silent dinner

Since Jessa left, I was invited to join three sisters who are on retreat here at
dinner.Two of them are Sisters of Mercy and
the other is a Jesuit who is a medical doctor in Africa.They are all on retreat here, too, but they are doing silent retreats. I can still make the choice whether to do a silent retreat or not.


I had heard that there would be quiet music over dinner. We played a cd of some choral music in English. It wasn’t our first choice, but the Taize music
was not in its case.


Dinner was a little awkward for me.  So often, I make conversation over meals; . . . with students, with family, with colleagues.  Not this time.  I did presume there was an absolute “NO
TALKING” policy, but clearly I was mistaken. There were little quiet interactions about music selection, silverware, bread, wine, tea and sugar – all gracious and very hospitable.  I seemed to be the only one concerned about an absolute rule, so I was able to respond quietly when appropriate and shared the meal.  We shared soup, fresh bread, chicken, potatoes, salad and fruit.  I’m not going to go hungry, even with all the walking I did today.

After the cd came to the end and stopped, I heard outside all the birds
were singing and chirping in chorus, too.  As twilight was falling.

It was an even more beautiful song, really.

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