As the sweltering summer heat gave way to the refreshing breezes of autumn, so too, did many find their spirits refreshed at Mepkin this fall. Brother Don Bisson, FMS, began a weekend retreat and contemplative workshop September 29, 2017 with a lecture entitled “Aging and the Poverty of the Spirit.”
A native New Yorker, Don travels the country sharing his insight and spiritual direction.
Brother Bisson brings a wealth of education and personal experience to his lectures and teachings. He holds multiple advanced degrees in theology, including a doctorate in ministry. He also shares his personal narrative, and his experiences bring a deeper meaning to the topic of the poverty of the spirit. One such story detailed his two-year stay in a rehabilitation center after suffering a devastating accident that left him incapable of caring for himself. He relates his chronic pain journey that he travels even today with the hope of helping others to find that God is ready to speak to them in the lowliest of moments, in the quiet where there are no words.
In this lecture, he holds the journey of aging up to Jungian and Christian lenses in an effort to demystify and destigmatize this natural part of life. Brother Bisson challenges people to look at aging in new ways. Noting that people “fear diminishment,” Don encourages all to see that in letting go of our physical strength and our need to have control, God’s strength is glorified in our weakness. Brother Bisson invites people of all walks of life to throw off the shallow and empty trappings of the material world and accept the invitation to greater intimacy with the Divine, even as our bodies age and change.
The weekend workshop and retreat went on to feature Brother Bisson’s conferences on developing a contemplative attitude and lifestyle, feasting on the True Self, and focusing on contemplative silence, prayer, dreams, and meditation. Retreatants were given ample opportunity to both share and meditate on their discoveries.
This amazing weekend is one of many like it featured at the Mepkin Abbey St. Francis Retreat Center. For a calendar of upcoming events, be sure to check the Mepkin Abbey website often, or go to https://bookwhen.com/osspou for lectures, and https://bookwhen.com/mepkinabbey for retreats. For more information about Brother Don Bisson and his ministry, visit http://www.donbisson.com. CDs of his workshops and lectures are also available on his website.