Lent and Well-being: Quiet Day

The Dublin & Glendalough Diocesan Committee of the Church’s Ministry of Healing hosted a Lenten Quiet Day last Saturday. The following report comes from one of the attendees, Hilary Ardis:

Those of us who were able to attend the Quiet Day on 9th March were so grateful to our speaker, Bishop Patrick Rooke, who introduced the theme of ‘well-being’. His three talks encouraged us to ‘mind the mind, the body and the spirit’.

The first talk was based on 1 Samuel chapter 16, and the choice of David to be king. Not the favourite brother by human standards, but what is it that God is looking for? We were asked to consider how we make judgements. How do others see us? How do we see ourselves? As in Psalm 24, we need to have ‘a pure heart and clean hands’.

In his second talk, Bishop Patrick looked at a passage from 1 Samuel 17 where it is clearly shown that success does not make life easy. David comes down from the heights and is embroiled in a struggle for acceptance and forced to come face to face with the giant, Goliath. Saul tries to turn David into a conventional warrior with ill-fitting armour. We were asked to consider whether this is what we do to people. Do we expect them to act as we see fit? As David we must be willing to take risks for God, but we also need to be appropriately prepared, not encumbered with things which weigh us down. We need to keep ourselves fit and clothe ourselves with the armour of God, as in Ephesians chapter 6.

In the third talk we read Isaiah 40:1-11, 28-31. Bishop Patrick spoke about the importance of times of retreat and opportunities for reflection. In all life’s distractions it is all too easy to lose sight of God. In the wilderness, a deeper reality of God is encountered. The desert teaches hope for those who persevere: ‘water springs up in the wilderness’. The flame of God’s love shows more clearly in the darkness. For our general well-being, therefore, it is important how we feel about ourselves in ‘mind, body and spirit’.

Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.