Self reflection, along with the observations of people near me, urges me to embark upon a retreat. I need to recollect myself, refocus, and recenter. Lest my dear, faithful readers fear another prolonged silence, let me assure you that writing will play an integral part of this retreat. The inability or unwillingness to write is for me as dire and bizarre as it would be for most people to be unable or unwilling to talk. It’s not as if I have some adequate alternative mode of self-expression.

I’ve realized that I simply haven’t had anything worthy of writing about, and that tells me that my life has lost its focus. I’ve been adrift amid distractions. I’ve become disconnected from the things that matter to me and that evoke thoughts and emotions so great that I cannot bear to keep them inside me. I’ve lost my spirit. And I must regain it.

In the spirit of my recent Independence Day post, I have decided to declare my independence from distractions. From all things vapid and inconsequential. From all life’s petty comforts, fleeting concerns, and overblown dramas. From all self-pity, self-coddling, self-importance, and self-indulgence. From the judgments of other mere mortals regarding my appearance, my station, my values, and my character.

The only things and only people worth depending on are things and people I already have and that are not going anywhere. What more do I need, except to just become more myself so that I can give more of myself to those that matter?

My regimen for this retreat is simple–it’s basically just to live more faithfully according to my rule of life as a Lay Dominican: to pray, to study, to preach, to be a person for and with others, and to cut away anything that doesn’t contribute to those four pillars.

I am currently setting myself to read and re-read Transformation in Christ by Dietrich von Hildebrand, as well as writings of the Dominican masters, such as St. Catherine of Siena’s Dialogue. I shall also be exercising disciplines such as fasting and being faithful to the present moment–which is something extremely difficult for me, as I tend to pine for the past and yearn for the future.

This isn’t going to be easy. But I am being called, pulled, compelled to it. My poor soul yearns for her self, and even more for her Lord. Please keep me in your prayers.