Today I should have been travelling to north Wales for a retreat at St Bueno’s. Sadly this has been cancelled because of the lockdown. I think that as a priest, I am blessed to be able to take time away. Not everyone is able to do this. It gives me the opportunity to pray and listen.
Now I am shut in am going to use the time in this way. I am using a booklet written by Edward Yarnold S.J. some years ago, entitled “Eight days with the Lord” (guidelines for a do-it-yourself retreat). He writes “To pray: to seek God in prayer with all our hearts. To listen: for we may not rest content with our own idea of God, but need constantly to listen to him as he speaks in scripture, in what we read and hear, and in our hearts, showing himself to us as he is, not as perhaps, in out cowardice , we would like him to be.”
We are in the last few weeks before Advent. We can all be attentive and pray as we take to heart the words in yesterday’s gospel. Stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.