaven on earth.  The joy of being so nicely cared for reminds me to care for my own family better.

It would be enough to come for the surroundings, but that is not even close to the best part.  The truly amazing 21 women I have met here, the things I have learned about our faith and how I can apply them to my life, and the encouragement I have received to continue in my swim upstream in today's cultural river are the real treat.  I would be lost without the spiritual formation I receive from Opus Dei.

I have reached a point with my illness where it is no longer the overwhelming drama it once was.  It has gradually taken its place as just another one of the various characteristics that make me who I am: wife to the best husband ever, mother of seven, likes to sing, dabbles in blogging, living with cancer, has a giant dog, enjoys cookies...and so on.  This is a blessing indeed.

So now that my spiritual life is tuned up and my health is improving, my next challenge is exercise.  Sigh.  Even when I was perfectly healthy, I avoided it at all costs.  Nevertheless, my doctor, who has been right about everything so far, seems to think it is important that I introduce myself to it.  Something about healthy cells and rehabilitation, energy and cognitive function, blah, blah, blah.  Redouble your prayers, people, because I'm gonna need them if I have any chance at succeeding in this endeavor.

Tomorrow I leave this little slice of heaven and fly home, refreshed and determined anew in my vocation as wife and mother, to my true treasure on earth: my family and friends.


Bob Coldiron said...

Glad you had such a wonderful & enriching time. Have a good trip home, see you back in the AV.

Anonymous said...

Sounds fantastic! I'm glad you've had such a wonderful break. mary

Susan Moser said...

Wish I could have been there ...and that life had a lot more time for retreats and spiritual formation in venues that open our hearts, mind and soul to all that is truly important....being IN the world, and not of it.....I hope also that you share what you learned with the future members of your circle who anxiously await any spiritual formation you can impart. Always a blessing to stop in on your blog!!!!

Anonymous said...

Words of wisdom Suzanne.

I must be tuning in on you because last week found me missing the fireflies that were so much a part of my childhood in Illinois. Fireflies entertained the children on those warm nights where during the WWII years there was little else to do. A sense of sadness swept over me as I wondered if our pesticides have made them a thing of the past as they have so much other living matter.
So glad to hear that you also found them fascinating and that fireflies still do exist.

Jen Savard said...

Exercise releases endorphins....endorphins make you happy...happy people don't kill their husbands! :)
Words of wisdom from the great movie
Legally Blonde!