7 Quick (But-Not-Entirely-Holy) Takes from Retreat

This week I’m joining “7 Quick Takes” over at ConversionDiary.com by SiriusXM host Jennifer Fulwiler. My seven takes come from things I experienced on retreat last weekend with the knights and dames of the Order of Malta.

— 1 —

Why do all retreat centers smell the same? Has anyone ever been to a retreat center that doesn’t smell like musty air, old linens, and antiseptic cleansers? And would it be wrong for me to bring a scented candle next time?


— 2 —

The eight-pointed cross in the Order of Malta’s shield stands for the eight beatitudes. They are the guidelines that all Christians should strive to live by. As knights and dames of the Order of Malta, our retreat leader said that we in particular should use them to guide our actions. Oh boy, I’ve got a lot of work to do.

Order of Malta

— 3 —

What kind of maniac decided these kinds of faucets would be good? Why would you want to burn your left hand while your right hand freezes?


— 4 —

Even something as simple as a doorknob can remind you why you’re here.


— 5 —

You know the seminary grounds are vast when the priests need golf carts to get around.


— 6 —

Perhaps the best place to listen to listen to Hillsong United’s song “Oceans” is sitting on a body of water, like the lake at Mundelein Seminary.


IMG_2547 IMG_2548 IMG_2550 IMG_2551

— 7 —

Best story told on retreat:

At lunch, I had the pleasure of sitting at a table with a woman named Peggy who has been to Medjugorje several times. The first time she went was at the instance of her daughter who was about 20 years old then. Peggy and her kids walked alongside the mountain where Mary is said to have been appearing since 1981. As they were walking, a strange woman approached them and said, “Maria will be on the mountain tonight.” Yeah right, thought Peggy. They say Mary may appear every night, but no one really knows when she will and when she won’t appear. But this odd woman kept insisting, “Maria will be on the mountain tonight.

Peggy didn’t want to go to the mountaintop that night, but again her daughter insisted. In fact, they had to leave early to “get a good rock” to sit on. Well, up they went, but not early enough to get “good rocks.” All around them people prayed in their various languages. After a while, it was too much for Peggy, so she and her kids headed back to the guesthouse where they were staying.

Late that night, some Germans who had stayed up on the mountain came back and made a lot of loud noise. Peggy and her kids came down to see what the commotion was about.

“She come!” proclaimed the Germans.

“Mary?” Peggy asked. “Mary was on the mountain tonight?”

“Ja,” said the Germans. “She come!”

Well, of course, Peggy went back up to bed feeling miserable. As she lay they, she said, “God, why do I feel so awful about this? You know that if my kids had been there, they wouldn’t have seen Mary.”

And then she heard a voice say, “But she would have seen them!”

Bam! Now that’s a pilgrimage story!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 7 Quick (But-Not-Entirely-Holy) Takes from Retreat

  1. Funny, I have always wondered about the dual faucets also. Stupid idea in my option. Usually, I just end up freezing my hands.

    Sounds like a great retreat.

  2. Ginny Marie says:

    I agree with you and the Mayor about the faucets! Your pictures are beautiful, and it looks like a beautiful place to have a retreat.

Leave a Reply