As I write, 40 married couples are settling in for their retreat. The weekends are truly a special time for us at our Motherhouse, which is also Sacred Heart Retreat House. We have the tremendous joy of seeing our guests arrive tired and heavily burdened, and sending them off a few days later with a renewed glow in their eyes, reflective of the Light that has illumined their lives.
A few weeks ago I had a moving experience of this. I was in the Chapel late on Saturday night, with only a few retreatants. All the others had retired for the night, but one woman went to the front to light a candle. Simple enough, countless candles have been lit in our Chapel over the years. But the next morning when I gathered with the other Sisters for our early morning prayers, that candle caught my eye. Or rather, the Holy Spirit caught my eye. I saw those little flickering lights in a totally new way. Each one stood for the faith of someone asking God to bring light into some dark situation. And there they were, burning before 25 Carmelites dedicated to prayer.
Suddenly those were my candles. I shared the same desire as the souls who had lit them: Lord send forth Your light. So tonight as our retreatants begin their time of silence and prayer, I am sure many candles will be lit again. And together we will ask Our Lord to send His Spirit and illumine our lives, bringing light and warmth.