An Introduction to Contemplative Presence
While at first hearing it may sound strange, contemplation is something we all do to some degree. Who has not been struck by a sunset, a herd of deer grazing, or the birth of a child? Who does not have an older relative who walked about the house praying the rosary or a mother who performed her homemaking chores humming or eyes fixed on something beyond what she was doing? Through a contemplative directed retreat, we can learn ways to enter such a “presence” as well as skills at remaining in that presence for some time through God’s grace. The beauty of such an experience is like drinking “living water” and opening to it over time offers tangible benefits that can impact our daily lives.
- Situations, once boring or mundane, may now seem graced, more alive.
- Strivings and graspings that once carried a life-or-death importance can now be calmed and eased with deep reassurance.
- Concerns and attachments that previously muddied awareness and kidnapped attention can now dissolve into amazing clarity.
Significance of Mepkin Abbey Mepkin Abbey is a community of Roman Catholic monks established in 1949 on the site of the historic Mepkin Plantation located on the Cooper River, north of Charleston, South Carolina. Founded by the monks of Gethsemani in Kentucky, the brothers of Mepkin belong to the worldwide Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance popularly known as Trappist. Following The Rule of St. Benedict, the monks at Mepkin Abbey devote their lives to prayer, spiritual study, work and hospitality. To retreat at Mepkin Abbey is a time of special grace. Retreatants are always welcome to join in the prayer and schedule of the monks. The possibility for contemplative presence will truly be enhanced by the experience of the sacredness of the land, the stunning simplicity of the church, and the monastic life lived within this monastic community.
Features and Benefits of Contemplative Prayer Retreatants are introduced to contemplative practices that heighten their awareness to experience God in their day-to-day living and have those experiences influence their daily lives. Retreats of 3 or 4 days create an entrée for fuller and more active participation in Sunday Eucharist. The monastery’s 3,000 acres of woodland along the waters of the Cooper River offers the retreatant a serene setting for rest, reflection, and relaxation.
Dates for Retreats in 2013
March 8-10: Friday – Sunday
March 11-14: Monday – Thursday
March 15-17: Friday – Sunday
December 6-8: Friday – Sunday
December 9-12: Monday – Thursday
December 13-15: Friday – Sunday
- For more information contact: Father Nicholas, Retreat Director firstname.lastname@example.org
- To Register please contact: Brother Paul, Guest Master email@example.com