Sep 29, 2022

A few days of peace: Holy Trinity September Retreat

written by Liz O'Ryan

Our Holy Trinity Retreat- ‘Coming Home’

My reflections by Liz MacFarlane

Wallace, myself and Vicky set off on Wednesday afternoon from a drizzly Haddington on a scenic run through the beautiful hills of the Borders, to Whitchester, near Hawick.

Whitchester is a lovely old house, full of little corners with lots of books old and new, a little chapel an art room, and also a lovely sitting room where we met together.

I have been on retreats before, but, never a silent one. I confess that I was a bit apprehensive. I need not have been. It was a perfect balance of silence and talking, allowing me to rest, reflect and spend time with God and yet also to enjoy the company of my fellow pilgrims.

Our Retreats focus was the parable of the Prodigal Son. We had a large print of Rembrandt’s painting ‘ The Return of the Prodigal Son’ in front of us along with an interesting display with a ribbon of sack cloth, pieces of wood, stones etc. Through Liz’s talks we studied this beautiful painting and over time we were able to see so many thought provoking aspects of it.

We were also encouraged to think about some questions. I really enjoyed this, so much so that I missed the window of sunshine in the morning. I thought I would take a walk to explore in the afternoon, however, by then it was pouring. The silver lining was that I had a wonderful siesta!

One of the questions that had a big impact on me was to consider the Beatitudes, and how they might become more a part of my life. I wrote down all those Jesus says God blesses, and it came to me, these traits perfectly describe the person of Jesus, my/ our example and guide.

Another was to think of how I would depict in colour and shape the journey home to God. This took me to the Art Room. My picture turned out to be a very twisty road finally ending in a burst of colour and sparkles at ‘ Love, Joy and Peace’, – absolutely no Rembrandt, but fun.

We had the most lovely meals with my favourite thing being a delicious home made lemon ice cream.

On Thursday evening we were shocked to learn of the Queens death. We will always remember where we were on that day.

Thanks to Liz for leading us, to Sharon for the lovely centrepieces, and to my fellow pilgrims for their companionship and fun.
Altogether it was a truly wonderful experience.
When can we do it again please?