Recently, I participated in an evening of prayer and reflection with 16 college women and 10 sisters. The title of the retreat was Finding Love in Yourself. The reflection leader was a woman from the College of Saint Benedict. During one reflection, she led us through an exercise of relaxing our bodies and clearing our minds. I noticed that a sacred silence filled the room. It was a silence that spoke of love, love of God and love of self. She reminded us of how important it is to love ourselves all the time and to make this point clearer, she said, “You are with yourself 24/7,” adding, “Be kind to yourself, be gentle in how you respond to yourself even when you make a mistake.” She then guided us through a writing exercise, inviting us to write a love letter to ourselves. We were to name our qualities along with areas of growth or change we need to make in our life to become a more loving woman. It was to be a letter filled with respect for who we are in the image of God. I came away from the retreat renewed. I was experiencing deeper peace within myself and the woman I am growing into each day. Every day as I spend time in lectio, I experience the love of God, remembering that God’s love never ends.

If you would like more information about Saint Benedict’s Monastery, please contact Sister Lisa Rose at lrose@csbsju.edu.

Lisa Rose, OSB

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