By the ocean

This week I am accompanying five individuals on retreat at the Jesuit retreat house on Eastern Point, in Gloucester, MA. The site overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a secluded place of peace, with the sounds of birds in the air and the ocean washing up on the shore.

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Retreat is a time to put aside routine activities for a while, in order to spend some time in quiet reflection and prayer about one’s relationship with God and with others, a time to reflect on one’s response to God’s call, and sometimes an opportunity to discern what God is calling one to do.

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Photography is a type of mini-retreat which allows me to take a break from the routine of life, to be attracted to and taken in by what’s in front of me. It’s a way for me to soak in the wonder and beauty of creation. The photos in this blog are all from the grounds of the retreat house or in nearby Gloucester.

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Being by the ocean pulls me to reflection, allowing the sound of the surf to break over me as a mantra. The ocean becomes in many ways a metaphor for God. The ocean’s calmness as well as its power, its magnitude, its constant presence, its support of life, and  other qualities reflect for me qualities of God and give me a concrete way to think about God.

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An ocean retreat is soothing to the soul and re-energizing as one returns to the busyness of daily life.  If you have the opportunity to make a retreat, whether it’s a weekend or a weeklong retreat, especially one by water, don’t let the opportunity pass you by. You will return home renewed and ready for what comes next.

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“The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1

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