My impetus for re-starting this blog is my upcoming wilderness quest, which I am fashioning as a silent retreat. Four days, three nights, me, a 10' by 10' patch of land, in the wilderness. Alone. Except for the wild animals. I will be supported by a community praying for me, but I do not know if I will be soothed by their prayers when things -- creatures? -- go bump in the night.
I contemplated blogging about my experiences and preparation for some months before I actually began to type. I also thought about praying and meditating daily long before I actually began to put my thoughts into actions. I kept thinking to myself, 'Gee, I should really start meditating regularly. I need to prepare myself for my retreat!' And then days would go by, and weeks -- and I would not have meditated. Life got in the way, I had too much schoolwork, I was too tired -- a litany of common excuses. Then, I went to Mass on Ash Wednesday, February 17th. As I sat in the pew, an overwhelming feeling of hypocrisy washed over me. I thought, 'Who am I to talk about loving God? I speak constantly of how much I love theology, and God, but when is the last time I prayed? When is the last time I sat with God in silence? How can I hold myself out as someone who wants to make God, and the study of Him, her life's work -- when I can't seem to find the time to sit, in silence, and listen?'
As my employer, a former Navy officer, would say, "Whiskey tango foxtrot, over?" Or, in more colloquial terms, "WTF?"
I felt a painful disconnect between the way I was living and the way I wanted to live. All I talked about was my love for God, but my interior life was barren. I knew I had to make a change. I figured keeping a blog would help me be accountable. If I committed to a spiritual practice, I would be less likely to break it. So, here I am. A theological neophyte. Committed to God, yet unsure of my faith and the power of my commitment. Nevertheless...here I go.