“You want dishes for the week?!”

washing dishes during retreat

I must confess, when Sister Ann Marie (our provincial superior) said I could help with dishes in the kitchen during our retreat, the image of my dad awarding his favorite mode of punishment came readily to my mind.  I can just hear him threatening me or an unruly sibling: “You want dishes for the week?…”   (On such occasions the rest of the siblings would secretly be like, “Yah, keep on arguing/misbehaving; then we get out of doing dishes!”)

I had spoken to Sr. Ann Marie some weeks ago, saying that I would appreciate a little work during retreat.  I often find our six-day silent retreat to be a bit of a challenge.  Although I value the gift of quiet times, or as our constitutions put it, “the opportunities for silence that retreat…offer,” I find that it stretches me as well.  I am not a strong introvert, and I need a little diversion.  Having all day to pray and reflect gets to be a bit much for me at times; I need a little work for my own mental well-being.  She said she would look into it and, thus, I was given “dishes.”

Our Rule exhorts us, “in all of their works the love of God and all people should shine forth.”  I hope this happened a little while I scoured those pots and pans and made them shine.

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