I like to go on retreat a few times a year, and I have only just returned from three days at my favourite spot, the Benedictine Monastery at Arcadia. This time I took my Mum, which was a novel experience. Because "ladies" are not allowed in the guest quarters attached to the monastery we stayed in a cottage on the monastery grounds. This was an amazing place, filled to the brim with religious tat, fake flowers and a truly eclectic collection of furniture other people no longer wanted in their homes. It was remarkable. Rather than retreat I could have spent several days just cataloguing the remarkable collection.
But I was good. I slept a lot, and read carefully Merton's little book on the Psalms. Much as I love singing the Psalms, their content STILL bothers me, no matter how much of a spiritual spin you want to put on the bloodthirsty words! Once during Office I almost burst out laughing at the contrast between the exquisite singing and contemplative atmosphere and the slash fiction text that was actually being sung. Something about murdering babies....


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