Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Spring Cleaning for Pentecost

I am trying something new.

I am on a Personal Directed Silent Retreat. The newness comes in the form of making a personal silent retreat as opposed to a group silent retreat. I am on this personal retreat because 1) my schedule did not allow me to join either of the two group silent retreats already held this year and 2) I have experienced many group retreats and felt confident I could pull this off. I have the benefit of being guided by an awesome Spiritual Director for about a half hour each day of this journey.

May 15, 2016 is Pentecost Sunday. In the Christian faith this means it is a holy day commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:1-4 (NIV)

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

In my church, some of our teenagers will be celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation on Pentecost Sunday. They will be like the Disciples being filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time.

I felt strongly about focusing on the Holy Spirit during this retreat since I have celebrated the sacrament of Confirmation when I was about 14 or 15 years old. The way I experience the Holy Spirit is that He has moved into my heart center and lives there. He guides me in the way of the Lord. Even though a Spirit does not need much room to exist, this weekend some old things were exhumed as he helped me do a little Spring cleaning in my heart center.  We found some baggage that I thought I had gotten rid of already. No need to describe the details, but just know it was really tough revisiting all we found as He made me look at it all and assess how long it has been there.  Together we are moving it to the trash.  It will not all get done this weekend, but we have surely made some headway.

Stepping away to take a vow of silence does not exactly silence the mind or relax the heart. I have a strict rule in my home refrigerator and pantry that anything, ANYTHING, expired by even one day gets tossed out. With expired food, I tend to think I will get violently sick if consumed. With that in mind, I am shocked to see old stuff I harbored in my heart center for so long.  It has been bouncing back and forth from my heart to my mind and cluttered each space.  I have been spiritually sick without realizing how I have been kept from experiencing the joy of the Lord.

I tried something new and I feel like the blowing of a violent wind from heaven made its way through my heart during this retreat. Since I have already accepted the Holy Spirit and my faith long ago, it truly was time to do some cleaning up.  When invited to help, the Holy Spirit is a workhorse.  He wants me to have the room to experience the joy of the Lord as soon as possible.

I can confidently say this Personal Silent Directed Retreat was, for me,  the right thing at the right time.


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